Please note that all these articles are just linked from other websites. I don't own or write any of them. Moreover, this blog is being under construction, so some functions might not work properly. Be patient!!! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Facebook Profiles Now Available [SCREENSHOTS]

Well, that was fast! The new Facebook Profile Pages are now available to try out — Facebook has just heralded their arrival via Twitter, mere hours before Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance on 60 Minutes.

We were expecting the new Pages to go live tomorrow, but it seems they’re up and running now. Simply click on Facebook’s announcement to activate yours and check out all the new features, including revamped personal info, more prominent pictures, top interests showcased as images, more descriptive relationships and more.

Check out Facebook’s video and our walkthrough below: 

The New Profile

Instead of just having friends, relations and significant others, now you can group friends into categories, like “Best Friends,” “Work Buddies,” etc. This seems to be another move in Facebook’s efforts to depict users’ relationships. Friend search has also been revamped to be a much more visual experience.

Try out this new feature or revert to the original

 [via mashable]

Facebook Pages Getting New Design and Checkins [SCREENSHOTS]

Facebook appears to be on the verge of launching a new design of its Fan Pages.

This change seems to include the site’s location-based Places checkin functionality, enabling “likers” of the page to check in to it.

Although Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg is said to be giving a sneak peak at the new Profile Pages design on 60 Minutes tonight, it seems that more change is in store; you can already see the new Pages design in action on select pages, such as Ellen DeGeneres’s Fan Page. On Ellen’s page, you will notice a count for the number of checkins the Page has. According to Facebook Spokesperson Meredith Chin, the Ellen Page is a merged page that includes the functionality for checkins available shortly after the feature launched a few months ago. Basically, your brand page will then take on the Places page designs, which appears to be the inspiration for the new profile pages that are to be released as well.

“As long as the address of the official page and the place page match, it should show you a prompt and ask you if you want to merge them,” Chin said.

You can see screenshots of the new design below.

Current Pages Design

The current Pages design, similar to Profile Pages, has the Page navigation tabs (Wall, Questions, Photos) at the top.

The New Pages With Checkins

The new Pages design includes checkins, profile information (which includes some basic information about the page and the Wall postings below it), a narrower left column and more.

New Tabs

The new Pages also feature the navigation tabs on the left-hand side.

[via mashable]

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How To: Remove Language Button From Logon Screen

This removes the (usually) EN button from the top left corner of your logon screen. It also removes the mysterious extra language from your language toolbar especially if using non en-US as your default language.

First you need to navigate your way to the Control Panel.

If you are using the Category view click on the link Change keyboard or other input methods under Clock, Language, and Region.

If however you are using one of the Icon views click on the link Region And Language.

On the Region and Language window, click on the Administrative tab. See image below.

Then in the Welcome screen and new users accounts box, click on the Copy settings... button (Admin privileges may be needed). See image below.

Next, in the Welcome screen and new users accounts settings window, under the heading Copy your current setting to: Check the boxes against Welcome screen and system accounts and New user accounts (This covers all options!)See image below.

Finally, OK your way out.
Re-booting may be required before you will see any changes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

5 Stylish Computer Mice for the Design Aficionado

As a companion to the list of stylish keyboards we recently brought you, we’ve turned our attention to another vital PC peripheral: the humble computer mouse.

Whether you’re a Mac or a PC, you don’t have to put up with a boring, bland input device. A stylish mouse can easily add a touch of design chic to your computing setup, and in some cases even offer improved ergonomics.

So take a look at the five seriously stylish options we’ve highlighted and let us know in the comments below just what it is that pushes your buttons as far as mouse design goes.

1. Microsoft Arc Mouse

The wireless Arc mouse is designed for portability — it folds down to 60% of its full size — without losing any functionality of a desktop mouse. Aesthetically, it’s gorgeously sleek and curvy and there are some decent features too. The ambidextrous Arc boasts six month’s battery life, four programmable buttons and a tidy snap-in transceiver.
Cost: $49.95

2. Hippus Handshoe Mouse

The Handshoe mouse is said to fit your hand “like a glove,” with ergonomics the reason behind that curvaceous design. Available in small, medium and large, wireless and wired, and in different colors, the mouse’s hand-friendliness is the cherry on top, as far as desirability goes.
Cost: From $99

3. Apple Magic Mouse

Apple’s Magic Mouse brings multi-touch goodness in a seamless, low-profile shell. The input device’s touch controls include the ability to move in any direction with the swipe of a finger and to scroll with two, while the entire mouse is one clickable button. It’s said to be much more intuitive (once you get the hang of it!) than being restricted to buttons and a scroll wheel.
Cost: $69

4. Intelligent Design Titanium Mouse

This is about as high-end as computer peripherals come. With a price tag that could cover the cost of a computer itself, you’ve got to really value design to shell out out on this pricey peripheral. If you do, you’ll be getting a mouse made of grade one titanium with a neodymium scroll wheel. It is a thing of beauty — if you can stand to look at it after forking over that much cash.
Cost: 399 Euros (approx $527)

5. Eclipse Touchmouse

With a brushed aluminum finish, the industrial looking Eclipse Touchmouse adds an element of touch with a rectangular module on top that boasts four-way on-screen scrolling. In addition, the “quicktouch” tech lets you use shortcut commands (a combination of mouse button and movements) to carry out certain actions.
Cost: $47.99

BONUS: Logitech MX Air Mouse

This mouse offers 3D features in its operation with its dual purpose functionality as a remote control, or as Logitech phrases it, “in-air cursor control.” In addition to laser tracking for ordinary mouse movement, the MX Air Mouse offers motion control of your media and scroll touch functionality that is said to be “hyper-fast.”
Cost: $149.99

[via mashable]

Google Reader Finally Gets an Android App

Google Reader has finally arrived on Android, with an app that allows users to access most of the features of the popular RSS tool from their smartphones.

It’s a bit curious that it took so long for Google to develop an app for Android – its own operating system – but it’s well-worth the wait (iOS users have enjoyed an optimized version of Reader for several years).

It syncs up with your existing Google Reader account, such that your unread counts, starred items and subscriptions are consistent from desktop to mobile. Each news item can be starred, liked, or shared, and you can even add “Notes,” just as you can in the web app.There’s also integrated search as well as a “send” feature that integrates with the applications on your device. With the latter, for example, I can share out a Mashable article to Twitter using Seesmic – my Twitter Android app of choice – or to Facebook using Facebook’s native app.

Overall, Google Reader for Android does exactly what you’d expect it to, and potentially puts a big dent in the future prospects of third-party clients like NewsRob. It’s now available in Android Market or you can use the QR code below:

[via mashable]

Track Santa in Real-Time With Google Maps This Holiday

Christmas Eve might not be for another 23 days or so, but Google and NORAD already have the online Santa Tracker ready to go.

NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has been tracking Santa and his sleigh since 1955. Since 2007, Google has partnered with the organization to make sure that Santa and his reindeer can be tracked in real-time using Google Maps.

The website is now up for all to see with a special countdown timer to Christmas Eve. The website will release new holiday games that kids can play each day leading up to the holiday.

At 2 a.m. ET on December 24, the real-time tracking will commence and you can follow along Santa’s trek as he delivers toys to boys and girls all over the world.

This is one of my favorite holiday traditions and it’s always a great way to kick-off the season.

[via mashable]

YouTube Launches Skippable Ads

YouTube has officially launched its new TrueView ad format, allowing site visitors to avoid watching ads they’re not interested in. Users will now be able to look for a countdown button that will let them skip an ad after it plays for five seconds. In some cases, viewers will be able to select which ad to watch out of three pre-roll options.

As we reported back in June, YouTube had been experimenting with the button — allowing users to stop ads from playing — for awhile. The other option, allowing users to select which ad to watch, is similar to the one offered on Hulu, where long-form video content has typically had a stronger presence.

It looks like some advertisers are reacting positively to the new ad format. Some have said TrueView is a cost-effective advertising option that provides them with a better ability to target their audience.

“Thus far, we’ve seen about a 40% view-through rate and since we only pay when potential customers actually watch a video, we have more control over our budget,” said Lee Topar, director of online marketing for GoPro, in a statement to Google’s Inside AdWords blog.

TrueView, which is presently only available to advertisers with managed accounts, isn’t all that widespread on YouTube just yet. Advertisers can decide whether they’d like to use TrueView or stick with the usual non-skippable platform. Meanwhile, YouTube says it’s working on providing more choice and control in advertising to its users.

YouTube TrueView

YouTube Ad Choices
[via mashable]

Impressive Zoom HD Camcorder Now Available

The Zoom Q3HD Handy Video Recorder is a powerful handheld camcorder that records 1080p HD video and 24-bit/96kHz HD audio.

Although 1080p video has become fairly standard among Flip-style video devices, few of them have focused adequate attention on audio quality.

Zoom has tackled this issue with a dual microphone design that
captures high-quality (24-bit/96kHz) stereo sound. The device also allows users to set audio levels and mic gains for for highly precise HD audio. And a built-in HDMI port enables the device to be easily connected to home theaters for media playback.

There are, however, two downsides. Like other cameras in this class, the Zoom Q3HD, somewhat ironically, lacks an optical zoom, so it will only be effective at shooting nearby objects.

The other problem is its price. At $300, it’s among the costliest cameras in its class. But if you’ve been looking for a compact video solution with solid audio, the Zoom Q3HD could be worth the investment.

[via mashable]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dell’s Hybrid Tablet Coming Next Week [REPORT]

Dell Inspiron Duo, the hybrid tablet that flips open to become a netbook, is due for a launch next week, Cnet has learned from sources familiar with the matter.

The Duo is a Windows 7 machine with a dual core Intel Atom CPU, a 10-inch touchscreen, and a full QWERTY keyboard that is revealed when you flip the lid open. Close it, and you have a device that looks and operates pretty much like a regular tablet.

According to Cnet, the Inspiron Duo will be launched “early next week,” possibly on November 23.

Check out a teaser trailer for Dell Inspiron Duo below.
[via mashable] Introduces Bundles: Multi-Link Sharing With One URL

Link-sharing service has just launched a new tool for people who really, really love sharing links. Bundles allow you to package multiple long links in a single shortened URL.

This is a highly useful feature with an almost endless string of use cases. You can tweet a string of YouTube videos, e-mail all your Thanksgiving recipes, post a collection of study materials to Facebook — all with just one short URL.You can add multiple links to the entry field; just separate them with a space, then click “shorten” and “bundle” to quickly and simply create an all-in-one package of multiple links.

Every link you add will include a rich media preview and’s valuable metrics; your bundle can also be customized with a title and description.

We’ve actually seen other companies with this exact feature — in fact, just last week, we introduced our readers to BridgeURL, a service for packaging multiple links as a single URL. Sadly, this startup doesn’t have the market share and brand power of; we’ll see what happens to the company and product in the months to come.
In the meantime, however, give Bundles a shot and let us know what you think of this new feature in the comments. [via mashable]

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kinect for Xbox 360 Sells 1 Million Units in 10 Days

With any luck, the next house party you attend will feature Dance Central instead of the usual Rock Band fare.

Microsoft has just announced it has sold more than 1 million units of Kinect for Xbox 360 worldwide in the first 10 days after the product’s launch.

Additionally, Microsoft says it’s pacing to sell more than 5 million units by the end of the year. This news comes just a week after Sony visualized sales figures for its Kinect competitor, PlayStation 3 Move.When you consider that Kinect for Xbox 360 won’t even reach most of Asia until November 18 and Japan until November 20, the 1 million units in 10 days figure is even more impressive.

Buoyed by positive reviews and a solid game lineup, Kinect for Xbox 360 is shaping up to be a big winner this holiday season. The controller-free system, which includes the Kinect sensor, can be purchased separately or in a package. Microsoft didn’t break out sales of the systems and the add-on, only saying that 1 million Kinect units were sold.

Existing Xbox 360 owners can buy the Kinect system for $149.99. An Xbox 360 console with 4GB of storage and the Kinect kit sells for $299.99. For $399.99, consumers can get an Xbox 360 with a 250GB hard drive and the Kinect add-on.

Microsoft says that according to NPD, the Xbox 360 has led video game console sales in the United States for the past four months. Another part of the console’s allure is the ability to watch premium video content from Netflix and Hulu Plus and the ever-expanding library of Xbox Live titles.

As motion-controlled consoles go, Kinect takes a different approach from what Nintendo pioneered with the Wii, and even beyond what Sony is doing with PlayStation Move. By making the controller disappear and capturing full body movements, Kinect shows some really interesting possibilities for immersive gaming.

Have you played with Kinect? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

[via mashable]

Examining the Security Implications of Facebook Messages

Facebook has officially launched its new “modern messaging system,” and as Mashable’s walkthrough of the new features illustrated, there’s a lot to like about the company’s approach to unifying the social inbox.

While Facebook should be applauded for some of the privacy settings built into its new messages system — for example, you can choose against receiving messages from people not on a trusted list — we can’t help but question some of its security implications.

The biggest advantage of a system like the new Facebook messages, which involves the ability to aggregate and combine all of your communications channels in one place, also makes our security sense go a little haywire. 

Facebook Is Now More of a Target

To be clear, we’re not necessarily talking about the security of Facebook’s servers or its login system. By and large, Facebook has a pretty solid track record in regards to keeping its systems clean.
Instead, what we fear is that the continued use of phishing scams, tools like Firesheep and other forms of social engineering will make the bounty of information encompassed within a Facebook account that much more targeted.
Facebook is already the fourth largest online phishing target and the spate of attacks using the social network have only increased in recent months. Rogue Facebook apps and augmented e-mail scams are just some of what Facebook users can already be expected to look out for in the current messaging system.
We’ll echo Graham Cluley from Sophos, who remarked that, “It will be critical for Facebook to implement more effective filtering mechanisms to prevent fraudsters from manipulating Facebook users into falling victim to new spams, scams and phishing attacks.”

Keep Vigilant

Furthermore, if users are going to transition to using Facebook as a central repository for social messaging, keeping your computers patched, your browsers up-to-date and your passwords unique is going to become even more important.
We’ve covered some tools that help manage and create hard-to-crack passwords [mashable link]. If you aren’t already using some sort of uniquely generated password for Facebook, consider doing so.
Also keep in mind that if you choose to communicate with someone who has an e-mail address, what you send over is being archived and stored in their messages account. Now, this is true for all hosted e-mail platforms, but most e-mail accounts aren’t tied seamlessly to your social graph. When celebrities or politicians have their e-mail accounts hacked [mashable link], it’s often a reminder of just what sort of information we all have that we might not want to be made public.

Our Questions for Facebook

Because Facebook’s new messaging system is still rolling out, we have some questions for the company regarding how it will handle security, malware and spam.
Some as-yet-unanswered questions include:
  • How will Facebook deal with spam messages that are sent from a user you call a friend? As we’ve seen in the past, it’s not difficult for rogue apps to take over your message account and send malware links or spam to people on your friends list.
  • What types of attachments can be sent and received via e-mail addresses? Will these attachments be scanned for malware before being delivered to your inbox?
  • Will Facebook consider enforcing SSL-logins for messaging?
  • How will Facebook address sandboxing the message system from what information is available to app developers? Yes, we know applications aren’t supposed to be able to access certain information anyway, but how will e-mail data be segmented from any other application layers?
It’s too early to be too critical or too fawning of Facebook’s new message system. That said, we do think it’s important to point out the very real-world security implications that are inherent in any platform that encompasses so much potential information.
Do you trust Facebook to be your e-mail address?
[via mashable]

Google CEO: Android Is for Touch, Chrome OS Is for Keyboards

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has finally made it clear what differentiates Google’s Android OS from the soon-to-be-released Chrome OS: keyboards.

That’s a rather simplified expression of the bigger picture, but ultimately, Google sees Chrome OS as the operating system for traditional computers, such as PCs, netbooks and laptops, which may include touch interfaces but always include keyboards; and the company sees Android as an operating system best suited to mobile devices, which may include keyboards but almost always include touch interfaces.During his talk at Web 2.0 Summit, Schmidt was asked by a member of the audience about Android’s perceived fragmentation. In addition, Schmidt was asked about where Chrome OS should be used vs. Android and where they overlap. The audience member professed that he was confused about Google’s strategy surrounding both platforms.

Schmidt responded in a few parts. His first point was that Android isn’t fragmented, stating that you can still run the same app on all Android phones — a point which our readers are welcome to dispute in the comments. However, Schmidt emphasized that he wants to make sure you can run the same apps on all Android devices.

What I found more interesting was his response to the difference between Chrome OS and Android. He iterated multiple times that it seems like Android is optimal for touch devices, while Chrome OS is best suited for traditional keyboard devices. This explanation makes perfect sense to us, but we’ve never heard this explanation from Google’s CEO until now.

In other words, if Google builds a touch-based tablet, it’s going to run Android. If it builds a new type of keyboard computer device, it’ll run Chrome OS. Schmidt says to expect Chrome OS “in the next few months” and the new version of Android (a.k.a. Gingerbread) in the next few weeks. [via mashable]

Monday, November 8, 2010

Apple Announces Mac Pro Server, Kills Xserve

Apple made a number of announcements Friday pertaining to its server market strategy, the most significant of which is that Xserve, its rack-mountable server solution, will be phased out beginning January 31, 2011.

At the same time, a new system was introduced to the Apple Store, called the Mac Pro Server. The server comes with an OS X Server unlimited license and is powered by an Intel 2.8GHz Quad-Core processor with 8GB of DDR3 memory. While the Mac Pro Server is on the lower end of the Mac Pro spectrum, it comes with substantially more horsepower than the Mac Mini Server.

Nevertheless, given its form factor, it’s likely that the Mac Mini Server will become the primary focus of Apple’s server strategy. Since the Mac Pro Server is boxed in a tower, it’s not conducive to the rack mounts found in many server environments.

Companies like Macessity stepped in long ago with rack mount trays for the Mac Mini. With Apple walking away from the Xserve [PDF], the question is whether it will begin offering its own rack mount for the Mac Mini Server.

[via ]

BBC iPlayer App Arrives for BlackBerry

The BBC had made its iPlayer website accessible to BlackBerry users for quite some time, but now UK BlackBerry users have an official app that they can use to catch up on radio and television broadcasts while on the go.

The BBC has offered official apps for Nokia’s Symbian platform and an iOS-optimized website since 2008. Earlier this year, the BBC also introduced a BlackBerry shortcut app for its mobile website. The iPlayer website is also unofficially supported on Android 2.2 using Flash 10.1.

UK users can download BBC iPlayer for BlackBerry from the BlackBerry App World. The app is free and works on BlackBerry Storm 2, BlackBerry Bold 9700 and BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphones.

The app will work over 3G, but for optimum experience you’ll want to use Wi-Fi. We’re not in the UK so we can’t check to see if the app allows you to download programs for offline consumption — as you can with the Symbian app — but we’re assuming this is a streaming-only application.

BBC journalists are currently striking over pension plan changes, so if you’re looking for news content on your BlackBerry, you might be stuck in reruns for the next 48 hours.

[via mashable]

Dell Inspiron Duo Gets an Official Teaser Video

If the first thing you say when you try to describe the concept of a tablet computer to someone is “it doesn’t have a keyboard”, you might want to reconsider that description. Dell’s Inspiron Duo is an upcoming tablet that has a full QWERTY keyboard, and Dell has released an official teaser video which makes this concept look really good.

The trick is in Inspiron Duo’s flip lid, which places the touch screen on the outside when you close it. Flip it open, and you have a quite standard-looking netbook. Add to that a sexy JBL speaker dock, and you have a very interesting gadget that seems to bridge the gap between a netbook, tablet and a home entertainment device quite successfully.

The device should be coming to the market before the end of 2010; until then, check out the 35-second teaser below.

[via mashable]

Sunday, November 7, 2010

China’s State-Owned Mobile Company Joins Linux Foundation

The world’s largest mobile enterprise has just joined the Linux Foundation as a Gold Member.

The company in question is China Mobile, the largest and most valuable nationwide telecom enterprise in the world. With 570 million subscribers, it also has the largest user base of any such company.

Linux is a collection of free and open-source software; Linux operating systems are the most popular FOSS OSes in the world. The goal of the Linux Foundation is to protect, standardize and promote the Linux platform by giving it the services and features to compete withproprietary software.

In an announcement, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin said, “China Mobile’s decision to join The Linux Foundation and their commitment to Linux could represent a seismic step toward a realignment of OSes in China and in the telecommunications industry.

“For The Linux Foundation, the opportunity to present Linux as a choice to 560 million users is a power-packed proposition.”

Both in terms of getting Linux products — particularly Linux mobile OSes, which currently account for a paltry 3% of the U.S. smartphone market — in front of users and getting more developer contributions to its ever-growing platform, the move is a huge win for the Linux Foundation.

Sure, there’s some inherent irony in the mass adoption of FOSS software and principles by a country that’s traditionally been closed to information technology in many other ways — and much has been made of that ongoing debacle by mainstream media and tech blogs.

But what’s less discussed — but much more important to this deal — is the fact that Chinese commercial and educational entities already make up a large part of Linux’ user base. Moreover, Chinese developers have been making great contributions to the Linux kernel lately. And Chinese Internet and hardware companies — again, some of the largest in the world — also use Linux for infrastructure and on their devices.

China Mobile will be the tenth Linux Foundation Gold Member. Other Gold Member companies include Google, Cisco, HP and Motorola.

[via mashable]

Here’s What Makes the Xbox Kinect Tick [PICS]

Today was the launch of the much-anticipated Xbox Kinect, Microsoft’s gesture-based, controller-free gaming system. The $150 device is filled with cameras and sensors that detect 3-D gestures and commands with surprising accuracy.

What makes the Kinect really tick, though? What’s the magic behind the Kinect’s motion-sensing technology? What has Microsoft packed into its gaming device?

Thanks to the people over at iFixit, we’ve got some answers. They’ve torn the Kinect apart (much like they did with the iPad), revealing the guts of the device.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The device has two cameras and an infrared projector. The left camera is infrared (320×240) and the center camera is color (640×480).

  • It utilizes Prime Sense technology for its 3-D gesture recognition. Interestingly enough, Microsoft recently acquired its primary competitor, Canesta.

  • It has four separate microphones, three on the right side and one on the left side.

  • Its motherboard includes a Wolfson Microelectronics WM8737G, a Fairchild Semiconductor FDS8984, and 512 MB of DDR2 SDRAM.

  • The Kinect packs a lot of sensory devices into one package, but it’s really the gesture recognition technology that makes this thing tick. We’ve tried out the Kinect and have been impressed by its responsiveness and initial library of games. Whether consumers are willing to stand up for hours at a time to play Xbox games though remains to be seen.

    If you’re a hardware geek and want to learn more, we suggest checking out the full teardown.

    [via mashable]

    Google Instant Goes Mobile

    A beta version of Google Instant is now available on many U.S. iPhone and Android mobile devices.

    According to the Google Blog, the Instant search option is presently on Android 2.2 devices, as well as iPhones and iPods running on iOS 4. As of right now, Google Instant is only available in English, although Google plans on adding more languages and bringing the service to other countries and devices.

    In order to test out Instant’s latest incarnation, one must tap the “turn on” link beneath the search box while on a mobile device. Users are advised to wait for a bit and refresh the page if the “turn on” option isn’t immediately visible.

    Mobile Google Instant is similar to its desktop counterpart — it offers a list predicting what users are searching for based on what they type. The first prediction’s results will automatically appear on the screen. To access the remaining results, users just have to tap their fingers on the other listed predictions. If they press “enter” or the search button, the predictions will be skipped in favor of results that match the exact search terms.

    The service, best designed to work on 3G and Wi-Fi networks, can also be enabled or disabled without causing users to leave the page they’re on. All one needs to do is tap the “turn on” or “turn off” link.

    Google Instant made its desktop debut in September, which is when a mobile sneak peek was also made available. By the end of the month, while in the midst of rolling out Instant to other countries, Google also added keyboard navigation to the service.

    Check out a demo of how Google Instant for mobile works below. Have you tried it yet?

    [via mashable]

    Google Chrome Gets Its Own PDF Viewer

    For Google Chrome users, viewing PDFs in the browser has been a collosal pain for lo these many moons. That’s why we are (and you should be) thrilled to learn that Google is rolling out a better way to look at PDFs in Chrome.

    For the time being, Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer will be available through the beta version only. If you’re using the non-beta version of Chrome, you can download the beta to get the PDF-related improvements.

    Googler John Abd-El-Malek wrote today on the Google Chrome blog, “To open a PDF document, you’d typically need to install additional software or browser plug-in in order to view it in a web browser.

    “With the integrated Chrome PDF viewer now available in Chrome’s beta, you can open a PDF document in Chrome without installing additional software. The PDF document will load as quickly and seamlessly as a normal web page in the browser.” [Emphasis ours.]

    With any luck, this will mean less waiting, less reloading and fewer blank pages where that pesky PDF should have been. We don’t see this so much as a slam on Adobe’s software; Google and Adobe play nicely in many other ways. The web simply needs faster ways to view and manipulate PDFs, and we’re glad Google’s working on the problem.

    Chrome’s PDF viewer is sandboxed in the same way Chrome web pages are; this helps protect you, the end user, from malware embedded in PDFs.

    Google’s team is still working on a few features for Chrome’s PDF viewer. Once those are finished, the stable version of Chrome will also ship with the PDF viewer included.

    What do you think of this improvement? Will it make your browsing experience faster and easier?

    [via mashable]

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Stan Schroeder About 2 days ago Stan Schroeder 3 Motorola Droid Pro Pre-Sale Starts November 9 [RUMOR]

    An internal document from Verizon suggests that the Motorola Droid Pro will be available for pre-sale at Verizon on November 9 and will arrive in stores on
    November 18.

    The document calls the Droid Pro an “iconic device… Projected to be in high demand once officially announced, even before launch.” This is a bit confusing, as another similar document has surfaced that also mentions an “iconic device” without naming the Droid Pro.

    Could this other “iconic device” be the iPhone 4, which is rumored to be coming to Verizon soon, or does the second document refer to the Droid Pro, or possibly even a third device?
    We’ll have to wait a little longer to find out.

    [via Android Central]

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Samsung Galaxy Tab Now Available in the UK

    As previously announced, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is now available for purchase in the UK.
    The tablet is available at a variety of prices with various contracts attached, ranging from £99.99 and a £40 monthly plan with a two-year contract, to £499.99 and a £10 one-month Talk Mobile plan at the Carphone Warehouse.
    The Galaxy Tab should also be coming to the stores of the Dixons Store Group and T-Mobile, as well as other major UK mobile carriers today.

    [via mashable]

    “Def Jam Rapstar” Raises the Roof Just Short of Greatness [REVIEW]

    SingStar or Guitar Hero for hip hop and rap is an obvious idea, but nobody’s done it right — or really at all — before today. Now PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii gamers have Def Jam Rapstar, an intriguing mash of hip hop sensibilities and social media savvy.
    Def Jam Rapstar is better than 2004’s Get On Da Mic (the only other release in the category) and leaves little to be desired for rap karaoke hosts and attendees. We’re just disappointed that the innovative social and community features that drew us to the game in the first place do more talking than walking.
    You can only sort of call this digital karaoke machine a game. The entire gaming experience is gambled on the online features, but they look more like a failed experiment than the next social gaming breakthrough. The Def Jam Rapstar team had the right idea, but a few miscalculations in the execution shut down the vision.
    The vision is this: A YouTube-inspired community where players can upload videos of their performances, rate them, share them and even win badges and other metagame incentives with them. There are also badges, a Twitter-like follow system for forming social connections, and “crews” that resemble the guilds or clans in other online games.
    You’ll be impressed by what 4mm Games, Terminal Reality and Def Jam Interactive attempted to do but disappointed by most of the user-generated content. This is partly because the developers limited clips to 30 seconds, and because most gamers are using cheap Guitar Hero microphones that weren’t made for quality recording. It’s also because not that many people are playing the game — at least not in the seriously social way the makers intended.
    Whether it’s because there are too few players to lift the community to critical mass, that the sharing and content creation tools are too limited, or the online talent just isn’t strong enough, the community features that looked so great on paper don’t satisfy.
    The local game options are few. You can play through a career mode, which simply lets you unlock new track by accurately matching beats and lyrics in their predecessors. The alternatives are playing party mode to do almost any track either alone or with friends in duets or battles, or using some of the pre-packaged beats to lay it down freestyle.
    Career mode lacks the polish and features it needs to be memorable. It’s the open-ended party mode that carries the appeal for most wannabe rappers, though particularly talented MCs will enjoy freestyle. In either case, it feels great rapping along with T.I. in “Live Your Life” with a friend backing you up as Rihanna, then playing back the ridiculous-looking video that results.
    If you like hip hop and your friends do too, Def Jam Rapstar belongs in your party game collection. Anyone can play, and the selection of songs is strong — albeit a bit Kanye-heavy. But hey, he’s big, alright?

    Buy It or Skip It?

    Most people who pick up a copy of Def Jam Rapstar just want to have hip hop parties with their friends. The beats are hot, and the lyric and beat-matching work. There’s ultimately no arguing with that.
    No matter what criticisms gamers have for Def Jam Rapstar as a social network, the game’s creators can go on and brush their shoulders off because the limited options won’t hold those living room MCs back from personal stardom.

    [via mashable]