Win7 RTM Language Packs available via Windows Update  

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Microsoft has released all 35 language packs as optional updates via Windows Update for Windows 7 RTM. The following language packs are available for download:

Windows 7 RTM Language Packs now available via Windows Update

Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Chinese – Simplified, Chinese – Traditional – Hong Kong, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian Latin, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian.  The Windows Blog noted that the “Traditional Chinese – Taiwan” language pack will be released at a later date. (story Link with thanks)

Windows Movie Maker 14 Officially Released  

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Movie Maker now uses the ribbon UI like Paint in Windows 7 and Office 2007.

Windows Movie Maker 14 Released

Windows Movie Maker 14 is out of beta and officially released. It can be downloaded through Windows Live Essentials Wave 3, Microsoft’s software suite. Many were wondering why Windows 7 was not bundled with applications such as Mail and Messenger that were part of Vista. They are now part of Windows Live Essentials that must be downloaded. Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) patches have also been released for all the Windows Live applications.

5 Million Samsung Stars Sold After it went on sale in May  

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Looks like the Koreans are having a ball this year. Just days after the news of LG Arena is selling over a million units surfaced, here's some more. Samsung now reports that it has sold just over 5 million units of its mid range device, the Star 5230, since it went on sale the previous quarter.
In this scenario, Samsung's target of selling over 10 million Samsung Stars seems right on track! The Star 5230 is also known as the Tocco Lite in some markets. It went on sale in May and was an instant hit, as made obvious by the sales figures. Back then, it offered a nice combination of features and price and the "privilege" of owning a touchscreen handset, without actually creating a hole in your wallet. As for the sales figures, in the first month, about 7,00,000 units were sold. June saw Samsung shipping 9,00,000 of them, while July and August brought sales of 1.6 million and 1.8 million units respectively.
The Start 5230 offers users a WQVGA display, DNSe, a 3 megapixel camera and a lot of other multimedia features in a slim form factor. (story Link)

Check your USB Drive - Detecting Counterfeit Flash Drives  

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H2testw was developed to test USB sticks for various kinds of errors. It can also be used for any other storage media like memory cards, internal and external hard drives and even network volumes. To run the test for your drive, just plug in the drive, format it in Windows, run H2testw, select the target, and click Write + Verify button. H2testw writes files of up to 1GB to the chosen destination and names them 1.h2w, 2.h2w, 3.h2w and so on. If the target directory already contains such a set of files H2testw will offer to verify them. After it is done the software leaves its test files on the medium. You can erase them if you like or verify them again.

Download-256x256H2testw 1.4 has proven itself to be the best of breed for detecting counterfeit Flash drives. It is extremely easy to use and proves detailed information. Created by Harald Bögeholz, the interface is in German but has the option to run in English. It is free and standalone. Nothing is installed into the operating system. Designed for Windows it can run under Linux if Wine is installed. It will not run under Macs. If your computer can not run the software – ask a colleague or friend who has a windows based computer to help you test.

Gold Standard rating for H2testw 1.4? Why do you give this software such a high rating?

We give H2testw 1.4 the highest rating and recommend it for testing counterfeit USB Flash Drives for the following reasons:

  1. Easy to Use
  2. While in German an English Execution is possible
  3. Stand alone executable file – no installation required to run it
  4. You do not need administrator privileges on a computer to run it
  5. Tested to work on 1.1 and 2.0 USB drives
  6. Tested to work on 1.1 and 2.0 USB Ports
  7. Tested to work to analyze drives advertised as 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and yes …64 GB capacity.
  8. Reports seen capacity – what the operating system sees size to be.
  9. Will write 1 GB files up to the reported size – requiring no work on your part except patience if it is a large drive and a slow computer
  10. Will read all the files it wrote and verify them
  11. Will produce a report. a) short if all is well be) detailed if there issues found.
  12. The program is offered free

Note To Flash Drive Sellers

Please test your merchandise using this software. Do not offer for sale unless the drives are able to pass testing. You do not want to face the consequences of angry buyers. If you have drives which fail, contact the source you acquired from. Submit the proof you have as evidence for receiving counterfeit merchandise. If the drives you offer for sale are able to pass the testing of H2testw 1.4 – congratulations! Please indicate this in your advertising or listings. Let prospective buyers know that you have tested. That your drives pass with the program and that you are able to guarantee the true advertised capacity (minus a small overhead for operating system file formatting.). This will increase your sales potential.

MSI's AMD-Powered U210 up for pre-order  

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With no official press release in sight, the MSI Wind U210 AMD Neo-based netbook is now available stateside on pre-order. This diminutive ultra-portable packs quite a punch - offering a 12.1-inch LCD, 250GB HDD, 2GB RAM, a 6-cell battery providing up to five hours of run time and a weight of only 3.2 pounds (1.45kg). U210 is based on MSI’s Wind U200, but runs on an AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 1.6GHz CPU instead of an Intel CULV processor. This ultra-compact netbook also squeezes in an ATI Radeon X1250 GPU, a 16:9 HD WXGA display with 1366 x 768 resolution, WiFi b/g/n, an HDMI port and a 1.3-megapixel webcam.

Measuring just 7.4″ (18.8cm) x 11.7″ (29.7cm) x 1.2″ (3.05cm) the U210 isn’t quite as slim as MSI’s X600 Notebook we saw recently - but the width, depth and weight make for a very portable netbook indeed.

The MSI Wind U210 comes with Windows Vista Home Premium and is available now on pre-order in either white (U210-006US) or black (U210-008US) for a very reasonable $429.99 from

Mac OS X: 10 Commands to take a Screenshot  

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I must agree with mac-osx-leopardmyself on this that switching to a Mac wasn't the easiest thing to do, I had to learn around new tricks to get my work done and also, for me, the experience was much different to what Windows had to offer, much better and more flexible.

Since the most usual and important task that I perform nearly every 10 minutes or so is taking a screenshot, so with time I managed to learn a couple of techniques to do it through different ways and here I am sharing them all as a future reference to myself and for other Max OS X users.

  1. Command + Shift + 3
    Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop.
  2. Command + Shift + 4
    Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop.
  3. Command + Shift + 4 + Spacebar
    Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop.
  4. Command + Control + Shift + 3
    Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard.
  5. Command + Control + Shift + 4
    Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard.
  6. Command + Control + Shift + 4 + Spacebar
    Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard.
  7. Command + Shift + A (in
    Take a screenshot of an area and save it in a location of your choice.
  8. Command + Shift + W (in
    Take a screenshot of a window and save it in a location of your choice.
  9. Command + Shift + Z (in
    Take a screenshot of the screen every 10 seconds, until the timer is canceled.
  10. screencapture
    This command can be used in Terminal to take screenshots. ””screencapture -iW ~/Desktop/screen.jpg””

if you have more tricks out there to share with us, please post them in the comments. Thanks!

Lenovo Moving into Theater PCs, Servers for the Home  

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Lenovo representatives said Tuesday that the company will enter the "digital lifestyle" category with four new desktops and one laptop, two of which expand Lenovo's reach into home theater PCs and home servers. The most interesting addition is the IdeaCentre Q700, a home theater PC designed to take on rivals from HP and others. Lenovo has paired the Q700 with the IdeaCentre D400, the company's first Windows Home Server box. Both cost $499.

0,1425,sz=1&i=211547,00Lenovo also debuted a pair of Atom-based nettops, the Q100 and Q110, which will be priced at $249 and $349, respectively. Finally, Lenovo announced the U450p notebook, which will be priced at $799. The D400 and the two net-tops are available in mid-September; all of the others are available now.

All of the products will be formally announced on Wednesday, a Lenovo spokeswoman said. The Q series, according to Lenovo, "offers a range of PC products to complement the home theater experience and simplify the living room or study."

For Lenovo, the move continues a homecoming of sorts into the consumer market. IBM, which sold its PC assets to Lenovo in 2004, had long since pulled out of the U.S. consumer market, focusing on its corporate customers and its ThinkPad strategy. Lenovo had followed that business focus until about January 2008, when the company debuted the IdeaCentre and IdeaPad and launched all-in-one PCs to boot.

The addition of the new products will make Lenovo a "well-rounded partner" in the consumer space, according to Charles Farmer, a consumer products marketing manager for Lenovo.

Lenovo D400 Windows Home ServerWith the Q700, Lenovo included the choice of Intel Core 2 Duo processors (either the E5200, E5300, or E7500), up to 2 terabytes of internal storage, 8 USB ports, plus an eSATA port for external hard drives. The box supports up to 1920-by-1080 (or 1080p) video and graphics (either the Intel GMA 950 or GMA X4500), as well as 7.1-channel surround sound. The unit ships with Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. A TV tuner is optional. The Q700 runs on Windows Vista Home Premium 64.

Lenovo said it believes that the Q100 and Q110 nettops are the industry's thinnest, at just 6 inches x 6.3 inches x 0.7 inches thin. Both use the Intel Atom 230 processor, but the Q110 adds an Nvidia Ion processor, making it capable of decoding HD video and DirectX 10 graphics. In addition, the Q110 doubles the gigabyte of RAM found in the Q100 to 2 Gbytes, and bumps up the storage from 160 Gb ytes to 250 Gbytes. Lenovo is touting the Q100 as a low-power contender, pulling 14 watts while in idle and 40 watts at full operation. (full Story)

Download the Yahoo! Messenger 10 Beta for Windows  

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Yahoo! has finally decided to launch the Yahoo! Messenger 10 IM client in beta for Windows. As claimed, this new release will add more to the features of the world's most favorite IM client for PC users.

 File:Yahoo! Messenger logo.pngThe most noticeable new improvements have been made to the webcam feature which now allows the user to make high-quality video calls. Features include the ability to swap video windows, position the video windows side-by-side, mute the call or place it on hold.

Other new features include:

  • New "Y! Updates" view of your contact list.
  • All-new Yahoo! Insider.
  • Choose your language easily.
  • New ways to sort your contacts.
  • New icons in the IM window.

Can't wait to try out the new Yahoo! Messenger 10 beta already? Download it for Windows.

Netbooks have become a hugely popular hardware category. So much so, that netbooks have in some cases started to outsell laptops, considering their low prices, excellent portability and web centric approach.

But these mini machines are a lot different from our usual ultra powered laptops and notebooks. They have different hardware set ups from their laptop congeners and thus have different software needs. Keeping in view their moderately powered processors, these netbooks may not be able to handle the elephant that Vista is, though they can pick the load of his brother that we know as XP. But using an OS that is specifically built for a netbook has its own aura.

We will tell you about these Operating Systems that your netbook will just love to spend its day and night with.


moblinMoblin is short for Mobile Desktop. It’s an open source project which aims to develop software for Mobile Internet Devices or, Netbooks and Nettops. Moblin is the brainchild of the people behind this initiative and Built on a customized Linux build, it uses a tailor-made Gnome environment. It’s still in development, with V2.0 Beta already in the market. Targeting netbooks, Moblin is specifically designed for Intel Atom processors, that most netbooks are based on. With version 2, Moblin has brought an intuitive and easy to use user interface, built for a better media and social networking experience. It also sports a new graphical shell designed to provide the best experience on netbook devices and the likes. The bar placed on the top of the desktop holds different panels called ‘zones’. Each zone holds applications for different uses. Web surfing is handled by Moblin's self customized browser which is based on Mozilla’s Gecko engine. The media library can be browsed from the top bar from where a user can access music, videos and image gallery.

The connectivity can’t be ignored. With Moblin, you can easily create connections, whether Wifi, 3G, WiMax or a wired one. All of this is handled from the top panel. The home screen, that you see above, shows recent appointments and tasks. It also shows tabs of recently visited websites and messages from social media websites. and twitter are supported till now and more should be added as Moblin progresses out of beta. Twitter is also integrated within the panel from where a user can quickly update his status. Moblin can be downloaded from here, although note that it is still in development and may cause some glitches.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix


Ubuntu Netbook Remix is simply a spin-off of the original Ubuntu, customized for Netbooks and similar devices. With Ubuntu at it’s heart, you will get the security, user friendliness and customization options that Ubuntu promises.

Specifically designed for netbooks, the Netbook Remix has an intuitive interface with large icons and buttons, making it easy to ‘tap on’ with fingers when the OS is used with a touchpad friendly monitor. The default install takes up nearly 2GB, clearly disappointing users with 2GB EEE PCs. But considering the netbooks that come these days, with large volume hard drives and SSDs, this won’t be a problem at all. It comes with most of the default Gnome applications., Firefox, Evolution all come bundled and the Gnome Web cam app, Cheese is also packed which works out of the box. The current version is 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope. corresponding to the desktop release. It’s just another Ubuntu release (tuned up a bit though) and you should expect it to work like one. The Ubuntu Netbook Remix supports many popular netbook models like Asus Aspire One, Asus EEE 1000, 1000H, 900a & 901, Dell Mini 9 & 10v and a lot more.

Nokia on Monday announced that it plans to move into the PC market with the introduction of its first netbook, the Nokia Booklet 3G.

The Windows-based device will be powered by an Intel Atom processor, and Nokia promises up to 12 hours of battery life. It features a 10-inch glass HD ready display, weighs about 2.75 pounds and is about 2 centimeters thick. The Booklet 3G will include 3G/HSPA and Wi-Fi connectivity options, an HDMI port for HD video out, a front facing camera for video calling, integrated Bluetooth, and an SD card reader.

nokia-booklet-3g The new netbook will also include integrated A-GPS, which will pinpoint a user's location using the Nokia Ovi Maps gadget for a "truly personal maps experience," Nokia said.

Nokia will incorporate other Ovi offerings into the Booklet 3G, including music through the Nokia Music Store, and the ability to sync your Nokia smartphone with your netbook via the Ovi Suite. Additional details about pricing and availability with be unveiled at Nokia World on September 2, the company said.

"A growing number of people want the computing power of a PC with the full benefits of mobility," Kai Oistamo, Nokia's executive vice president for devices, said in a statment. "We are in the business of connecting people and the Nokia Booklet 3G is a natural evolution for us. We will make the personal computer more social, more helpful and more personal."

Earlier this month, Microsoft and Nokia on Wednesday announced an alliance that will bring Microsoft mobile software to Nokia devices at some point next year. (story Link)

Sony Launches Slim PS3 @ 299$  

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The rumors, as they usually are, were true: Sony formally announced a $299 slim PlayStation 3 on Tuesday. But while the slim PS3 will carry a larger hard drive than the current model, it will be priced identically to the current PlayStation, which contains a hard drive with less capacity.

The new charcoal black PlayStation 3 (CECH-2000A) will include a 120-Gbyte hard drive and will be priced at $299. It will be released worldwide on Sept. 1, save for Japan, which will receive it two days later. In Europe, it will be priced at 299 euros, and in Japan at 29,280 yen.

ps3 newBut Sony will also lower the price of the current PlayStation 3 to $299 as well. The problem is that the current PS3 carries just 80 Gbytes of storage, meaning that Sony will apparently push customers to the new model through the additional storage capacity, not by price.

The new PlayStation 3 was revealed via ads from Kmart and Sears earlier Tuesday.

While the new slim PS3 will maintain the same curved look as its predecessor, the new version contains a reworked internal design that has cut the PS3's thickness and weight by two thirds. It will measure 290 mm by 65 mm by 290 mm and weigh 3.2 kilograms, Sony said. The unit's power consumption has been cut by the same amount, to 250 watts, which should help cut fan noise, Sony said.

Sony also plans to introduce a new PS3 logo, also changing the formal name of the device from the PLAYSTATION 3 to "PlayStation 3".

On Sept. 1, the PlayStation 3 system software will be upgraded to version 3.0, adding a new "What's New" screen that provide shortcuts to new content. A "Bravia Sync" feature will also allow the game console's media playback features to be controlled by Sony Bravia TVs. Finally, Sony removed the "install other OS" feature from the options menu, essentially making the PS3 a closed system.  A stand will also be sold for $24, allowing users to align the PS3 on its vertical axis, Sony said. (story Link)

A hands-on review of the HTC Hero  

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A couple of months ago HTC announced a new handset called the Hero. Even though it was powered by Android, it was much different than other Android-powered phones such as the G1 and the HTC Magic in the sense that it wasn't Google-branded and also brought along a new user-experience dubbed as the HTC Sense UI.

Looking at the preview of this beauty, I was much appealed by what it had to offer and also because I got quite bored of using my iPhone, so I went ahead and purchased the HTC Hero. So here comes a detailed review:

htchero-1 The body of the phone is what makes it feel like it has come from heaven. It has a fully teflon-coated back which takes it to the next level of smoothness and gives the bearer a great pleasure in holding this little beauty.

Other noticeable features of the phone include, a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a trackball, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, a 5-megapixel camera, an SD slot and a 1350mAh Lithium-ion battery.

Now there might have been some debate over whether the 528Mhz processor on the back-end makes the Hero an underpowered phone but in my say, it does not. The processor is as good, and even better than many other smartphones out in the market so it all comes down to how many apps you plan to run simultaneously. As in case of the iPhone, its only one app at a time so comparing Hero to the iPhone does not do full justice.

The OS on the phone is an up-lifted version of the Android cupcake with new icons, better navigation and the HTC Sense UI which provides up to 7 workspace screens with custom widgets and addons.

Battery-timing of the phone was what impressed me the most. It managed to survive through a complete day with EDGE turned on 24/7 on the backend and trust me on this one, no one uses EDGE like I do.

Notes to Follow

For those planning to buy this phone, here are some notes to follow:

  1. Its Android, so make sure you get a preview of it before going out to purchase an Android phone for the first time.
  2. Don't compare it to the iPhone since both have different classes, one has full multitasking features while the other doesn't.
  3. Speed is not an issue on this phone as the rumors say, its all about how many apps you want to run in the background.

Good news is that HTC will soon be rolling out an update for the Hero that will make its UI even more fast and snappy. I would definitely recommend this phone to anyone who is tired of the iPhone and wants a change, and also to those who want to experience Android for the first time. (story with Thanks)

Apple has always managed to keep a lot of things secret around its campus but what really isn't a secret anymore is the fact that Apple will be launching a Tablet soon.

Even though Apple has previously denied that it would ever be planning to enter the Netbook market, it still doesn't keep us away from thinking that Apple is probably working on something more catchy and innovative, that would eventually turn out to be a Tablet media device.

mac-tablet-conceptAccording to 9to5mac, the new Apple Tablet device may have already been previewed by an un-named analyst and that he predicts for it to be announced by Apple at an event somewhere in September.

The un-named analyst has also suggested that the Tablet device will be shipped in November, for a price of around $700-$800 and will focus on experiences such as Movies, E-book reading and Gaming. (with Thanks)

Sony and Best Buy announced Tuesday that they will partner on a new line of audio products, dubbed Altus.  The Altus line will include wireless music systems, as well as speakers and home theater products, the companies said. Most of the products are currently available for pre-order on and will be in Best Buy stores in September. They will include two iPod docking systems.

The $700 ALT-SA31iR will include an iPod/iPhone docking station and two high-output wireless speakers. It will also feature an AM/FM tuner, and an S-AIR remote control with LCD display. That display will show album, artist and track information.

Its smaller counterpart, the AIR-SW10Ti, will include a compact docking station with two built-in speakers and a wireless subwoofer. It has a maximum output of 60 watts RMS and includes an infrared remote control and FM tuner. It will also be able to transmit wireless audio with other Altus and S-AIR products. It will retail for $400. Both products are available for pre-order and will be in Best Buy stores in September.

On the wireless PC front, Sony is introducing two multi-room packages.  The ALT-SA32PC includes an S-AIR transmitter that connects to your computer via USB and two high-output wireless speakers. The USB connection will stream audio from your PC to the speakers wirelessly. It will retail for $500.  The ALT-A33PC also has the USB S-AIR transmitter for wireless audio, but includes a universal receiver that will connect to other audio products via RCA outputs so users can stream to other music systems. It will retail for $200.

Altus will also feature the $350 ALT-SA34R Socket Speaker package, which includes wireless speakers that plug into any power outlet and are controllable via LCD remote. (full Story)

There are some reports circulating on the web that iRiver is developing a portable media player which will challenge the most awesome digital media player ever produced, the iPod touch. Named as K2, the gadget is expected to be launched in 2010.

According to a report on an Australian news website, K2 will run on the Android platform. The gadget will have a 3.5 inch touch screen, a built-in browser, wifi, bluetooth, accelerometer and a possible digital TV tuner. K2 is still in its initial phase therefore it is not yet clear that whether the touch screen would fully compat with the human touch or a stylus would be used. The memory capacity of the PMP has also not been revealed.

iriverThough the Portable media player will surely not have the luxury of Apple's app store or the iTunes sync feature but still it would be a great challenge to Apple's iPod touch. Being an android based gadget, K2 will most probably have the access to the android based open source third party software.

The gadget is still a rumor and it is not yet confirmed whether it gets the approval by the company or not. If green-signaled the gadget would bring some sort of competition with Apple which would eventually result in further improvement in the newer version of Apple's iPod Touch. The Austrailian site also reported that iRiver is also working on an ebook reader and an internet tablet. (story With Thanks)

Hands On with the Thin Dell Inspiron 11z  

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What does the "z" in the Dell Inspiron 11z stand for? Z-height, and Dell's intent to create the absolute thinnest laptop available for that screen size.

And, as the name suggests, the 11z has an 11.6-inch widescreen and is the first Inspiron laptop to bear the "z" moniker (the "z" parade started with the Dell Studio 14z). Note that it doesn't have the "Mini" brand: Dell is not calling this a netbook, even though 11-inch netbooks like the Asus eeePC 1101HA and the Acer Aspire One A0751h are already shipping. The 11z's biggest differentiator is that it runs a 1.2-GHz, Intel Ultra Low Voltage Celeron processor instead of the more commonly found Atom. Everything else, however, smells like a netbook.

Dell Inspiron 11z - OpenLike all Dell Inspiron models, the 11z can be customized with up to 7 colors; the one we played with was draped in Alpine White. The 11z is slightly wider than the Inspiron Mini 10v and almost as thin. It weighs about 3 pounds with a 3-cell battery (a 6-cell will be offered at a later date), which is slightly heavier than the 1101HA and the A0751h, whose frames include 6-cell batteries at about the same weight.

The best part about an 11.6-inch widescreen is that you don't have to suffer the 1,024-by-600 resolutions found in 10-inch netbooks like the Toshiba mini NB205 and the Mini 10v; the 11z, like the A0751h and the 1101HA, has a 1,366-by-768 resolution. Its keyboard, unfortunately, is not full sized like that of the A0751h. At 92 percent of full size, it delivers a typing experience touch typists can adjust to, though, similar to the 92-percent ones found in the 10v and the 1101HA. The large touchpad is like that of the 10v, in which the mouse buttons are concealed within it.

Feature-wise, it has what the 1101HA and the A0751h lack: an HDMI-Out port. This handy port allows you to stream all those downloaded videos to an HDTV (or larger display) that supports the format. It also comes standard with a 250-Gbyte spinning hard drive, which is impressive when most netbooks standardize on 160 GB. Otherwise, the three USB ports, Ethernet, and a media card reader are consistent with those of a netbook. (full Story)

Crunchpad to make a November release  

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For those of you who have been keeping up with the news and announcements related to Crunchpad, the Tablet PC by TechCrunch, well all we can say for now is that it is real and its coming this November.crunchpad-release So what features will the Crunchpad boast of?

For one, its a Tablet PC with a 12-inch screen and will mainly be used for browsing the web and doing web-related tasks. All apps on the Crunchpad will be web-based and we are still unsure if it possesses any media capabilities such as watching movies or listening to music.

It will feature a custom web-kit browser which shall be running over a custom Linux OS. There will be Wi-Fi and 3G access and also one USB port to handle/transfer data to a thumb drive.

Apart from this, there is nothing that the Crunchpad can do so we hardly believe that it will be any match for the supposed Apple Tablet that is to come in September this year. The Crunchpad will be probably priced around $400. Michael Arrington from TechCrunch will be officially introducing the device at an event somewhere in August. (with Thanks)

Analysis: Apple, AT&T and Google Voice  

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Apple on Friday posted its response to the Federal Communications Commission's Google Voice iPhone app inquiry on their Web site, and the company finally made it clear what they have against Google Voice-type apps: Apple doesn't want anyone messing with their stuff.

Their argument sounds oddly plaintive: Apple "spent a lot of time and effort" developing their phone interface, so they don't like that Google "replac[es] the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail."

A tiny violin plays for Apple. But the line is clear: Apple sees their platform as their house. Software developers are guests, and they can't rearrange the furniture. The iPhone is not a completely open platform - but only fools ever believed it was.

There's a lot of fun in Apple and AT&T's responses to the FCC's inquiries. For one thing, the FCC made the common error of thinking Google Voice is a VoIP program. It isn't; it's a complicated sort of universal messaging system mashed up with a voicemail server and some other stuff.

AT&T declares that "AT&T does not have direct knowledge of the particular features or functionalities of that application," and that "we look forward to learning more about Google Voice." Apple chimes in that "Apple does not know if there is a VoIP element in the way the Google Voice application routes calls and messages."

Ba-dum-ching! It's practically "Google Voice - what's that?"

Apple, meanwhile, also runs through a list of VoIP programs they do approve of (such as Skype) as part of their argument that Google Voice isn't VoIP, it's a denigration of Apple's hard work at building a phone interface. (full Coverage)

Download Nero 9 Essentials for Free  

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Good news for all those Nero users out there is that they can now download a free version of Nero 9 Essentials from the Nero website, thanks to AskVG.

download-nero-9-free The free version of Nero 9 Essentials comes with a little stripped down functionality but would be enough to cater for the average users. Even though now there are a couple of free alternatives available to Nero, it still remains to be best software for CD/DVD burning software and the good part is that now it can even be download for free.

For advance users, Nero 9 Essentials free also provides an option to upgrade to the full and more advanced version. Follow the link to download the software from Nero website. (with thanks)

Facebook and Twitter apps coming for Xbox Live  

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A new feature for the Xbox Live Dashboard was announced at E3 recently where Microsoft took the stage to show off a full Facebook integration on the Xbox Live. With this new update you can do all kinds of the social cliche stuff, like link up your Facebook friends and Xbox Live friends, and upload and share photos, or can even update your status right from your console.

facebook-xbox-500x281 01

Apart from this, a Twitter integration was also announced. Everything you do from your PC to keep in touch with the world can now be done right from your console.

twitter-on-xbox-500x281 02Microsoft later on however stated that the Twitter and Facebook integrations for Xbox 360 will be individual apps instead of being part of a general dashboard update.

One of Microsoft’s marketing people, James Halton said the company is aiming for a release date around Autumn, but didn’t specify beyond that. He did although mention that say "it will be before Christmas" so there you have it, Facebook and twitter addicts can start pouncing on their consoles before this fall.

Logging onto Korea's 4G WiMAX Network  

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PCMag editor in chief Lance Ulanoff and I are in Korea for the week, and I spent much of the day talking about and testing WiMAX - what the Koreans call WiBro (wireless broadband.) The Korean technology is exactly what Clearwire is currently installing in cities like Baltimore, Portland, and Atlanta, albeit on a different frequency.

WiBro launched in April 2007, and it's available across the Seoul metropolitan area. That's only one city, but it's half the Korean population. KT, the service provider, said they have about 300,000 subscribers for a range of plans priced at $10/month for 1GB, $20/month for 30GB or $27/month for 50GB of usage.

The WiBro experience in Seoul shows what true, high-speed wireless could feel like if it's done right. Deep in the Seoul subway system, Samsung hooked us up with adorable, candy-colored N310 netbooks with AnyCall USB WiBro modems. We pulled down fearsome speeds:  4.3 megabits down and 1.5 megabits up while sitting still in a station, and 4.1 megabits down and 900 kilobits up while zooming along on a train. Streaming video was a snap.

The experience reminded me: it's not the technology, it's the buildout. In recent WiMAX tests in Baltimore, I got a fraction of the speed I got in the Seoul subway. WiMAX requires a solid network of well-placed transmitters with plenty of backhaul to work well. If you go cheap on the buildout, you end up with lousy speeds.

At the "W Style Shop" showroom, I also discovered that there are a lot more WiMAX devices than Clearwire or Sprint have let on about. Aside from WiMAX laptops, I saw a handheld WiMAX-to-Wi-Fi router called the "Egg," two (two!) WiMAX phones (one shown at left), a USB modem that doubles as an MP3 player, and a WiMAX powered navigation device.

The WiMAX phones were the most interesting, of course. They used WiMAX to do video calling, and "ordinary" 3G cellular to make voice calls. True VOIP over WiMAX, with the appropriate quality of service measures to make it sound non-crappy, is coming soon to Korea.

I've been frustrated with Clearwire's buildout and marketing for a while, and this just made me more frustrated. While Korea bounds into 4G with various devices, Clear is moving much more slowly. I'll have another post about Clear's most interesting device, the Samsung Mondi, soon.

Apple’s Time Capsule at 2TB  

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Apple has updated the storage space of what appears to be its flagship backup appliance, also known as the Time Capsule.

apple-time-capsuleThe Time Capsule by Apple allows users to backup the data on their Macs and PCs wirelessly and also allows them to share the storage space as a wireless drive on their Mac computers, PCs, iPhone or Apple TV.

The new model is now available for a price of $499 and offers a server-grade storage of 2 Terabytes, double the capacity of its previous model but at the same price. The old-model of the Time Capsule is now available for only $299.

It also supports the new features introduced for Time Capsules earlier this year, namely the simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi which makes the Time Capsule work on dual bands at the same time and Guest Networking, which enables one to setup a secondary network for guests and visitors. (with Thanks)

Samsung's Dual-LCD Cameras  

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Samsung on Thursday unveiled two cameras that feature the world's first dual LCD screens, one in the front and one in the back.

Samsung also unveiled cameras that feature three built-in radios: GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and Wi-Fi. Most smartphones already come with these features, but this is the first standalone point-and-shoot camera to feature all three.

First up is the 12.2 megapixel Samsung TL 225. It features a 3.5-inch touch LCD screen in the back and a 1.5-inch LCD in front. Users simply tap the front LCD to turn it on and off.

Samsung TL 225 - Front

The primary use for the front LCD is for users who like to take pictures of themselves with friends by holding the camera out in front of them. In this scenario, the LCD screen helps users frame the shot, and face detection boxes pop up so you know if you're in focus.

Samsung added two other functions to the front LCD. When the timer is active, the front LCD displays numbers that count down so subjects can anticipate when the camera will fire. A cartoon animation of clowns can also be played on the LCD in order to get babies to smile for the camera.

The 3.5-inch touch LCD screen on the back of the TL 225 is also unique since it is very high-resolution and offers haptic feedback. When you touch a virtual button on the camera's rear LCD, it gently shakes to confirm you pressed it. LCD screens on most compact cameras contain 230,000 dots - the more dots, the more detail. The TL 225's back LCD screen contains 1,152,000 dots so images should look very sharp.

Samsung TL 220 and Samsung TL 225

The Samsung TL 225 will retail for $349. A less expensive model, the Samsung TL 220 will also be available for $299. It will have the 1.5-inch front LCD, but the back LCD will be a smaller, 3-inch haptic touch LCD with 230,000 dots. Both will be available in September.

Last up is the Samsung CL 65, which will contain three different radios: Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi and GPS. The GPS radio will be used to "geotag" photos so they have city, state, and country information attached to them. The Bluetooth radio can be used to send photos from the camera to other Bluetooth-equipped devices like cell phones, printers, and computers.

The Wi-Fi radio will let the camera jump onto any Wi-Fi network to transfer photos to devices on the network. The camera's Wi-Fi also supports the new-ish DLNA networking protocol, which attempts to simplify network sharing of pictures, video and music. (story Link)

Nokia N97 Mini Leaked on The Net  

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Rumors regarding the Nokia N97 mini emerged a while ago when a Vodafone forum moderator posted about the existence of such a device. Sadly! he was fired for leaking out such sensitive information, but that only led us to believe that Nokia did have such a device in the works.


And today! a leaked photo of the supposed Nokia N97 mini is what adds more to our speculation about the existence of such a device.

From what we see, it has a smaller touchscreen, a Qwerty keyboard but with a missing D-pad as seen on the original N97. Also the N97 mini is said to have only 8GB of storage memory, whereas the original N97 has 32GB of storage memory.

Though we personally believe that its nothing but an early prototype of the Nokia N97 which could have changed during the design-phase to give out the actual and final device.

Another possibility is that perhaps Nokia wants to repeat its trend by releasing a budget-phone as a supplementary to the original one, like it did with earlier with the Nokia E71. Though we doubt it, as N97 already failed to meet most of the users expectations. (story Link)

Inside the Nikon S1000pj Compact Camera with Projector  

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This morning Nikon dropped a bomb: It introduced the first compact camera with a built-in VGA projector (640 by 480 at 30 fps). 
The camera is quite compact--it's just .9 inches thick.  Nikon sent us a few images of the inside of the camera, so you can see how it was able to pack the projector into such a small space. See more images after the jump; and for more details on the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj and the other new Nikon cameras, check out the full story on PC MAG.

That LCD on the back of your camera can get a little crowded when family and friends are all clamoring at once to view your images. Nikon is intent on changing that with the introduction of the Nikon COOLPIX S1000pj, the world's first camera to a feature a built-in projector.

The COOLPIX S1000pj will capture 12-megapixel images, use a 2.7 inch LCD and offer 5x optical zoom. It will sell in September for $429.95 MSRP.

inside 1000pj.jpg


The Nikon Coolpix S1000pj's projector module.

S1000PJ Projecter Module Inside.jpg

Inside the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj's projector module. (shared with thanks)

The World’s Thinnest Watch-Phone from Samsung  

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Remember the watch phone released by LG earlier this year? Well we are pleased to announce that it won't be enjoying the spotlight anymore as Samsung has unveiled a watch phone of its own which is not only one of the 'only' watch-phones that we have seen but also the thinnest one of all.

samsung-watch-phone2 Its only 11.98mm thick and has a 1.76-inch scratchless touchscreen display, which makes it considerably useful on a day-to-day basis.

As for the other usual features, it boasts of a 40Mb of memory, a speakerphone, music player, Bluetooth, voice recognition and Email with Outlook sync support making it one of the most tiny and useful accessories of today's age.

It will hitting the market at a price of 450 Euros.

Be the first to use Google wave, register now  

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Desperately waiting to 'wave' through Google wave? Here is your chance to be the member of Google wave's exclusive bugs testing team. Yes! Thats true, Google has started its hunt for users from around the globe to use, test and enjoy the wave experience.

google-wave All you need to do is to register here and you can be one of the lucky 100,000 users to use Google Wave, registration process is simple and quick. You are only required to enter your email ID. There are a couple of questions as well which you can answer if you want to but it is strongly recommended that you answer those questions.

Don't forget to write a short message for the Google wave team, it only makes your application more strong. Google has not yet explained the selection procedure but if selected you will be able to test the tool before its public launch.

Widely considered to be the email killer, Google Wave is a personal communication and collaboration tool announced by Google in this year's Google IO conference. A combination of Email, instant messaging and social networking makes Google wave a fascinating tool to use. Google wave comes with a set of very strong APIs and it is open source which means the users can make extensions to Google wave.

In initial phase the tool will be made available to the selected 100,000 users on September 30 this year while the rest of the world will be able to 'wave' a month or two later. (with thanks)

Dell releases first set of Windows 7 Drivers  

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Windows 7 drivers for Dell products are often sought after and finally, there’s an answer. Dell has started posting their first set of certified Windows 7 Drivers for its commercial desktop and laptop products. The Dell Community blog states that they still have additional drivers to release and to check back if a certain Windows 7 driver is not listed.

Dell releases first set of Windows 7 Drivers

Driver support from third-party vendors is critical to the success of Windows 7 as we have learned from the Vista catastrophe. As Dell pushes their drivers for release, hopefully other parties will be making their hardware and utilities officially compatible with Windows 7. I’m talking to you, Punkbuster.

Windows 7 Bundle Covers  

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NFS Undercover : Cheatcode  

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Cheat mode
Enter the options menu, choose the "Secret Codes" selection, then enter one of the following codes to activate the corresponding cheat function. Note: The codes will only work once per profile. The bonus cars are only available in Quick Race mode.
Enter $EDSOC (contains the letter "O") or %%$3/" as a code.
Enter S1D3K1CK as a code.
Die-Cast Audi R8 car
Enter "9:G3IF or "9;&4)% as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Audi R8 car.
Die-Cast BMW M3 E92 car
Enter )B7@B= as a code to unlock the Die-Cast BMW M3 E92 car.
Die-Cast Chevrolet Camaro Concept car
Enter citwoxq53f, !K?MMF0, or "*@--%0 as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Chevrolet Camaro Concept car.
Die-Cast Dodge Charger
(1969) car
Enter qlcukc4bqm as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Dodge Charger (1969) car.
Die-Cast Dodge Viper SRT10 car
Enter !C6;C>E or ""6<"?$ as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Dodge Viper SRT10 car.
Die-Cast Ford Mustang GT car
Enter i3kxodepfc as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Ford Mustang GT car.
Die-Cast Lexus IS F car
Enter 0;5M2; (contains the number "0") or 0;6,2; (contains the number "0") as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Lexus IS F car.
Die-Cast Lexus IS F (alternate color) car
Enter !7I3JMI or !8(4*-( as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Lexus IS F (alternate color) car.
Die-Cast Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution car
Enter 2Die-Cast Nissan 240SX (S13) car
Enter ?P:COL (contains the letter "O") or @/;#/+ as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Nissan 240SX (S13) car.
Die-Cast Nissan GT-R (R35) Police Version car
Enter yp}jwa or "90=*6@ as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Nissan GT-R (R35) Police Version car.
Die-Cast Pontiac GTO (1965) car
Enter d5dviyrlgn as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Pontiac GTO (1965) car.
Die-Cast Porsche 911 Turbo car
Enter >8P:I; as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Porsche 911 Turbo car.
Die-Cast Volkswagen R32 car
Enter !2ODBJ: (contains the letter "O") or !3/$"): as a code to unlock the Die-Cast Volkswagen R32 car. Lotus Elise car
Enter -KJ3=E or .+)3>$ as a code to unlock the Lotus Elise car.
Shelby Terlingua car
Enter NeedForSpeedShelbyTerlingua as a code to unlock the Shelby Terlingua car.
Evading the police
While being chased by the cops, go to the lower right-hand corner of the map, by the stadium. Then, cross the bridge nearby. The cops will not cross that bridge. -From: eric stutz
Accomplish the indicated achievement to get the corresponding number of Gamerscore points:
Community Member (15 points): Create or use an existing account to sign into EA Nation.
Active Community Member (20 points): Participated in any Community Day. Visit for more info.
Freeze! Hold it right there! (25 points): Take a Photo and upload it to
Learner's Permit (5 points): Acquire your first car in Career Mode.
Apprentice Mechanic (5 points): Customize a car in Career mode.
Meet Zack (10 points): Face off against Zack in 'Rush Hour'.
Meet Carmen (10 points): Face off against Carmen in 'The Game'.
Meet Hector (10 points): Face off against Hector in 'Versus'.
Meet Nickel (10 points): Face off against Nickel in 'Road Rage'.
Meet Rose (10 points): Face off against Rose in 'Rollercoaster'.
Zack Trap (25 points): Complete the Zack sequence in 'The Trap' mission.
Bowling with Hector (25 points): Complete the Hector sequence in the mission 'Kingpin'.
To Protect and Serve (25 points): Complete the Carmen sequence in the mission 'Rematch'.
Nickel and Dimes (25 points): Complete the Nickel sequence in mission 'Payback'.
2 Birds, 1 Stone (25 points): Complete the mission 'Double Trouble'.
Gold Coast to Ocean (15 points): Dominate the Gold Coast to Ocean event.
East Fasulo Bridge (15 points): Dominate the East Fasulo Bridge event.
Pine Creek & Douglas (15 points): Dominate the Pine Creek & Douglas event.
South Canyon Hwy (15 points): Dominate the South Canyon Hwy event.
East I-5 (15 points): Dominate the East I-5 event.
Bay Drive & Harbor (15 points): Dominate the Bay Drive & Harbor event.
Tri-City Run (15 points): Dominate the Tri-City Run event.
North River Expressway (15 points): Dominate the North River Expressway event.
Lose the Eye in the Sky (25 points): Escape from a helicopter in a successfully completed pursuit. (Must be Career level 8 or greater).
Path of Destruction (10 points): Disable 10 Police Cars in a Pursuit and successfully evade in Career.
Get out of the way! (5 points): Avoid 5 Road Blocks in a Pursuit and successfully evade in Career.
Aficionado (10 points): Purchase or win any 5 cars for your garage.
Keys to the City (5 points): Unlock Port Crescent in Career.
Branching out (10 points): Unlock Sunset Hills in Career.
Window Shopper (20 points): Discovered all 3 Pro Shops in Career.
Nothing Stock (20 points): Discovered all 3 Tuning Shops in Career.
Retired (40 points): Finish the Career Story.
Hired Goons (20 points): Takeout all the 'Goons' in Career.
5 Finger Discount (20 points): Complete all Hot Car Missions.
Chase or be Chased (20 points): Win all the Highway Battles in Career.
Own the Road (25 points): Dominate 25 events in Career.
Completionist (100 points): Complete all events in Career.
Unstoppable Force (10 points): Avoid 50 Road Blocks in Career.
Wasting Tax Dollars (20 points): Get $100,000 Cost to State in a single pursuit and evade.
Spiked Punch (10 points): Avoid a spike strip in a Pursuit and successfully evade in Career.
Love thy Tires (15 points): Avoid 12 Spike Strips total in Career pursuits.
Lose the Fuzz (10 points): Successfully complete 5 Pursuits.
Most Wanted (100 points): Successfully complete 50 Pursuits.
Scrapheap (25 points): Disable 100 Police vehicles.
Crossing the Line (10 points): Win a Ranked Multiplayer Cops and Robbers event.
First! (10 points): Won a Multiplayer Ranked Game.
First of Many (15 points): Win a Ranked Multiplayer event against 7 human players.
Among the Best (25 points): Won 25 Ranked Multiplayer events.
Notorious (50 points): Finish 119 Multiplayer Races in any position.
Cat and Mouse Virus (5 points): Infected with the Cops and Robbers virus by another player in a Cops and Robbers event. - Blog Search