Saturday, December 04, 2010
Justin O'Beirne lays out (and handily illustrates) the three major reasons Google Maps is more readable than the competition: White outlines, "a greater number/diversity of label classes" (more labels that are different sizes), and different label shadings. In other words, it's a lot of little things that add up to make it a nicer experience (hey look, Google can do design).
Posted by Augustine at 9:03 AM
Verizon t! rials Ho me Phone Connect, turns your landline into a cellphone originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink NetworkWorld | Verizon | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 8:48 AM
Update: We tracked down the source and turns out this is just an enthusiast's modded Sigma DP1, which has been given a Leica M mount. Quite a daring mod, if we may say so.
Sigma's mirrorless camera spotted, announcement coming later today? (Update: just a mod) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 03 Dec 2010 12:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Photo Rumors | Digital Photography Review | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 8:47 AM
Of course, this all lines up with TechCrunch's report that Google will be launching its Chrome Web / App Store very soon, as well as yesterday's launch of Chrome 8, which supports those aforementioned Chrome apps. (Companies like TweetDeck have already started demoing their browser apps.) Don't forget that those apps are going to be a large part of the OS, so it would make sense for Google to talk about 'em in tandem. The pieces sure do seem to be fitting together quite well, and while we still have lots of unanswered questions, we're feeling confident that we'll be getting some official answers on all this Chrome-ness very soon.
Update: AllThingsD has also heard a similar December 7th launch date of the Chrome Web Store. The evidence seems to be mounting here...
Update 2: Well, there you have it, Google just sent out invites for its December 7th Chrome event! We will be there!
Image note: As we said last time, that picture above is just our own mockup of what a Chromebook may look like. We even added a Chrome key!
Sources: Google-branded Chrome OS netbook to launch on December 7th originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 03 Dec 2010 15:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 8:35 AM
Posted by Augustine at 8:34 AM
Corsair Force series gets 90GB and 180GB brothers, middle child syndrome inevitable originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 04 Dec 2010 01:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Trusted Reviews | Corsair | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 8:33 AM
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Windows only: Splashtop, an instant-on, web-focused OS with Chromium, formerly pre-installed on laptops alongside Windows, has gone and made itself a free download. The catch? It's mostly HP Mini and Pavilion laptops, and one Compaq, that can run it, for now.
Which HP/Compaq laptops? Here's the compatibility list. For those who happened to pick up the right kind of PC, though, Splashtop does look pretty handy. It books quickly to a minimalist OS that features Chromium, the open-source version of Chrome, with Flash pre-installed. There's a search bar powered by Bing. Two big buttons make it easy to get back to Windows or power off/sleep the system, and your Chrome start tab panels make up your desktop.
If you're able to give Splashtop a go in its new download form, tell us how you like it in the comments. It's a free download, and installs through Windows.
Posted by Augustine at 9:42 PM
You've always been able to hack a YouTube URL to link to a specific time, but now all it takes is a right click.
This is a very simple trick. Load up any YouTube video, seek to a specific time, pause the video, and right click. Then you'll be able to choose "Copy video URL at current time" and end up with a URL in your clipboard that'll start the video at the time you chose. Currently this only works on YouTube.com, but hopefully it'll roll out to embedded players on other sites in the future.
Posted by Augustine at 9:42 PM
FindTheBest is a comparison engine that lets you browse or search for almost anything and provides an unbiased overview of your options so you can choose the right one for you.
In the way travel sites like Hipmunk provide unbiased flight search results, FindTheBest attempts to do that for practically anything on the web. Suppose you're looking for the best blogging platform and our Hive Five on the subject didn't quite do it for you. Search for blogging software in FindTheBest and you'll end up with a page like the following:
At first it's a pretty daunting list of your options, but on the left side of the page you'll see a list of checkboxes, a cost slider, and other options so you can narrow down your comparison grid based on things that matter to you.
FindTheBest isn't limited to just technology stuff. You can search and compare just about anything, from pet breeds to vacation spots to the best colleges for a particular course of study. Of course, if you're shopping for the holidays and want to compare a few products it can definitely handle that as well. FindTheBest is currently in beta and available to use now for free.
Posted by Augustine at 9:41 PM
If you've ever spent hours clicking through web pages collecting data—whether you're planning a vacation or culling data for academic research—webapp Needle (presumably so-named with the haystack in mind) collects and organizes data from any source, online or off.
We could painstakingly explain Needle, but your best bet is to watch the video demo above. Basically you teach Needle how to understand a data source—and it's incredibly good at learning how a data source works, even if it's a tedious-to-navigate web site—and then, once its got the hang of the source, Needle collects all the data you ask for automatically, sorting it into an easy-to-parse format. Once you've got it, you can search, map, chart, and analyze the data however you see fit.
Again, check out the video to see it in action. Needle's definitely not a tool for everyone, but if you do a lot of research online, it seems like a lifesaver. (ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick sure thinks so.) Either way, you can't deny that it's a cleverly built tool. Needle is free for personal use.
Posted by Augustine at 9:40 PM
AirPlay is great if your video collection is in the right format, otherwise you can only stream Apple-approved videos from your iOS device to your Apple TV. Here's how to circumvent that limitation and how to get the best results.
AirPlay is Apple's great new media streaming technology that lets you stream your music, video, and photos from your iOS device to your Apple TV. Air Video is an iOS app that lets you stream any video from your Mac or PC to your iOS device, converting it on-the-fly if necessary. Wouldn't it be great if you could combine these two things? Then you could stream any video in any format from your computer to your iPad to your Apple TV. Because AirPlay's APIs aren't yet available, Air Video's developer says he can't add this functionality to the application. Fortunately, if you want to jailbreak your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can install a little hack that'll let you stream anything from Air Video directly to your Apple TV.
This is very easy to do. Here are the steps:
- First, you need an iOS device running iOS 4.2 or greater. You'll need to jailbreak your device, and the currently redsn0w is the jailbreak method of choice for iOS 4.2. (Here's how to do it.)
- Once you're jailbroken, you need to jump into Cydia—that's the package manager that should now be installed on your device—and download AidVideoEnabler. You don't need to add any special repositories. You should be able to just search for it, download, and install.
- Reboot your device.
That's all you need to do to make this work. It doesn't work perfectly, however, so let's take a quick look at how you can get the best experience.
First things first, the bit rates don't matter here—the iPad we used could handle the highest setting in Air Video so as long as the computer converting and serving the video can keep up, feel free to tell Air Video it's okay if it wants to stream at the highest possible bit rate. For reference, that's 2560kbps and you can set it in "Global Settings." The only thing you really need to worry about is when you start streaming to your Apple TV. We found that if you don't let Air Video get a pretty decent head start of at least a few minutes, streaming will fail. If you let it convert for a little bit before you get started, however, it works like a charm.
That's it! Enjoy streaming all your videos!
Posted by Augustine at 9:40 PM
GameString demos its streaming, custom World of Warcraft UI by raiding on an HTC Desire (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Dec 2010 13:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Droid Gamers | YouTube | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 9:17 PM
Gallery: PeeWee Power 2.0
PeeWee PC netbook moves to 2.0, rated to take the worst your tot can deliver originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Dec 2010 14:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | PeeWee PC | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 9:16 PM
Speaking of aspirations, Apple's approach clearly seeks to fix many common 3D issues at once. The most obvious is literally taking 3D glasses of the picture -- which we firmly support. On the flip side, the design addresses common faults with current glasses-free options too such as: ghosting and narrow viewing angles, while still keeping commercial viability in mind. That sounds magical to us, but considering the patent was filed back in 2006, we still expect 3D to be handled the old fashion way for quite a while to come.
While we're on the subject of patents, a handful more popped in by way of Apple related to keyboard backlighting. Think multiple colors, individually lit, customizable by the user or automated based on environmental conditions and you get the gist. Hey, if it means a return for the Bondi Blue late 90's iMac design (with bright, matching keyboards), then we're excited. But it doesn't.
Apple granted patents for glasses-free, multi-viewer 3D system, colorful keyboard backlighting originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Dec 2010 15:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink The Register, Apple Insider | USPTO (1), (2), (3) | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 9:16 PM
MeeGo-based Intel Atom phone and tablet spotted from Russia with love originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Dec 2010 16:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink MeeGo Experts, Hi-tech@Mail.ru | Twitter (@playd), Neowin, PopSci | TakayukiFukatsu (YouTube) | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 9:15 PM
PSA: Botched AVG 2011 update might be why your PC won't start today originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Dec 2010 19:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink ZDNet | AVG Official Forums | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 9:14 PM
Flipboard, the iPad "social" magazine which launched to a barrage of press back in July, has just announced the addition of several more publishing partners, the first to test Flipboard's new framework called Flipboard Pages. This framework automatically converts traditional Web content into an iPad-friendly format, featuring full-screen, paginated, magazine-like pages.
When readers tap content from these publishers shared by friends on Twitter or Facebook within the Flipboard app, they're now taken to this new magazine-like reading experience instead of a traditional Web page. And for publishers, the result of the tap is the same as a Web hit on their end.
Flipboard Pages, however, isn't the only big news coming out of the company today.
About Flipboard Pages
The new media partners participating in the launch of Flipboard Pages are ABC News, All Things D, Bon Appetit, Lonely Planet, SB Nation, SF Gate, Uncrate and The Washington Post Magazine.
All publishers worked with Flipboard to create their own HTML5-based framework, so they each have their own look and feel. (HTML5 is the next version of HTML, the markup language of the Web. Although currently in development, its use has become so prevalent throughout the year, that we dubbed it one of 2010's top trends.)
The end result of these partnerships is unique, branded experiences for the publishers, but all housed within the overall framework of the Flipboard app itself.
For the end user, switching between the various custom formats isn't jarring because you don't flip from one publisher's content to the next. Instead, you "happen upon" the content by tapping a link shared by a friend on Facebook or Twitter, the social networks already integrated into Flipboard. Previously, tapping links would load up a traditional Web page - and that was far more jarring, as it took you out of the magazine experience altogether. Now, moving from social posts to the Web and back again feels like more seamless.
Other News: Ad Partnership, William R. Hearst Advising
Flipboard is also announcing a new ad partner, OMD, and a notable new advisor: William R. Hearst, a media industry veteran and Affiliated Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Buyers.
OMD will serve full-page ads from its clients including Pepsi, Gatorade, Infiniti, The CW Television Network, Showtime, Levi's, Dockers, Hilton Worldwide, GE, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Project (RED), Standup2cancer.org and Charity Water.
Magazine readers will see the ads while browsing stories from Flipboard's partners during the advertising trial.
Compared With Other iPad Mags
As for how Flipboard compares to other companies launching iPad magazines of their own, we think Flipboard is closer to "getting it right" than the other ventures we've caught wind of in recent weeks.
For example, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is said to be launching an iPad-only newspaper (or news service?) in the near future and Richard Branson officially launched an iPad-only magazine called "Project" just this week. Both companies distribute (or will distribute) their content as locked-down subscription-based tablet applications. While both deliver "iPad-friendly" experiences, they're missing the point of the iPad - you don't have to reinvent the wheel and launch entirely new media publications, you just need to boldly rethink the user interfaces of existing ones.
In doing so, why not render the content using Web technologies instead of downloading megabytes of media to the iPad's hard disk? (Well, perhaps those with Wi-Fi only iPads will disagree here - Flipboard currently offers only limited offline support. You can flip pages, but can't read articles.)
More recently, critics, such as those on tech news site GigaOm for example, called Branson's "Project" as "bloated and unfriendly" as the other magazine apps for iPad that are out there today. Many of these apps are confusing to use - you actually need a "how to" guide to get started. Flipboard is much easier. As the name implies, you just flip (swipe your finger across the screen).
Plus, Flipboard acknowledges a truth the others - all the others - do not: and that's the truth about how people go about getting their news today. Outside of a few publications read religiously, for the most part, news finds us via our friends. Flipboard makes Twitter and Facebook the jumping off point for accessing news, and the result is a news magazine we actually want to read.Discuss
Posted by Augustine at 11:46 AM
Gold nanoparticles are heralded for their potential to detect tumors, search for oil, light the streets and cure diseases, but their production requires dangerous toxic chemicals. There are several ways to produce gold particles, but most involve dissolving chloroauric acid, also called gold salts, in liquid and adding chemicals to precipitate gold atoms. Common mixtures include sodium citrates, sodium borohydride (also used to bleach wood pulp) and ammonium compounds, all of which can be toxic to humans and the environment.
Hoping to promote green nanotechnology, researchers at the University of Missouri mixed gold salts with cinnamon instead and stirred the mixture in water. The combination produced gold nanoparticles and phytochemicals, an active chemical in cinnamon. When combined with the nanoparticles, the phytochemicals can enter cancer cells and destroy them or help image them for more accurate medical procedures.
"Our gold nanoparticles are not only ecologically and biologically benign, they also are biologically active against cancer cells," said Kattesh Katti, a professor of radiology and physics at the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
The process uses no electricity and no chemicals, other than the initial gold salts. The researchers reported their work in the journal Pharmaceutical Research.
Katti said cinnamon and other seeds, leaves and herbs could be used to convert metals into nanoparticles without using harsh chemicals.
"Our approach to 'green' nanotechnology creates a renaissance symbolizing the indispensable role of Mother Nature in all future nanotechnological developments," he said.
Posted by Augustine at 11:42 AM
Linux: Free app Synapse goes beyond the simple application launcher to tightly integrate with your Linux system, quickly accessing any recent action you've performed so you can return to it or perform something similar in an instant.
GNOME-Do is still one of our favorite Linux launchers, but it hasn't updated in over a year. If you're looking for something a bit fresher (and without the ugly Mono dependencies), Synapse is a great replacement. It's similar to GNOME-Do and other application launchers in the sense that, with a quick keyboard shortcut, you can launch an application or take action on a certain file, depending on the plugins you have installed.
However, while the plugin list isn't quite as extensive as the more mature GNOME-Do, the Zeitgeist plugin allows for a lot of cool things. Zeitgeist (which comes pre-installed on Ubuntu) is a service that logs all your activity—files opened, websites visited, conversations held—and all these are quickly available through Synapse. You can look up recently used files (say, if you closed that document by accident or want to repeat the song you just heard) and even find other similar files. It's a slightly different approach to quick launching, and one that may have a slightly bigger learning curve but it has a ton of possibilities since Zeitgeist logs so much.
Apart from all that, you also have the usual plugins—Banshee, Rhythmbox, Dictionary, Log out/Shut Down/Suspend, and quick Terminal commands, to name a few. If you rely heavily on some of GNOME-Do's more custom plugins, you might have to wait a bit before Synapse fits into your workflow better, but if not, it's definitely worth checking out. Hit the link below to read more.
Posted by Augustine at 11:20 AM
Lineo's Warp 2 boots to Fedora on Atom in 4 seconds, MPC Data's SwiftBoot warms up embedded Linux in an instant
Lineo's Warp 2 boots to Fedora on Atom in 4 seconds, MPC Data's SwiftBoot warms up embedded Linux in an instantboot times. The fine folks at Linux for Devices just highlighted two major players on the horizon: Lineo's Warp 2, which is about to launch; and MPC Data's SwiftBoot, which is now available. Both of them are less of a "boot" and more of a "wake from hibernation" sort of thing, but most of the issues are the same -- you still have to boot a kernel, whether or not you're gonna populate the system with a saved state when it's ready. Lineo is booting up Fedora Linux 12 on an Atom Z530 machine, and has just hit the 4.06 second mark -- compared to a 54.72 second "normal" boot time on the system. Meanwhile, MPC Data is going after much more of a niche, but doing it well: its SwiftBoot tech can get Linux up and running an actual application on an embedded device-ready Renesas SuperH SH7724 processor in under a second (0.982 seconds, to be precise). This one has to be seen to be believed, so check out the video after the break. Sure, it won't help you love your pokey PC or Mac any more (though Apple's doing its own work on this problem with its misnomered "instant on" feature on the MacBook Air, which wakes the computer from hibernation in a few seconds), but it's a nice glimpse of what's to come.
Lineo's Warp 2 boots to Fedora on Atom in 4 seconds, MPC Data's SwiftBoot warms up embedded Linux in an instant originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Dec 2010 10:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.! Permalink Linux for Devices | SwiftBoot, Lineo | Email this | Comments
Posted by Augustine at 11:15 AM