Techno-Freek

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Location: Hyderabad, India

10/30/2005

Google Wallet May Debut Soon

Google may launch its widely anticipated online payments system Google Wallet before the holidays, an analyst said Friday, giving the search giant yet another way to profit from its widening Web empire. The service is expected to rival eBay’s PayPal, which allows web users to transfer money from, say, consumer to merchant without using a credit card. PayPal users have to credit their accounts using bank accounts or credit cards. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said Google Wallet will not be a PayPal clone. Unlike PayPal, analysts speculate that transactions would be limited to ones between businesses and consumers. The service would probably not allow more personal uses, such as a friend sending money to a friend. But like PayPal, it would likely be a stored value account. By launching this service, Google would likely control even a greater share of user activity on its site. With the pay-per-click model it popularized, the company collects a fee anytime a user clicks on an ad. With Google Wallet, a consumer that clicked on an ad for a product could purchase that product without leaving the site. However, both the user and the merchant on the other end would have to sign up for the service in order for the transaction to take place, Mr. Schatt said. The money would move from the consumer’s account to the merchant’s, with Google pocketing a fee. Dan Schatt, an analyst with Celent, a research and consulting firm, predicts the search giant will release the service by the end of the first quarter, if not for the holidays. Google spokesperson Sonya Boralv said there was no announcement.

10/21/2005

Flock gives taste of Web 2.0

A cutting edge Firefox-based Web browser dubbed 'Flock', which integrates next-generation Web technologies such as RSS content feeds, blogs and bookmark and photo sharing, was launched today.

The browser's new features are all based around new Web technologies fast attracting fans in the online community, as part of a movement which has come to be known as Web 2.0.

For example, the traditional Web browser bookmarks menu has been replaced in favour of close integration with del.icio.us, an online service which allows bookmarks to be stored and shared with other users.

The Flock team has taken note of the Internet community's rapidly growing obsession with both blogs and the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) standard that makes it possible to speedily know when a blog has been updated.

In fact, there is so much new and cool stuff; I couldn’t even list it all here. Install your own copy and comment with your favorite feature. Just keep in mind this is beta, so no whining about the broken stuff yet. Just be a good tester and submit the error to Flock

10/18/2005

The Return of AJAX ?

Some relatively new Google applications have prompted renewed interest in a programming technique that is years old.Google Suggest and Google Maps gave Web users the sense they were using a desktop application instead of an Internet-based tool.

Google Suggest fills in words for suggested search terms, and typing an address into Google Maps returns a detailed map of the immediate area with the ability to pan out to state or national boundaries.

The apps were created using Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), which calls from the server only the information you need for the Web browser. Rather than querying the Web server directly every time a request is made from the browser, AJAX sticks a JavaScript element between the two. This allows the browser to maintain its state while the script runs the data request to the Web server and back.

The programming style incorporates a number of open Web standards, including XHTML, XML, CSS, XMLHttpRequest, XSLT and DOM.

The promise AJAX programming brings to Web development, with its speedy and powerful processing times, has led some to speculate whether the medium could replace the need for desktop applications altogether. If a Web application can do what a desktop application does on the PC, why bother with software installs?

Sun Microsystems in the late 1990s with its "network as a computer" concept of putting software on the server is a huge leap in logic to make.But just because you can run application functionality remotely doesn't mean it's appropriate for everything, like when you're offline.

10/17/2005

Samsung produces 3GB mobile

Samsung has announced a 3GB mobile phone - the largest memory capacity ever seen in a mobile. The SPH-V7900 can also function as a portable storage device for computers, Samsung said. It can hold 700 music files and store up to 2,400 contact details.

Most mobile phones in use have about 100MB of memory, thirty times less than Samsung's new model.

Samsung SPH-V7900 final

The SPH-V7900 phone also has a two cameras, one with two-megapixel resolution, two screens, video playback, an MP3 player, a twist-flip format, and dual speakers. It has an e-mail function and a file viewer supporting MS Office files, pdf format documents, text and jpeg images.

The battery gives 4.5 hours of talk and 200 hours standby. No battery drain figures are given for functions using the hard drive but it to be significant. The phone has no price-tag, no release date and is only theoretically available in Korea for now.

10/08/2005

Robot cars rise to Pentagon's challenge

The desert pitstop with a handful of casinos was supposed to be the finish line for a robot race sponsored by the Pentagon last year to spur development of unmanned vehicles for warfare. Problem was, none of the self-driving entries made it this far. In three days of qualifying rounds this week, about a dozen teams managed to nimbly navigate a four-kilometre obstacle course inside southern California's Fontana Speedway circuit, to qualify for today's prize race. Several other teams that did well in qualifying will join the race to bring the number of contestants to 20. The course will only be announced two hours before the race, to make sure that all navigation is conducted by the vehicles' global positioning systems. But contestants are expected to have to travel some 250 kilometres across a desert route starting in Primm, Nevada, using only onboard sensors, navigation equipment and computers to find and follow the route and avoid obstacles. The robots also have to heed speed limits in certain zones and pass through a tunnel designed to temporarily knock out their GPS capabilities. There are several reasons why this year's field is more competitive. Teams had more time to prepare for the race. Many spent the past 18 months focused on the vehicles' computer ``brain,'' beefing up their artificial intelligence through improved computer algorithms. Teams also had the advantage of practising in various parts of the desert under race-like conditions. Even before the semifinals, some robots had already driven hundreds of continuous kilometres during practice, including some that tested on last year's course between Barstow and Primm. `Nobody was ready last year,'' said Bill Kehaly of Westlake Village-based Axion Racing, whose Jeep Grand Cherokee named Spirit is racing in the finals. ``Everybody feels a lot more confident this year.'' The favourites were even more impressive. Stanford University's entry, Stanley, is a Volkswagen Touareg sport utility vehicle outfitted with cameras, laser guidance systems, an inertial system that functions like an inner ear to keep the vehicle oriented, and six computers. Lets hope somebody wins this race and we can have unmanned cars in the future.

10/03/2005

Microsoft adds PDF support to Office

Microsoft has announced that it will be supporting PDF files in the next version of its Office software suite. Being able to save Office documents as PDFs was a feature that more than 120,000 users have requested every month, said Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's senior vice president of Office product development. Office 12 will have a 'Save as PDF' function to create a PDF and electronically distribute a read-only version of the document.

As such, PDF documents created in Office 12 can contain live hyperlinks and be read by screen readers. PDFs created in the Publisher component of Office will also have support for CMYK colour models and printing page marks.

Note that Office 12 PDFs will not support the security technologies of Adobe's Acrobat PDF creation software such as DRM and password protection. Microsoft has ambitions of its own for its Windows Media DRM system, and is not about to cede territory to a major rival.

10/02/2005

Disney to Sell $50 Mix Sticks MP3 Players

Walt Disney Company announced it plans to sell $50 flash-based portable music players for kids and "tweens" called Mix Sticks in major retailers and at its online store beginning in mid-October. The players will be available in four styles—Chrome, Forever Princess, That's So Raven, and Sassy Pixie—and support MP3 and WMA audio files, as well as standard data storage. Mix Sticks feature playback controls which form a silhouette head of Mickey Mouse.

The Disney Mix Stick is shown in an undated publicity photo released September 29, 2005. The Walt Disney Company announced that it would sell the $49.99 portable music MP3 player for children, which holds about 60 songs on an internal 128 megabyte storage card. The player's capacity may be expanded an additional gigabyte. (Walt Disney Company/Handout/Reuters)
Disney Mix Sticks, about the size of a pack of gum, hold about 60 songs on an internal 128 megabyte storage card and can hold additional 1-gigabyte memory cards. They also can play songs sold on small memory cards.128 MB build-in memory, with option to add more for a total of 1G

10/01/2005

Google to offer free Wi-Fi

Google, the online search leader, confirmed Tuesday it has begun a limited test of a free wireless Internet service, called Google WiFi.

The existence of the Wi-Fi service, which offers high-speed connections to the Internet over short distances, is confirmed by public pages on the company’s Web site and was first reported in a Silicon Valley newspaper in July.

Google spokesman Nate Tyler said the current test is limited to two public sites near the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters -- a pizza parlor and a gym -- located in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“Google WiFi is a community outreach program to offer free wireless access in areas near our headquarters,” Tyler said.

“At this stage in development, we’re focused on collecting feedback from users. We’ll determine next steps as the product evolves,” he said.

Free wireless communications would take Google even further from its Internet search roots and move it into the fiercely competitive world of Internet access providers and telecommunications companies.

Tyler said the project was started as part of a Google engineer’s “20 percent time project.”

Google encourages its engineers to spend 20 percent of their work time developing independent projects. Several of Google’s new products have grown out of such projects, including Google News, contextual advertising program AdSense and social-networking test project Orkut.

Most mobile phones in use have about 100MB of memory, thirty times less than Samsung's new model.

Samsung SPH-V7900 final

The SPH-V7900 phone also has a two cameras, one with two-megapixel resolution, two screens, video playback, an MP3 player, a twist-flip format, and dual speakers. It has an e-mail function and a file viewer supporting MS Office files, pdf format documents, text and jpeg images.

The battery gives 4.5 hours of talk and 200 hours standby. No battery drain figures are given for functions using the hard drive but it to be significant. The phone has no price-tag, no release date and is only theoretically available in Korea for now.

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As such, PDF documents created in Office 12 can contain live hyperlinks and be read by screen readers. PDFs created in the Publisher component of Office will also have support for CMYK colour models and printing page marks.

Note that Office 12 PDFs will not support the security technologies of Adobe's Acrobat PDF creation software such as DRM and password protection. Microsoft has ambitions of its own for its Windows Media DRM system, and is not about to cede territory to a major rival.

|W|P|112834833431724564|W|P|Microsoft adds PDF support to Office|W|P|gsphanikumar@gmail.com10/02/2005 10:43:00 AM|W|P|Phani|W|P|Walt Disney Company announced it plans to sell $50 flash-based portable music players for kids and "tweens" called Mix Sticks in major retailers and at its online store beginning in mid-October. The players will be available in four styles—Chrome, Forever Princess, That's So Raven, and Sassy Pixie—and support MP3 and WMA audio files, as well as standard data storage. Mix Sticks feature playback controls which form a silhouette head of Mickey Mouse.
The Disney Mix Stick is shown in an undated publicity photo released September 29, 2005. The Walt Disney Company announced that it would sell the $49.99 portable music MP3 player for children, which holds about 60 songs on an internal 128 megabyte storage card. The player's capacity may be expanded an additional gigabyte. (Walt Disney Company/Handout/Reuters)
Disney Mix Sticks, about the size of a pack of gum, hold about 60 songs on an internal 128 megabyte storage card and can hold additional 1-gigabyte memory cards. They also can play songs sold on small memory cards.128 MB build-in memory, with option to add more for a total of 1G
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Google spokesman Nate Tyler said the current test is limited to two public sites near the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters -- a pizza parlor and a gym -- located in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“Google WiFi is a community outreach program to offer free wireless access in areas near our headquarters,” Tyler said.

“At this stage in development, we’re focused on collecting feedback from users. We’ll determine next steps as the product evolves,” he said.

Free wireless communications would take Google even further from its Internet search roots and move it into the fiercely competitive world of Internet access providers and telecommunications companies.

Tyler said the project was started as part of a Google engineer’s “20 percent time project.”

Google encourages its engineers to spend 20 percent of their work time developing independent projects. Several of Google’s new products have grown out of such projects, including Google News, contextual advertising program AdSense and social-networking test project Orkut.

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