Start Killer frees up space in your taskbar by hiding the Start menu button. Given the nature of the new taskbar along with the Windows Key on your keyboard, hiding the Start Button isn’t too bad of an idea.

Be sure to tweak the settings of Start Killer once you have it installed so you can configure it to run on Start Up. There are also a few keyboard shortcuts you should know about so you can access Start Killer even if you hide the icon in the system tray. If all seems impossible, ending the process StartKiller.exe will restore the Start button. Download Start Killer here. (story Link)

HTC Touch HD  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

HTC’s Touch HD has taken mobile display to the next level. For the vidiots like me a display this large sporting the kind of resolution it does is a godsend. I have to admit I was anxiously awaiting its arrival to the Indian market place and was proactively trying to get a handset to test even before it got here. Though that didn’t work out and disappointment was an understatement, I got it! The big question I was asking when I un-boxed it was - does it manage to deliver on all fronts and actually make the high price tag of Rs. 43, 000 seem like money worth spending? That’s what I’m here to help you decide.
Form Factor
The only word that comes to mind is ‘Sexy’. The slim black design that houses this ‘powerhouse’ of features is all snugly fit into a 115 x 62.8 x 12 mm dimension casing. The large 3.8-inch TFT LCD touchscreen display sports a 480 x 800 pixel, 65K color resolution which is the highest to be found on a mobile handset on the market. This is also the first truly totally touchscreen mobile there is with touch sensitive controls for answering and ending calls and also returning to the Home page.

It’s a very simple and yet stylish design. The only external controls that are actual physical buttons are the volume controls on the side and the power/screen off button on the top. The HD also has a standard 3.5mm earphone socket on the top. The bundled handsfree is all you’ll need though, but it’s good to have the open option. The 5MP camera is located at the rear of course with a secondary camera placed above the display. The two disappointments in design are – No flash for the camera and the rear panel HAS to be opened for a memory card to be accessed. An odd shaped USB 2.0 port is located at the bottom, but it still manages to easily accommodate a standard miniUSB connector.

The drawback of having a screen this large is of course the space it takes up in your pocket as the handset, slim as it is, is still a bit big and weighty at 146g. But that’s expected of course, so we’ll just have to live with it. Like some of the other HTC handsets the HD tends to get unusually hot after charging and while on long calls. The HD also tends to get a little warm when applications that you may be unaware of are running in the background. It was on more than one occasion that I was quite worried why my thigh was freakishly warm on a cold night.
Features and Performance
While I was mesmerized by the large display, let me just begin by saying that what comes after this note is quite depressing, but I’d just like to add that I’m willing to concede that some of the issues could be singularly with this particular test handset I received, then again, like I always say, why would they give a reviewer a handset that’s not running at it’s optimum capacity? Forward at your own risk.
Interface
If you’ve used or seen the HTC Touch Diamond with its TouchFlo 3D interface, the HD has nothing different to offer except a better laid out view considering the display. I do like the TouchFLO interface as it gives quick and easy access to all relevant functions and features with simple finger control. It can also be customized to user requirements which is perfect. The down side is that the sensitivity couldn’t be adjusted and that could sometimes be a bit of an issue. Other than that the regular Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS and UI remain very standard. (full Story)

AMD Sells Handheld Graphics Unit to Qualcomm  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

AMD continued its previously-announced strategy of streamlining its business by agreeing to sell its handheld graphics unit to Qualcomm for about $65 million in cash.

According to the companies, the deal has already signed and closed as of Jan. 19. Under the agreement, Qualcomm will hold back an undisclosed amount for indemnification expenses, plus and make adjustments for employee-related expenses. Qualcomm has already made offers to several of AMD's handheld design teams, as part of the deal, the companies said.

The deal comes as no surprise; said in its fall analyst meeting that it was trying to sell its handheld business, as part of an overall strategy to concentrate on its core microprocessor and graphics businesses; for the graphics portion, the handheld business was not as important. Rival Nvidia also owns a handheld graphics processor, the Tegra, which the company continues to sell.

For Qualcomm, the graphics technology will be integrated into the company's other integrated cores, providing additional capabilities to Qualcomm's system-on-a-chip products. (full Story)

Wireless Cameras from Lorex  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in

Lorex-LW2002W.jpgTwo new products from Lorex bring peace of mind to your home and business, and help prevent theft. The $270 Lorex Portable Color LCD Digital Wireless Monitoring System is a handheld baby monitor, which broadcasts video and audio from a wireless camera to a portable video monitor. If you're not within range (even on the other side of the globe), the $300 LNE3003 Remote Surveillance Camera can stream video to your iPhone or any device with a Web browser.

We tried it at close range, and the Lorex baby monitor product worked well. It was able to broadcast audio and video across the PCMag Labs--an environment with far more interference-causing gadgets than you'd likely have at home or work. Lorex suggests a range of up to 450 feet at home.

Setup required very little work (no need to even read the instruction manual), and took only a few minutes to complete. The wireless camera isn't completely wireless--you'll need to plug in its AC adapter--but the portable monitor includes a belt clip and rechargeable battery as well as a dock for charging the device.

The Monitoring System will prove useful outside of the home as well, and includes an A/V-out jack (with cables) for connecting to a TV or recording device. The color camera’s image quality is more than sufficient for use as baby monitor and audio pickup was fine 4 occasional monitoring, but listening in to employee conversations might prove difficult with the receiver's built-in speaker. The receiver also includes an audio level indicator. The device cannot send video to the Web or connect to your computer, though other offerings from Lorex help fill this gap.

Lorex-LNE3003.jpgAt $300, the Lorex LNE3003 Remote Surveillance Camera is the most affordable network-ready camera in the company's lineup. Once connected to a wired or wireless (802.11b/g) connection, the camera can stream VGA video in real time, with frame rates dependent on the speed of your Internet connection.

Lorex grabbed our attention by focusing on the camera's ability to stream video to the Apple iPhone (and other mobile devices), though the company has yet to offer an iPhone application. Connecting to the camera from your phone takes far too much effort for frequent use, but including the feature certainly doesn't hurt. If you're looking for an easy solution for streaming surveillance video to your iPhone on the go, unfortunately this isn't it.

A computer-based browser offered a far better snooping experience, featuring real-time video with sound streaming at several frames per second. Video on the iPhone refreshed only every few seconds, and did not include sound. And the Web-based iPhone interface was designed to accommodate other devices as well, so don't expect a rich user experience. (full Story)

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Can Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 Beat FireFox  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

Times are tough for Microsoft, with job cuts, the European Union breathing down its neck again, and Firefox slowly but steadily encroaching on Internet Explorer. More than ever, Microsoft needs IE8 to succeed if it wants to maintain its dominant position. Fortunately, the beta looked good. And while this first release candidate is little changed from the beta, the few adjustments made definitely improve the product. The most significant differences come from InPrivate browsing, the Compatibility view, and improved performance. The browser has also been made more secure, and it gives users convenient new ways to use Web resources. IE8's color-coded tab system, improved address bar, and enhanced privacy protections are noteworthy. Based on this code, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that any IE7 user upgrade to IE8. PCMag.com got early access to RC1, allowing us to bring you this full review. You can get the code at www.microsoft.com/ie8.

Installation of the 13.5MB (16.5 for 64-bit) download requires a reboot. Versions are available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista and Windows Server 2003, though only for the 32-bit version of XP. Note that if you do take the plunge, IE8 becomes your only version of IE. You can't run 7 and 8 side by side. Also, don't try installing this version if you're running Windows 7—you'll just get a message that says "Internet Explorer 8 is not supported on this operating system." This makes sense, because although IE8 will be the browser that comes with Windows 7, the RC1 installers are for Vista (in both 32- and 64-bit flavors) and XP. It does, however leaves us in the unusual position of running a newer version of the browser software on the older OSes.

Terrific Tabs

Internet Explorer 8 makes some unique and welcome strides in tab handling. When you have several tabs open and launch a new one from within one of the open tabs, the color of the just-created tab will match that of its parent. All like-colored tabs are grouped together, so your new tab may not appear all the way to the right the way you're used to. Once you've gotten used to the change, it's a helpful visual cue not found in competing products. A Firefox extension allows tabs to have different colors, but without the logical grouping. When you close the tab of the page you're viewing, the new focus will be a related tab, not just the one to the right or left. (full Story)

Sony’s Lifestyle PC VGN-588EQ  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , , , , , ,

It was more than two years ago that Mike Abary, senior vice president at Sony, reached into his inner suit pocket and pulled out the Sony VAIO VGN-UX180P. At the time, he called this handheld PC, which ran a full-blown version of Windows XP, "an achievement in ingenious design." Little did he know he'd be pulling the same stunt again at a quaint hotel in Manhattan, where I was one of a handful of journalists invited to preview Sony's take on the netbook revolution. He reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a clamshell the length of two UX180Ps, not even an inch thick. This, as he described it, is Sony's answer to the surging netbook market, only it's not being classified as a netbook, it's not an update to the UX180P, and the intended audience, interestingly enough, is women. It's the Sony VAIO VGN-588EQ ($1,199 direct), better known as the Sony Lifestyle PC.

The Lifestyle PC is unlike anything you've seen before, in large part because of the 8-inch LED widescreen, the first of its kind. Even from afar, you may feel a tingling sensation as soon as you lay eyes on it, and your first instinct is to pick it up. Sony handed me a review unit while I was at the CES 2009 show in Las Vegas, allowing me to use it in multiple scenarios. I really don't want to call this a netbook, but there's no other way to classify this gorgeous device. It runs the Intel Atom platform, it's inexpensive for a Sony-branded laptop, and the keyboard is undersized—all netbook symptoms. On the other hand, it's so much more than a netbook. It weighs half as much as one and packs in features like 3G wireless, a pre-boot Linux environment, and a high-resolution screen. Although the Lifestyle PC is now at the pinnacle of design engineering, performance is an issue when Windows Vista is the only operating system offered, and the price is over $1,000 with the solid-state drive option. Based on design alone, though, I think Sony can create a huge following with this pseudo-netbook.

Even though there are no ties between them, the Lifestyle PC conjures up images of Intel's Moorestown concept device. It weighs a mere 1.4 pounds, only 0.2 pound heavier than the original UX180P. And it measures 9.7 by 4.7 by 0.8 inches, which is about the length of the ASUS EeePC 1002HA but only half its depth. It fits nicely in the inner pocket of a suit jacket or a Coach clutch bag, and is thin enough that you can slide two of them into a manila envelope. Its look is unique, and its design intentions are clear: Sony wants to dissociate the Lifestyle PC from the likes of the MSI Wind, the ASUS EeePC, and the Acer Aspire One—some of the more popular netbooks in the market. In my opinion, it has successfully done so. (full Story)

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