Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Windows Vista and Office 2007 Packaging Revealed

Packaging for Windows Vista and Office 2007
Packaging for Windows Vista Home, Business and Ultimate

Windows Media Player 11 Released

As promised and revealed by Neowin, Microsoft has released Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP.

Windows Media Player 11 is re-designed to support the URGE music store, Zune and provides better synchronisation for existing MP3 players.

Download: Windows Media Player 11 x86
Download: Windows Media Player 11 x64
View: Windows Media

Monday, October 30, 2006

Copying own CDs 'should be legal'

A think-tank has called for outdated copyright laws to be rewritten to take account of new ways people listen to music, watch films and read books.


Open Source Java: 30-60 days Away

Demonstrating a perhaps more aggressive path than anticipated, Sun Microsystems is set to announce the open-sourcing of the core Java platform within 30 to 60 days, Sun President and CEO Jonathan Schwartz said at the Oracle OpenWorld conference on Wednesday morning.


Mozilla Looks Ahead To Firefox 3.0

From the Never Happy... dept.:
With Firefox 2.0 out the door earlier this week, Mozilla Corp. will turn its attention to version 3.0, said company executives, with a goal to deliver the new browser in 2007.

Officially Firefox 3.0 but code named "Gran Paradiso," the application will pick up where Firefox 2.0 leaves off, said Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's director of engineering. Among the features Mozilla wants to get into 3.0 is "Places," the revamped bookmarks tool which was dropped from Firefox 2.0 in April.


They Write the Right Stuff

As the 120-ton space shuttle sits surrounded by almost 4 million pounds of rocket fuel, exhaling noxious fumes, visibly impatient to defy gravity, its on-board computers take command.

Read more here

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Over 2 million Firefox 2 downloads in first 24 hours

Firefox developer Mike Beltzner blogs about the success of Firefox 2's launch, with had over 2 million downloads in the first 24 hours of Tuesday's release and a peak download rate of more than 30 downloads per second. That's some serious bandwidth. Beltzner also looks back on Firefox's success and discusses why the browser has been so popular


Blue Jean Dye Kills Cancer Cells

The dye in your blue jeans could soon be used to kill cancer cells, say scientists.

UK researchers are employing tiny gold "nanoparticles", 1/5000th the thickness of a human hair, to deliver the chemical compound directly into cancer cells, tearing them apart instantly. The common dye found in blue jeans and ballpoint pens is called phthalocyanine and is a light-activated, or photosensitive, agent with cell-destroying properties.

This has been known for at least 15 years but, until now, scientists have not been able to successfully deliver it into cells; hence there's no harm in wearing blue jeans. The University of East Anglia (UEA) team used the gold particles as "trojan horses". Their small size enables them to easily enter cells, and the phthalocyanine is taken up along with them.

When pulsed with laser light, the compound produces a highly reactive form of oxygen which causes the cancer cells to commit suicide. UEA's Dr David Russell explained: "Because this compound does not dissolve in water, it is difficult to get it into cells. But this 'fat soluble' property is precisely what makes it a great potential therapy. "We have shown using nanotechnology that we can get phthalocyanine into the cancer cells where it binds and, on activation, causes substantial cell death," he told the British Association's Science Festival.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Gtalk Gmail Auto Status

I recently happened to observe my Gtalk status changes to idle (orange) on my Gmail page when ever I don't access the Gmail browser window even though I have signed-in. Status changes to available(green) when ever I either maximize/click on my Gmail browser window.
Cool feature..isn't it?

Other Advertising Networks Besides Google AdSense

Interesting article...
Read it here

Windows Live Barcode - create 2-dimensional barcodes - IE only

Find it time consuming to input long phrases on a handset's tiny keyboard? Want to make full use of your handset? Try Windows Live Barcode. Windows Live Barcode is a new way to avoid repetitive input, store more information, and enjoy better handset services within seconds.

Windows Live Barcode

Video: ISS Fly-around by the Space Shuttle Atlantis on 17th September 2006

3 Million IE7 Downloads in 4 Days

Microsoft is heralding the launch of Internet Explorer 7 as a success, announcing that the new browser has been downloaded three million times in the first four days. Early next month, customers will begin receiving IE7 automatically, at which time adoption numbers will likely skyrocket.


Microsoft: 6 Million Xbox 360s Sold

As part of its quarterly earnings report issued late Thursday, Microsoft disclosed that it has sold a total of 6 million Xbox 360 video game consoles since the product debuted nearly one year ago. Losses in the Xbox division were also lowered to $96 million from $173 million a year ago.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

MacBooks becoming crackBooks?

The last time Apple had some serious machine cracking going on was way back in the Cube days (unless you want to talk about those minor incidents early on with the nanos) but here's a disturbing new one: MacBooks with exteriors starting to crack and distort the chassis under normal usage conditions. A couple of users on different forums are reporting cracks in nearly identical locations of their week 23 MacBooks, but it's still yet to be seen just how wide spread this one really is. Even after the heat and rebooting issue and the discoloration, we're still not really ready to throw in the towel on the MacBook, but we hope Apple has a solution to this one waiting in the wings.


Major Growth Seen for Online Shopping in India

Interesting article on online shopping in India. Currently, there are approximately 38 million internet users in India, but this will grow to 100 million by 2007. India appears to be where the United States was back in 2000 in how they shop online. Major retailers and brands are advertising online, but now many small businesses are going online.


Inside Bill Gates Office: Workstyle of the wealthiest man

Bill Gates Office Picture

Bill Gates Office desk has three NEC-21" computer monitors (see picture) synchronized to form a single desktop. The screen on the left has a list of e-mails. On the center screen is usually the specific e-mail he is reading and responding to. And a browser (IE, ofcourse) is on the right-hand screen.

The richest man on earth talks in detail about his Office, Tablet PC and digital workstyle to Fortune. Read excerpts:

How Bill Gates manages millions of email messages everyday ?
Bill receives email only from companies or individuals that he has ever corresponded with. Bill uses Outlook Rules and Search Folders to sort emails. His assistants read the other email messages that don't reach his desktop.

Microsoft Think Week
During the Think Week, Bill Gates takes off from work and reads 100 or more papers from Microsoft employees that examine issues related to the company and the future of technology.

Bill Gates favorite Software
OneNote for note taking, Sharepoint for collaboration, Desktop Search Toolbar for finding relevant information on PC, servers or the internet. Bill Computers are loaded with Windows XP.

There are no papers anywhere but Bill Gates' Office does have a non-digital whiteboard for brainstorming sessions.


IT Salaries Are On The Way Up

IT professionals are to receive on average in 2007 a 2.8 percent salary increase over this year, an employment firm said Tuesday.

Software developers are expected to see the highest salary gains of any job classification, with base compensation projected to rise 5.1 percent to the range of $60,250 to $94,750 annually, Robert Half Technology said in its annual salary survey.

Business expansion and increasing investments in technology were the drivers behind the overall salary increases, Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, said. "To attract top candidates, many companies are raising compensation levels for new hires to ensure their salaries remain competitive with their local markets."

A shortage of experienced software developers was behind the salary jump expected in that segment, Lee said.

Other job categories were also expected to see higher than average boosts in base compensation. Web developers and data warehouse managers were expected to see an increase of 4.2 percent on average next year to an annual range of $54,750 to $81,500, and $85,500 to $113,500, respectively.

Project managers were expected to see a 4.1 percent jump to a range of $72,750 to $106,250 per year; quality assurance analysts, also 4.1 percent, to $52,250 to $74,500 annually; applications architects, 4 percent, $80,000 to $112,750; network security administrators, 3.7 percent, $69,750 to $98,500; and IT auditors, 3.1 percent, $69,250 to $97,000.

Industries predicted to have particularly strong demand for IT professionals next year include financial and business services, insurance, technology, healthcare and manufacturing.


Nokia India sold 400,000 Phones on a Single Day - World Record

Nokia India sold close to half a million phones(400,000) on 19-OCT-2006. This is the highest number of phones to be sold by any company in the world on any given day creating a new world record. Internal release by Nokia India says,
"It is even more than what Nokia has ever sold on any Chinese new year".
Nokia dealers attributed this to the Diwali shopping mania. Nokia India currently has 38 models available on the retail shelf, of which around 13-25 can be categorised into the low-end segment. India is also the fastest growing mobile market in the world. Also check out our Top-5 Mobile Gifts recommended for the Holiday Season.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Spacecraft to make 3D Sun movies

Nasa is launching two spacecraft to make the first 3D movies of the Sun.
The Stereo mission will study huge eruptions from our parent star known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These colossal clouds of energetic particles can "fry" the electronics of satellites in Earth orbit and disrupt electricity distribution grids. Stereo is expected to improve the ability of researchers to forecast the worst aspects of this "space weather". "Coronal mass ejections are a main thrust of solar physics today," said Mike Kaiser, the Stereo project scientist at the US space agency's (Nasa) Goddard Space Flight Center. "With Stereo, we want to understand how CMEs get started and how they move through the Solar System." The mission comprises two spacecraft which are being lofted on a Delta-2 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch window opens at 0138 GMT on Thursday.


Three million of IE7 in first 4 days

In the first four days over three million of you have already downloaded the final release. Thank you! (If you’re not one of those three million, you can get it here.)
We expect the numbers to continue to climb steadily until we start distributing via Automatic Updates in a few weeks. Clearly, we expect IE7 adoption to really take off then. If you haven’t tested your website with IE7 yet, please use the tools Scott posted about a few weeks ago to help you prepare.
With the final release, we got a chance to do some fun tech community activities. For instance, on the night of the launch, we hosted a dinner in San Francisco for about twenty leaders in the local blogging community. Afterwards, Jeremiah Owyang posted his thoughts and Thomas Hawk put up a great set of photos. We also finally let our product managers do some real marketing. We have the first IE radio spot that I can remember us doing, and we created some mobile billboards that cruised through 10 major U.S. cities. I’ve included a few photos below.

The Microsoft Internet Explorer Team sent the Mozilla team a cake for the release of Firefox 2!

A big thanks to Redmond, Washington!


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Google Cricket Package

Every day Indians search for information on cricket – scores, match results and, not to forget, their favourite cricket stars like Sachin, Dravid and Dhoni – on the internet.
With the Google network reaching 80% of the internet population in India, we bring you an exciting cricket advertising package to reach out to these consumers this cricket season......

More here

Enron Explorer

Read Enron executive's mailbox's


Blogger Beta - 404

Just found out that when adding a new page element, Blogger gives me 404 error message. Seems that they are patching/upgrading their product

Yahoo new Bookmarks Product

Yahoo is unveiling an entirely new Bookmarks product this evening at new.bookmarks.yahoo.com - new interface, new back-end, the works. A screencast created by Yahoo developer Tom Chi is here which gives an excellent overview of the service (Chi also created the background music for the screencast). Compare that to the existing Bookmarks product (screenshot is here) and it’s clear how significant the overhaul is. Yahoo Bookmarks, while invisible to most cutting edge web users, still claims around 20 million active users (compared to only 1 million for del.icio.us).

Until today, Yahoo Bookmarks (which is a separate product from del.icio.us and My Web) stored only the URL, title and comment for a particular bookmark. The new product caches all text on the page, stores a thumbnail view, and allows both categorization (folders) and tagging of each bookmark. The new Bookmarks product is also integrated with a new version of Yahoo Toolbar for Internet Explorer, allowing for one-click bookmarking. Searches on the Toolbar search bar also auto-complete to suggest bookmarks stored for that user. The new product has been moved to the same platform as My Web, with the sharing and some other features stripped out for now (look for del.icio.us to also move to this platform in the near future, while keeping it’s unique look and feel). In a briefing today, Yahoo said they may eventually begin integrating user Bookmarks directly into search results (they integrate My Web bookmarks in a very minimal way already). This could pose a competitive problem for new search startups like Wink, which already combine traditional search results with user-generated bookmarks.


How to Use Notepad to Create a Log File

To create a log file in Notepad:
1.Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Notepad.
2.Type .LOG on the first line, and then press ENTER to move to the next line.
3.On the File menu, click Save As, type a descriptive name for your file in the File name box, and then click OK. When you next open the file, note that the date and time have been appended to the end of the log, immediately preceding the place where new text can be added. You can use this functionality to automatically add the current date and time to each log entry.


Full version of the latest Sony BRAVIA commercial.

Red Hat releases Fedora Core 6

On Tuesday, Red Hat released Fedora Core 6, its newest hobbyist version of Linux, with an expandable new installation routine and a third try at incorporating Xen virtualization software.

Fedora Core 6, free and faster-moving alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is in effect a rough draft of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5, to be released in late 2006 or early 2007. The biggest change coming with RHEL 5 is Xen, open-source virtualization software that lets multiple operating systems run simultaneously, each in its own separate compartment called a virtual machine. Virtualization, a high-end feature now arriving in x86 servers, lets a single server replace several less efficiently used ones.

Xen appeared in Fedora Core 4 and 5, but the version in Fedora Core 6 should be close to what appears in RHEL 5, said Max Spevack, the Fedora project leader. One major feature is a graphical administration tool to control Xen virtual machines.

Also in Fedora Core 6 is Linux eye candy, based on the AIGLX project and the Compiz window manager. The features require 3D graphics video support, but permit several features. Among them, desktops of the graphical user interface can be mapped to faces of a virtual 3D cube that users can rotate. And windows can become transparent and wobbly like Jell-O when moved.

The Linux version also switches to the DejaVu font, an open-source font project derived from Bitstream's Vera typeface.

Download: Fedora Core 6 (list of mirrors)
View: FC6 Release Summary
News source: c|net News.com

A R Rahman's 'Between Heaven and Earth' reviews

Old reviews from Amazon.com..but worth reading

"I don't remember how I even found this CD. I had never heard of A.R. Rahman but after sampling the music and reading the reviews I decided to buy it. What a revelation! The music is truly a timeless blend of eastern and western. It is at the same time powerful, sensual, deep, primitive, modern and melodic. Rahman blends primitive-sounding drums with lush orchestration and Indian and Chinese instruments. This is one CD of which I do not tire, even after I've had it on "repeat" in my CD player while I'm doing other things. Highly recommended."

"Although I am a native American who grew up in Texas on Lightin' Hopkins and Ray Charles, with a diverse taste in music from Mozart to Bill Evans to Emmy Lou Harris, I now listen primarily to A.R. Rahman - and frankly have just about lost interst in any other music. Rahman is the genius of melody and subtle percussion. His music has evolved out of India, but it also comes from what must be his personal enormous heart-felt love for all of life, humanity and God. His grasp of the eternal and the transcendental in melody will bring tears to your eyes and long lost feelings into your heart. Rahman is a superstar composer worldwide, loved by literally millions, and appreciated by great musicians in every country all over the planet. I'm delighted SONY has released this, because not only is it breathtaking, magical music that draws you into far away exotic realms, but it is commercially accessible to us as westerners and perhaps it will introduce many more to the Genius of the Heart - A.R. Rahman. I can't say enough good things about his music. Look him up on the internet - there are dozens of websites devoted to him, his music, and his remarkable life. A modern day Orpheus, India's Mozart - Awesome!"


Google Launches Co-op

Google Co-op is a platform that enables you to customize the web search for users of both Google and your own websites.

Co-op allows users to integrate information or services into their Google search results with Subscribed Links.

The search engine can be set up to search the entire web but emphasise the chosen sites, or search only the specified pages.

The custom application can also be used to create a search engine that just focuses on a person's own site.

Users can also specify whether or not the tool uses the Google AdSense program to generate advertisements from search terms.

View: Google Co-op

10,000 Fedora downloads in five hours

If you're curious what the appetite is for Fedora Core 6, Red Hat's newest version of Linux for hobbyists, the company has an answer: 10,000 downloads in five hours.

Doing the math, that works out to one download every 1.8 seconds. And considering that the minimum size of Fedora Core 6 is 3.4GB, it's no surprise Red Hat's servers fell to their knees after the release Tuesday.

Although not all the downloads taxed the servers. The 10,000 statistic includes downloads through Bittorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing service that doesn't tax central download servers as much as direct downloads.


Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Released

Mozilla has just officially launched Firefox 2.0! Although the final release was posted to their FTP servers earlier today, Mozilla waited until around 17:30 EST to put the official launch site up.

New features include:

  • Visual Refresh: Firefox 2's theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience.
  • Built-in phishing protection: Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page.
  • Improved tabbed browsing: By default, Firefox will open links in new tabs instead of new windows, and each tab will now have a close tab button.
  • Inline spell checking: A new built-in spell checker enables users to quickly check the spelling of text entered into Web forms
Spread Firefox coordinator Asa Dotzler commented on the release in his blog:

"Two years ago an amazing community of Firefox contributors set the world on fire (and not in that Sony battery way) with the release of Firefox 1.0. One year ago, when we came together and pushed Firefox 1.5 into the mainstream, proving that we were a force to be reckoned with. Today, with the release if Firefox 2, we're setting a new standard for user safety, control, and fun on the Web."

Download: Mozilla Firefox 2.0 (Win32, en-us) | Other Operating Systems/Languages
View: Mozilla Firefox Home


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shuttle Launch Seen From ISS

These images came to me via a string of friends-of-friends-of-friends: shots of a Space Shuttle launch as seen from the International Space Station.