Archive | December, 2011

Microsoft Designs Bluetooth Keyboard for Tablets

21 Dec

This keyboard is designed to be used with Apple’s two iPad tablets, numerous Android devices and Microsoft Windows.

Keen eyes have discovered that Microsoft has raised a count in its library of gadgets with a new keyboard. Simply called the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000, it’s compatible with Microsoft Windows, Apple’s iPad and iPad 2, and “many Android devices.” It measures just 0.62-inches in depth, making it nearly twice as thick as Apple’s flagship device.

“Miss the tactile feeling of a real keyboard when typing on your tablet? The full-sized Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 enables more comfortable typing than on-screen keyboards, and encourages natural posture with the Comfort Curve design,” says the product description. “And at less than three-quarters of an inch thick, you can easily slip it into your bag, which makes it the perfect mobile companion. Plus, there’s no need to worry about cords or transceivers.”

Microsoft’s big selling point is not only in the tablet-friendly Bluetooth connection, but the keyboard’s  shape with “comfort curve” design that “encourages natural wrist posture and is easy to use.” This does not need an USB-based Bluetooth adapter. Except this features, it will be just another Bluetooth keyboard that works on three AAA alkaline batteries and requires a PC enabled with Bluetooth technology.

It’s probably no coincidence that we’re seeing this tablet-oriented keyboard show up right before CES 2012. Windows 8 tablets are planned to launch not before the fall, but this does not stands as an obstacle  for Microsoft from getting ready while offering a branded product for competing devices in the process.

Microsoft’s Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is offered now for $49.95 and can be purchased directly from the company here.

Source: tomsguide

New Facebook For iPhone 4.1 Includes Timeline Access and Faster Photos

21 Dec

Facebook has just pressed out version 4.1 of its popular iPhone app.  The update includes the change of ability to view the new profile Timeline, Subscribers, Subscriptions, pop-over notifications, and add people to friend lists. The app seems to work well with its quick response and photos are loaded significantly faster. Facebook launched Timeline globally a few days ago. But it is to be noted that initially it could only be accessed from m.facebook.com and Facebook for Android. This update will provide more exposure to Timeline because as Facebook fro iPhone has 99.5 million monthly active users and 57.6 million daily active users, says the AppData.

Facebook for iPhone 4.1 may have been planned to launch alongside the Android update, but could have been delayed by necessary bug fixes. Its release shows that Facebook isn’t favoring Android mobile development just yet, though its Android app now has more daily active users than its iPhone app. You may only see Timeline through the app if you’ve already opted into the profile redesign via the web. Though Facebook for iPhone 4.1 runs on iPad, Facebook says Timeline access for its dedicated iPad app is coming soon.

In 4.1, notifications, messages, and requests now load in partial-screen popovers rather than separate full screens. This feature has made it easier and faster to swap to the previously viewed pages. As the loading time of the photos is less, it will make viewing them a less interruptive part of the news feed browsing experience. Facebook has also fixed a most annoying bugs of the app in which a different photo would be accidentally loaded in spite of the other from the same album. Pressing on the Friends button below someone’s Timeline cover, they can be added to one’s friends lists. This feature will be much more useful when one accept a new friend request from mobile and without delay, want to restrict their access to his/her content by putting them in a privacy controlled friend list. But there is no way to edit a friend list directly, though. A Subscribed button on the Timeline also lets you select the types and volume of someone’s posts that you see in the news feed — great for quieting noisy friends. The Android app and mobile site added these features tomorrow.

Source: techcrunch

fPrivacy Lets You Control Facebook App Permissions

19 Dec

fPrivacy is a Chrome plugin that allows you granularly opt out of stalker-esque Facebook app permissions like “Post to my wall” or “Access profile info” whenever the app authorization dialog appears. Woohoo!

Creator Chad Selph made this extension because Facebook apps have been too grabby for far too long — taking an all or nothing approach to permissions.

fPrivacy sets those gladhandling apps straight by allowing you to specify which permissions you want to allow versus which you’d like to block.

Selph reported somewhere in the process, “Someone from github suggested Defangbook which I also like, because then the logo could have fangs. I kind of feel like it might be too cutesy or clever or something though. I’m about 82% convinced on fPrivacy.”

Source: techcrunch

Is Firefox toast?

19 Dec

Firefox’s market-share is dropping down. The browser does not good in itself and its money supply may be drying up. Does all this mean that Firefox is at the last gasp?

Great was the days when Firefox first came out. Firefox made it appearance in 2004. Firefox was a breath of fresh air, when it came out first. Firefox 1.0 was far better and more secure than the already awful Internet Explorer 6. The browser was loved by all then. Today, Firefox is getting hammered from all sides. Its performance has become mediocre to that of the updated versions of other browsers. But it is fact that Firefox 8.01 beats the stuffings out of “classic” Firefox 3.6, but that’s not saying much. Compared to Chrome and Internet Explorer 9 Firefox isn’t keeping up.

Which of the big five Web Browsers is the Best? (Review)

Firefox lacks anything that the other browsers do, as features and security go. Meanwhile, Google is enhancing Chrome into not just a web browser, but an integral part of its software as a service(SaaS) and cloud application stack. Yes, you can run Google Docs and Gmail on Firefox or IE, but the combination of Chrome’s innate speed with Google’s applications makes it the most attractive package.

At the same time, Chrome has overtake Firefox, reaching the second position in the Web Browser derby. According to StatCounter, Chrome is already already number two. The other popular Web browser popularity NetMarketShare, Firefox still has a narrow lead, but no one expects it to keep its lead for much longer. Indeed, Mozilla’s hyper-accelerated release schedule is losing Firefox’s business customers. The other thing is that the parent organization, Mozilla hasn’t been able to close a deal with its chief income source: Google. Mozilla informs,

Our search relationship with Google remains positive for both of us. We are in active negotiations and have nothing further to announce at this time. We have every confidence that search partnerships will continue to be a strong and growing generator of revenue for the foreseeable future.

Mozilla depends on search deals for 98% of its annual income, and it’s a safe bet that most of that revenue comes from Google. Sure, Mozilla also recently inked a deal with its arch-enemy Microsoft to bring the Bing search engine to Firefox. That strikes one more as an act of desperation than a real source of substantial income. It is expected that Chrome may outpace Firefox by March 2012.

Source:  zdnet

Lenovo Passes Dell as the World’s No. 2 PC Maker

1 Dec

Lenovo has become the world’s second largest PC maker in the third quarter of this year.

The study of IHS reports that Lenovo shipped 12.5 million units, up 14.5 percent from 10.9 million in the second quarter. HP topped the lead with 16.4 million units, but raised its shipments only 5.9 percent sequentially. Dell had a weak quarter with just 1.3 percent growth to 11.3 million PCs and dropped to third place. Acer, in fourth, was able to increase sequential sales by 6.8 percent to 9.5 million units, but annual growth is still down by almost 21 percent due to a fast decline of netbook sales. In Q3 of 2010, Acer sold 12.0 million PCs.

Matthew Welkins, Principal Analyst for Compute Platforms research for IHS, said,

Lenovo continues to capitalize on strong demand for PCs in its home market of China. While PC sales in the United States, Europe and many other regions are suffering because of weak economic conditions and rising competition from media tablets, desktop and notebook sales remain red hot in China. This is allowing Lenovo to outgrow it U.S. rivals—and putting it in position to contend with HP for market leadership.

IHS also said that, regarding HP, the firm said that it will keep its PC business as part of the firm. Also the previous announcement that the company would not make PCs anymore resulted the company in loss of some distribution deals in China.

Global PC shipments increased to 90.4 million units in the third quarter, IHS estimates. Compared to Q3 last year, unit sales climbed by just 2.6 percent from 88.1 million PCs and are well below IHS’s previous forecast of 6.8 percent growth. “While third-quarter PC shipments came in lower than our predictions, the attainment of any growth at all represents a victory for the market,” Wilkins said. “This increase in sales comes at a time of weak consumer sales and a strong challenge from alternative platforms—specifically the media tablets. In this environment, all growth is progress.”

Source: tomshardware

Facebook accused of retaining deleted user data, could face fines

1 Dec

Facebook’s international headquarters is in Dublin, Ireland. Facebook is facing an audit this month for maintaining users’ deleted data. The company could face a $138,000 (€100,000) fine if it does not act in accordance with Irish Data Protection Laws.

The audit was triggered by an Austrian law student named Max Schrems. This student requested a copy of all of his personal data from Facebook while writing a paper on privacy laws. After his requisition, he received a CD that contained 1,200 pages of information on everything from his ignored friend requests to deleted messages.

Facebook’s international headquarters in Dublin supports all Facebook users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Because of its location, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner has jurisdiction over the non-U.S. and Canada segment of the company. Users in the U.S. and Canada, however, have contracts with Facebook Inc. in Calif., and their rights are covered under different laws.

After going through the breadth of information provided on him, Schrems and 21 other students filed complaints against Facebook with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, averring the company is creating “shadow profiles” of its members,  and even non-Facebook users, without their consent or knowledge. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner then decided to do its own audit of Facebook.

The complaints reads that Facebook is illegally holding on to information on members and non-members, including phone numbers and email addresses.  Schrems says Facebook scrapes this information from the data its users synch with their profiles, say from a mobile phone or email account. The group has also started the Europe vs Facebook group, which includes instructions on how to request your own data from Facebook (for users outside of the U.S. and Canada only). Facebook has already received a mass requisition for personal data.

A $138,000 fine isn’t likely to harm a company valued at over $80 billion, but the real result of the audit will be increased attention to the issue and a requirement to comply with the law.

Source: venturebeat