Tuesday, June 30, 2009

With Fennec Firefox Comes to Mobile Phones

The latest version of the world's most popular browser Firefox has just been released and the downloads are expected to the tune of millions. Behind all the hype of Firefox 3.5 there is a new budding mobile browser from the creators of Firefox. Fennec is the web browser, currently in beta version, crafted specially for mobile devices like cellphones, PDAs.

What makes Fennec so special is the fact that this browser is built on the same technology as the good old Firefox and therefore is supposed to be as quick and smart as its desktop counterpart. Some of the features are tab based browsing, lots of add-ons to customize the browser, easy bookmarking and above all an interface that makes it perfect for touch screen mobiles phones that are a craze these days. Moreover, the new browser has Google Location Services support which means it can enhance the web-browsing experience according to your current location.

So far as developers are concerned, since Fennec builds on the same platform as Firefox, it has the scope to create feature rich mobile applications and add-ons. What is more, the buzz is that with the release of Native Developement Kit by Google for Android, Mozilla is considering bringing Fennec development to Android platform.

With all these features and support for various development platforms, Fennec is likely to repeat what Firefox did in the arena of desktop web browsing. Here is a video that gives an overview of the browser :

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Microsoft Surface Technology The Next Step In Computing

Since its launch in 2007, Microsoft Surface Computing technology has got much attention. The technology is surely revolutionary and poses endless possibilities that were unimaginable till now. For one, the 30-inch multi-touch surface computer does away with keyboard and mouse and relies totally on human touch and gesture as the primary interface.

The upcoming Windows 7 Touch Pack includes applications like Microsoft Surface Globe that is a 3-D map of the Earth that can be navigated through the touch of fingertips. Then there is a Surface Collage that can be used to organize and edit digital photos.

Moreover, interactions with the external devices can be accomplished through the surface itself. Here is a video that shows how surface computer can radically change the way your cellphone is connected to your computer.

Moreover, this form of table top computing has started to get attention from industry too. For example, BMW Product Navigator is an application by BMW that allows a potential buyer to configure the car all on screen! Watch the video :

The technology can be applied to a wide array of fields like education, gaming, medicine and more. Finally here is a video that shows how this technology can make learning more intuitive and fun.

Microsoft Surface is truly the next big thing in computing.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Firefox 3.5 Latest Features

As the release of web browser Firefox 3.5 draw nearer, excitement is mounting. The latest version of Mozilla Firefox can be said to be nothing short of revolutionary. The new browser introduces some really great features. The most talked about feature is the support for open video and HTML 5. Then comes online privacy that allows you to selectively erase your tracks say for last one hour, for a website or entire history.Moreover, the new version is said to be way faster than its predecessors (and counterparts). Firefox 3.5 include a new JavaScript engine, downloadable fonts and more. Here is a video by Mike Beltzner, Director of Firefox Development.

You can download the latest release candidate here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What Is A Web Browser?

What is a browser? For many it means Google or a search engine. Recently, Google asked the same question to several people in the Times Square,New York. And Responses ranged from "I do not know" to "Google". Less than 8% of the people knew what a web browser many think browser is a search engine! Not surprisingly, because most of the people have a search engine as their home page and instead of typing on the address bar they put the terms they want to search into the search box. Watch the video :

This simply proves that if you want to create a killer software app, it should be simple and should let people do easily what they want to do.

For starters, here is a simple definition of web browser. A web browser is an application that lets us see webpages and browse websites. Web browser may run on your PC, mobile and many handheld devices. Popular browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Apple Safari and Microsoft IE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Latest Technology Opera Unite Turns Your PC Into A Server

Opera has launched a new technology that can turn your PC into a personal web server running inside Opera web browser. That server can be used to share everything from files to music with other computers on the web without the need of 3rd party applications. Named Opera Unite, the technology has just been released and promises to make your computer more that just a dumb terminal.

The popularity of social interaction on web cannot be overstated as more and more people set up their profile on one of the thousands of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and more. People share pictures on sites like Flickr and setup blogs on WordPress. But the problem with these sites is that one is bound by their TOS. Moreover, the content you own is kept on a server owned by some other person or company. Here comes Opera Unite.

Opera Unite strives to give more power to not technical users. some of the services offered by this new technology include file sharing, photo sharing, a media player that can let people play music from the server. Unite also introduces Fridge and The Lounge that can be used for leaving notes and chatting respectively. This technology has emphasis on collaboration more than anything else. What is more exciting is the portability. This service will run where Opera browser can run and this means Windows, Linux, Mac and maybe mobiles too! You can even run full fledged websites. What is more, the technology is crafted in away that makes it extendable. Apart from the basic services that comes with application, developers can create their own.

Despite all the excitement about personal data sharing server, there are some concerns too. The major concern being security. Today, when even giant websites are prone to hackers' attack, where does this technology stand?

Here is a video that shows how to setup Opera Unite on your computer.

You can download Opera web browser here and Unite software from labs.opera.com.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Taptu The Mobile Search Engine For iPhone

Looking for a search engine for your iPhone that is touch friendly and allows to search the web with ease? Taptu may be the answer. Taptu is a mobile search engine that just released its iPhone version that can be downloaded from Apple App Store for free.

The new search engine is user friendly and quick. According to Taptu blog, it has more than 3 million webpages currently in its index. What is special about this application is that it provided the results optimized for iPhone. Instead of the regular scroll-down view Taptu presents the results in a horizontal format that can be flipped through in the typical iPhone style. Taptu has already got a sizable user base. According to Taptu blog, they are getting around 1 million searches from around the world. On more feature that stands out is Twitter search that searches the tweets for a searched term.

Here is a demo of this iPhone App

Friday, June 12, 2009

Firefox 3.5 Coming Up With Revolutionary Video Player

As the release of Firefox 3.5 draws nearer, the excitement is beginning to mount about its exciting new features. One thing that has got the most attention is the video playing features of this new browser. The new version of Firefox has a built in video player and thus requires no addon like flash to play videos. Embedding a video will be much easier using HTML 5 tags.

Mozilla Firefox 3.5 version supports Ogg video codec maintained by xiph.org. Ogg is an open source codec and a powerful one.

The videos in the new browser will be interactive in true sense. One can select an element from video, manipulate it using javascript and more. To get an idea of new video capabilities of next version of Firefox watch the clip below.

It adds a new level of interactivity to videos. Imagine clicking on an object in the playing video and finding more about that in right click. This opens up a new world of possibilities where video will not be a separate element on a web page as it now is but it will be just like any other element that can be handled in a now unimaginable way. What is more, putting web elements like links right on the video will be possible.

There are talks in industry, that the new web browser will give serious competition to Adobe Flash which is the most popular video format used on the webpages today. Some even say that Flash may become a history that seems to be far-fetched a bit as Firefox has to gain a larger user base to make a noticeable impact. But one thing is sure, the browser is going to revolutionize the web browsing experience.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

HTML 5 May Change The Web

HTML 5 is the next version of hypertext markup language that is currently used to code static web pages today. What is great about the new version is that it may fundamentally change how we see the web and how we interact with applications. With HTML 5 more and more applications can be embedded right into web pages. The new markup language will do away with many complexities of the old one and introduce new tags like <video>, <audio> to embed video and audio respectively.

HTML 5 is getting industry-wide support from all biggies like Google, Mozilla, Apple and more. In fact, the latest web browsers by these companies support HTML 5. The biggest and visible impact of this technology may be the diminishing use of flash videos that are currently used heavily on video sites like YouTube. Some also predict that gradually with the increasing use of the new markup language, even current OS may take a back seat as more and more applications will rely on cloud computing and will run within browser.

But HTML 5 does not have a smooth road ahead. For one, this is still a evolving standard and may continue to be so in the coming years. Moreover, it has not got much support from Microsoft as its current browser IE 8 does not support this markup while Safari 4, Chrome and Firefox 3.5 do. The there is an issue of backward compatibility. The much hyped <video> tag supported by the latest browsers is not supported in their earlier versions.

HTML 5 is promising in terms of bringing more cohesiveness to users' experience on the web and desktop and will certainly revolutionize the way we see software but it has to tackle some roadblocks first. You can see the HTML 5 tags in action at youtube.com/html5. But remember you got to have the latest versions of aforementioned browsers to watch videos.

Internet Explorer 8 Viral Videos

With the launch of next version of Apple's web browser Safari and Firefox 3.5 just around the corner, Microsoft has started pushing its latest browser Internet Explorer 8 even harder. For that, the software giant has released some videos highlighting the features of the browser. Here are the videos :

The first one is about web slices that act as live bookmark in the browser and informs user when the website it points to is updates.

And the next one is about sharing stuff easily you find on the web.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Manage Large Tabular Data With Google Fusion Tables

Google has introduced a service called Fusion Tables that makes viewing large spreadsheets and visualizing the data a breeze. Fusion Tables can handle up to 100 mb of data in a single table. Moreover this service lets you filter or aggregate data.

Although the new application lacks the standard spreadsheets goodies like formula, one can easily visualize the data in different ways like in form of maps, scatter diagrams and more. Moreover, the tables can be merged with new ones easily. There is also facility to export data in CSV format.

google fusion tables maps visualizationMaps Visualization Of Data

What is more, Fusion Tables lets you share your tabular data with others. Other people can have a customized view of data, contribute to the existing data by adding columns and modify data depending on the privileges the owner of the data gives them. Owner does this by sending invitations.

Allin all, it can be a very effective to manage tables and even effective mine the data contained in those tables.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nokia Kamppi Allows You To Search Nearby Friends

Nokia is currently trying out a new service called Kamppi. Kamppi is an indoor positioning service for mobile devices. This service can be used to track you friends who may be roaming around nearby. But you may ask, what is so special about it ? The main feature of Kamppi is that it does not rely on GPS to track your buddies. Rather this new service from Nokia utilizes the existing wireless LAN networks in a building like a shopping mall. And thus it can be really very useful when you are in a building where GPS is not working. This new technology is under trial at Kamppi shopping mall in Helsinki, Finland. Here is video :

Friday, June 5, 2009

Adobe BrowserLab A Must For Web Designers

Web designers and developers go great length to ensure that their websites look and act uniformly on different web browsers and platforms. For this they have to test their websites in various browsers. Moreover, sometimes they may have to install different operating systems to get a real-time view of their websites. Needless to say, this can be quite a headache. But now Adobe has come up with an online service called BrowserLab that makes this task of testing websites in different environments a breeze.

What BrowserLab does is that it takes screenshots of web-pages as they look on various platforms and renders it on the screen with many viewing options like side by side and overlay view. Thus, one can compare the results. What is more, this service works wonderfully with Dreamweaver CS4 so that one can test local content from and different states of interactive content from within the HTML editor.

BrowserLab currently supports various versions of Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer on Windows and Mac platforms. More browsers may be added in the future. Moreover, one thing to to be noted is that this service just provides the live views of a page and cannot be used to debug JavaScript as of now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Windows 7 To Be Out In October

Microsoft has announced the final release date of the next version of world's most popular operating system. Eagerly awaited OS by Redmond giant, Windows 7, will be available officially by 22nd October 2009.

The new OS is said to be fully compatible with the old hardware and thus, users will not have to upgrade their hardware. Windows 7 is said to be more efficient and robust than its predecessor Vista that brought a lot of bad name to the company.

With the announcement, the PC maker giants have started to prepare for the release. For example, Dell has announced Windows 7 Upgrade Program to existing users. This is being done to avoid sharp decline in sales just prior to Windows 7 release.

Microsoft Windows 7 will be available in several flavors including Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate suited for different device configurations and user needs. The company also said that an emerging markets specific version Windows 7 Basic will be there too. Moreover, the company has ruled out the possibility of a version of the new OS for smartbooks built on ARM chips.

There are supposed to be many features in the new operating system that make it superior to Vista. One such feature is Windows Touch for multi-touch capable screens that enables users to control the OS and its applications through touch. More details about Windows 7 are due in the coming days.

With this announcement, a trend has become prominent. Microsoft is keen on releasing its products earlier than expected. Windows 7 was expected to be released during Christmas. Similarly, its new search engine Bing was released two days earlier.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Microsoft Bing Review

Search engines are the key to most of the people's experience of world wide web and since the advent of Google, for most of the people there is only one search engine that they use and that is Google itself. Today it is the most used application when it comes to searching the labyrinths of world wide web. For a long time many companies have come up with their own products and technology but none could compete with Google. Lime Yahoo, Microsoft. Bing by Microsoft is the latest addition to the variety of search engines available to users. Although most geeks have tendency to hate everything which has the label of Redmond giant on it, Bing has received many positive reviews.

Bing is a very well thought search engine and its key feature is the variety of information it presents to users for every searched keywords. Like if you search for shoes, the application, apart from showing the relevant sites, displays many options like buying guide, reviews, brands and more which is a very nifty feature. One very good feature is that it displays snippets of information when mouse is hovered over the thin line that appears beside search result the moment one moves mouse over a result. (See the image below)

bing smippets
Moreover, when you search for videos, you can play them right in Bing search window. Although, that feature came under fire for displaying sexually explicit videos and thus turning itself into a porn site! Image searches are good too but again Bing has to index more pages to be as relevant as Google. Bing has a fancy display with wallpapers that keep changing. But that could distract the users. The simplicity of Google's homepage is better and appealing.

On certain points, Bing apes Google. For example, advertising display is similar to that in Google. And a look at settings page and you cannot help remembering the wise old search engine. Overall, Bing provides a good searching experience and returns relevant results but its algorithm has to evolve a hundred times if it is to compete with the big brother. Moreover, Microsoft has to advertise its new baby a lot so that people at least know that they have options!

A Bing Trick !
If you reside outside of US, you may not get full features on Bing home page. To access Bing as Americans are accessing it, go here and select United States - English.
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