Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Microsoft Announces Windows Azure Platform General Availability

Windows Azure platform hits general availability

"As expected, Microsoft has announced the general availability of the Azure platform (Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and AppFabric) in 21 countries. Starting today, Microsoft customers and partners in those regions will be able to launch their Azure production applications and services with the support of the full Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service Bus and Access Control will continue to be free until April 2010 for those that sign up for a commercial subscription." Read more at Ars Technica


Fro full details see Windows Azure Platform and for more information checkout the Windows Azure Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from Microsoft.

Putting The iPad Accessories Before The iPad

Yes selling accessories for a device that isn't even available is exactly like putting the cart before the horse. The thing is companies want to try to get a jump on one another and get them out there as quickly as possible. So it comes as little surprise that this week two manufactures, LaCie and Skooba Design, have announced the release of iPad ready travel bags, sleeves and wraps.

LaCie Unveils Stylish Sleeves for MacBook Computers and the New iPad

LaCie announced a colorful series of sleeves for protecting and carrying compact netbooks and MacBook computers – LaCie Coat and LaCie ForMoa, design by Sam Hecht. For early adopters the new sleeves make a perfect carrying companion for the recently-announced Apple iPad.


The LaCie Coat and LaCie ForMoa come in five colors and offer a stylish way to protect your favorite portable computer. Made with a double layer of neoprene and soft inside lining, it protects your laptop from spills and scratches. The LaCie Coat includes an inside zippered pocket, allowing you to store a power supply and accessories.

Offering even more versatility, the LaCie ForMoa carrying case features handles that you can use or tuck away – giving you the option to carry your laptop with you or use the ForMoa as a sleeve. The ForMoa also includes three pockets for superior organization of your power supply, accessories, and paperwork. Carry a new iPad, with room to pack the power supply and accessories too.

A perfect companion to the iPad and MacBook computers, the LaCie Coat and ForMoa come in a 10.2", as well as three laptop sizes that fit 13", 15" and 17" MacBook and MacBook Pro computers – providing a perfect fit for any notebook. The LaCie Coat and LaCie ForMoa come in five vibrant colors: red, blue, pink, orange, and black.

Skooba Bags "iPad-Ready"

Skooba Design has announced that several of its new products are "iPad-ready": The Netbook/iPad Messenger, Neo Sleeve, and RAPS “portable padding” are all available now.


The Netbook/iPad Messenger is a slim, lightweight but full featured courier-style shoulder bag with over a dozen pockets and organizer compartments. It has a dedicated, padded sleeve that’s perfectly sized for the iPad, with or without Apple’s optional leather folio cover. The sleeve also fits all popular netbooks, for those who prefer computers that fold. Available in 4 color combos at $49.95 suggested retail.

The Neo Sleeve is a stretchy, neoprene (wetsuit material) skin that hugs and protects the tablet, keeping it safe from the daily bump-and-grind, as well as the elements. And it’s “checkpoint-friendly,” so it can go through airport screening without taking the iPad out of the case—faster and much safer than throwing the tablet in a gray plastic bin. 4 color combinations, $19.95 suggested retail.

Skooba RAPS take a different, much simpler (and very economical) approach. These padded squares wrap around the iPad and self-fasten. The medium size wrap is perfectly sized to “origami” itself around the tablet, creating a nearly weightless, bulk-free envelope to protect the device in a school bag or briefcase. Other sizes available too, to wrap and protect just about anything. The medium wrap retails for $14.95.

Running Windows 7 RC? Upgrade Now Before The Shutdown Begins

For those of you still running the release candidate of Windows Seven time is running out, literally.

Starting Feb. 15, people still using the Windows 7 RC will begin to receive a notification that their trial software is about to expire. These very annoying little bi-hourly notifications will remind Win 7 RC users that their PCs will "begin experiencing bi-hourly shutdowns" as of March 1.

Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc sent out a friendly reminder this week on The Windows Blog outlining some of the friendly reminders we'll see. According to his post and Microsoft Support, you can expect the following:

Starting Feb. 15:

  • An expiration notification appears in the task bar once per day.
  • The Notification Wizard pops up once every four hours, and then once per hour.

Starting March 1:
  • The task bar nagging continues.
  • Your PC restarts every two hours
  • During shutdowns, your work won't be saved.
Starting June 1:
  • Windows boots to a black desktop. Yikes.
  • A Windows Activation screen reminds you that your Win 7 copy isn't genuine.
  • The two-hour reboots continue. 
RC users should keep two things in mind:
  1. To move to a released version of Windows 7, you’ll need to do a custom (clean) install to replace the installation of the Windows 7 RC. 
  2. You can still enjoy a freebie version of the full release by getting the Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial
If you are looking for a low cost way to upgrade and you are a college student you can still get discounted versions through win741.com or for us standard shoppers I suggest checking out Amazon or Newegg.com

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Linux Foundation 2010 Event Schedule

The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux, has announced their list of upcoming events for 2010. These events provide kernel developers, IT professionals, end users, senior executives, industry experts, students and the media with a vendor-neutral, nonprofit forum in which collaboration and education advance knowledge and accelerate the advancement of Linux. The events provide a platform for new Linux and open source developments to be revealed and discussed.

The Linux Foundation’s 2010 event schedule includes:

Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit
Held in conjunction with the CELF Embedded Linux Conference and hosted by platinum sponsors IBM and Intel. Additional sponsors include Google, Intel and Nokia.
April 14 – 16, 2010
San Francisco, Calif.
This event is an exclusive, invitation-only summit where key Linux stakeholders meet face-to-face to advance and create initiatives that address the most pressing opportunities for Linux today.
http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/collaboration-summit/

Linux Foundation End User Summit
October 25, 2010
Jersey City, NJ
Another invitation-only event, the Linux Foundation’s End User Summit brings together senior kernel leadership with the C-level executives who are managing Linux in the largest most dynamic companies in the world today. In its third year, this event helps to close a “communications loop” to advance Linux development to meet everyone’s goals. To request an invitation, please visit: http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/end-user-summit

LinuxCon
August 10-12, 2010
Boston, Mass.
LinuxCon is North America’s premiere conference for all matters Linux. The event will bring together community and business leadership as well as up and coming developers to attend sessions produced by the community for the community. LinuxCon will be preceded this year with a variety of “mini-summits” on August 8 and 9, 2010, including the Linux Storage & Filesystems Workshop, the Wireless Mini-Summit and the Bluetooth Summit.
http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/linuxcon

Japan Linux Symposium
September 27 – 29, 2010
Tokyo, Japan
The Japan Linux Symposium is the leading Linux conference in Asia Pacific and brings together developers, administrators, users, community managers and industry experts from across the globe.
http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/japan-linux-symposium

Linux Kernel Summit
November 1 – 2, 2010
Co-located with the Linux Plumbers Conference November 3 - 5, 2010
Cambridge, Mass.
The Linux Foundation will again host the annual gathering of the world’s leading kernel developers to discuss the state of the kernel and to plan the next development cycle.
http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/linux-kernel-summit

To get more information about Linux Foundation events, and to register, please visit: http://events.linuxfoundation.org/.

Google Paying You To Find Chrome Security Flaws

Google recently announced a new program that will pay you to find security flaws in the Google Chrome browser.

In a post to the Chromium project's blog , Chrome security team Chris Evans, said the company will be offering  a $500 bounty on any new run of the mill bug found, but that "particularly severe or particularly clever" bugs would reap rewards of $1,337 each.

To be eligible for the reward you must
  1. Be the first reporter of a given issue that was a  previously unaware bug. In the event of a duplicate submission, the earliest filed bug report in the bug tracker is considered the first report.
  2. File your bug through the Chromium bug tracker (under the template "Security Bug") to qualify for consideration.
What bugs are eligible?
  • Any security bug from either  Google Chrome or the Chromium open source project may be considered. With more focus being given to High and Critical impact bugs, but any clever vulnerability at any severity might get a reward.
  • Bugs from third party components such as WebKit, libxml, image libraries, compression libraries, etc might be eligible but third-party plugins and extensions are ineligible. 
  • All bugs will be reviewed by a panel of Google team members which includes Adam Barth, Chris Evans, Neel Mehta, SkyLined and Michal Zalewski.
In a bit of irony Google give kudos to the folks at Mozilla for their idea as it was the success if their long-running and successful vulnerability reward program that led Google to create their own.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Intel Names Intel Science Talent Search 2010 Finalists

Intel has named forty finalists in the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search. The high school seniors were selected from  18 states and represent 36 schools all across the country. Finalists will gather in Washington, D.C. in March to compete for $630,000 in awards with the top winner receiving $100,000 from the Intel Foundation.

The Intel Science Talent Search is considered one America’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. For a list of all 40 finalists, visit www.societyforscience.org/sts.


Intel Science Talent Search 2010 Fast Facts

  • This year's Intel Science Talent Search finalists come from 18 states and represent 36 schools.
  • New York again has the highest number of young innovators in this competition (11 this year). Following New York is California with eight finalists; Texas with three; Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon with two each; and Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin with one finalist each.
  • The 2010 finalists' independent research projects include such topics as examining behavioral factors in breast cancer cures; an autonomous spacecraft navigation system; increasing the performance of organic solar cells and organic light-emitting diodes; semantic image retrieval; comparing language perception, production, and memory in older and younger adults; and chemotherapy and antibiotic drug resistance.
  • What’s next: Finalists will gather in Washington, D.C. for a week-long event from March 11-16 where they will undergo a rigorous judging process, meet with national leaders, interact with leading scientists and display their research at the National Academy of Sciences. Top winners will be announced at a black-tie gala awards ceremony at the National Building Museum on March 16.
More information can be found on the Intel Science Talent Search 2010 press kit at http://www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/events/sts2010. To view ongoing updates about the Intel Science Talent Search 2010, join the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/pages/Inspired-by-Education/32855637280 and follow Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/intelinspire. To learn more about Society for Science & the Public, visit www.societyforscience.org.

Does Apple Make More Than $200 On Each $499 iPad?

According to analysts Apple's recently released iPad might actually net the company a profit margin of 42.9% and as high as 52%.

According to the ComputerWorld article Analyst Brian Marshall of BroadPoint AmTech said his review of the cost of the materials inside Apple's 16GB WiFi shows the iPad only costs the company $270.50 to produce. Marshall further estimates the total overall cost is $290.50, a figure that includes a $10 line item dedicated to manufacturing and another $20 set aside for under-warranty service costs.

The company may actually make more profit from the higher end 3G equipped devices, as much as 10% more according to Marshall. The $629 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G costs Apple $306.50, just $16 more than the Wi-Fi-only model. Users wanting to add the 3G option are actually hit with a $130 premium meaning the company is netting and additional $114 from 3G model or a profit margin of 52%, a jump of nine percentage points.

My thought:

I'll admit I was a bit surprised that Apple came out with such a low price tag on the iPad. I originally thought they would be looking at a low end of at least $700. If Marshall's numbers are right then it would be fairly easy to see why Apple pushed this 1st generation out at the price point. Not only are they making a ton of money from the device but they have lots of headroom to start hacking prices if demand isn't what they expected.

The Apple iPad And Why We Won't Buy One

Earlier this week Apple announced their much anticipated touchscreen device dubbed the Apple iPad. This sub $500 9.7" tablet device is incarnation of what Apple see's as being the laptop of the future, but we see it as nothing more than an over hyped, over priced large screen iPod.

During Wednesday's press event Steve Jobs took the stage to introduce the world to what Apple is calling a revolutionary magical device, the new iPad. (See the video).  As mentioned the iPad has a 9.7-inch touch screen (diagonal dimensions of course). Overall size is 9.6"x7.5" and a half-inch thick. The iPad weighs 1.5 pounds and comes in three storage capacities 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage.

"The bar's pretty high. In order to really create a new category of devices. Those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks. They're going to have to be far better at doing some really important things. Better than the laptop, better than the smartphone." -- Steve Jobs.

For connectivity the iPad comes with two choices a regular Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled device and a more expensive 3G enable version. Battery life is an astounding 10 hours and it can reportedly sit for a month on standby without needing a charge.

The basic iPad models will cost $499, $599 and $699, depending on the storage size, adding in 3G compatibility will boost the cost another $130.

Jobs also announced what he called a "breakthrough deal" with AT&T to provide 3G connectivity for the iPad using two pre-paid plans: a $14.99 plan that allows up to 250MB of data monthly, and a $29.99 unlimited data plan. iPad users do not have to sign a contract with AT&T, Jobs added, and can cancel at any time without penalty.

To be totally honest I see no reason to spend the $130 premium for 3G service through AT&T not with all the free Wi-Fi floating around these days. I do like the idea of a no contract $30 unlimited plan which really isn't bad, but again free Wi-Fi is everywhere so I doubt you'll see many people jumping on that ship.

Why you won't see me buying an iPad.

No I'm not an Apple hater, I just don't see this particular device as being cost effective for my needs. Sure its sleek and sexy but for my everyday needs I don't see that a 10" device will cut it.

For starters at a $500 price point I can buy a full featured laptop with a larger screen and a full keyboard. While my laptop wouldn't be as portable it would be much more capable making it a better overall buy. If portability where an issue I can buy a very capable scalable netbook that would be much better at handling my day to day needs, heck for $500 I could by two! If I still want all the features of the iPad and not the price I could even go with an iPhone or iPod, either of which would offer better portability, lower price and roughly the same features.

New iPod specials at MacMall
The second major reason I don't see me buying an iPad is simple, its overly tied to Apple. Apple and their proprietary BS are just a little much for me. I imagine this thing is going to be a sealed device, which means little to no tinkering. Add to that an inability to add/upgrade anything and that takes much of the "geek" right out of it.

Lastly HP, ACER, MSI and a few other companies have all said they will be released tablet like devices running either Windows 7, Linux or Android. Any of the three offer a little more openness where the OS is concerned. While none of these devices are available yet and we have little or no info to base a comparison on I for one would at least like to see what they offer up before I took a ride on the Apple fan train.

All that said the iPad is just one of many new touch screen tablets we are going to see and I'm sure if its a hit Apple will offer up a few more varieties. Off course cost will always be a factor with Apple as they generally add the "Apple tax" to everything they ship out.

Five ways Apple Could Have Made The iPad Better

  1. Enabled multitasking - Apple you really dropped the ball on this one! I get the reasoning behind the lack of multitasking on smaller devices but this thing is large enough and has enough power behind it to have it enabled.
  2. Larger Screen - Personally I think the iPad is stuck out in the middle of nowhere here. Its too large to fit in a pocket like your iPod or iPhone and still not quite large enough to fill the bill for most of my everyday needs. A slightly larger surface area would allow more room for a better keyboard experience and added room for more multi-tasking.
  3. Expandable memory and USB Slots - No SD or USB slots? Really are you kidding me here? Even my old cell phone has a Micro-SD slot for graphics, audio video ect. Apple calls this thing a "revolutionary magical device" that is "the best way to experience the web, email and photos" yet I have to buy an iPad Camera Connection Kit to utilize the features. Imagine how much more we could do with either one of these available!
  4. Flash support - Some people will say we don't need any stinking flash support but I'm not some people. I use a lot of sites that are flash equipped and I need to get my flash fix.
  5. Give us a full or open OS environment - Make the iPad support open software development, while still supporting the large number of App Store applications. What happens if you want to run Firefox or Chrome on your iPad? You can't. I don't use Safari and haven't for awhile and I don't want to change that. I also don't want to be tied to the DRM ridden App store or iTunes. Let me be free from some of the tight reins Apple has. Sure we'll probably see a jailbreak but that's not the point. 
Conclusion - The sum of it all

I should sum up by saying this, as a geek I really would love to get my hands on the iPad if for nothing more than just to see what it can do. Having not had the chance to test it out I can't say that I will never own one just that I'm not too likely to shell out my hard earned cash to get one.

In all honesty any tablet like device would really have to blow me away in order for me part ways with my money.

Update: Here is a great read from Engadget pointing out some of the highlights and flaws of the new iPad. Note they spotted many of the issues I'd have with the device, mainly the fact that its too large for two handed multitouch use. Weighing in at 1.5lbs and the overall sizes means one hand to hold and one to navigate. Yet they also note that the onscreen keyboard is lacking and is too small to make typing comfortable.

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Use Your iPhone As A Wireless Keyboard With The Free Logitech Touch Mouse App

logitech logoLogitech has introduced a new application that will allow iPhone and iPod users (and presumably iPad) to control their PCs or MACs via their phone or iPod, what's even better the app is free!

The new Touch Mouse app easily turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a wireless trackpad and keyboard for your computer, so you can point, click, scroll and type from almost any application, on a Mac or PC. The application runs over Wi-Fi, so you can use your iPhone/iPod anywhere in your house that you get a Wi-Fi signal.

Download Touch Mouse in two-steps:
1) Get the Touch Mouse App for your iPhone or iPod touch from the App Store
2) Download Touch Mouse Server software and install it on your computer.
You’ll find instructions when you download the Touch Mouse Server software on Logitech.com.

Once you’re up and running, Touch Mouse will allow you to take advantage of the following features:

  • Multi-touch trackpad with the option for two or three mouse buttons
  • Two-finger scrolling
  • Keyboard with Control, Alt, Command/Windows keys
  • On-screen text display while typing
  • Show or hide the keyboard at any time
  • Trackpad and keyboard are available in landscape and portrait modes

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Intel Planning To Bring Some 'Geek Humor' To The Super Bowl

intel logoIntel plans to add its spin on Geek Humor with two new ads featured during this years Super Bowl.

The company has purchased three 30-second Super Bowl spots, the first airing during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7. Each commercial employs a sense of what Intel is calling "geek humor" showing that "Intel is a different brand of company."

The ads will center on the 2010 Intel Core Processor family featuring the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7, which Intel announced earlier this month at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

"We just launched our all new 2010 Intel Core family of processors and were looking for the perfect place to run our newest "Sponsors of Tomorrow" ads, the first to spotlight not only the Intel brand, but our processors as well," said Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and general manager, Corporate Marketing Group.

Intel also plans to sponsor the Super Bowl Today Post-Game Show, in which the second add will be featured. Presumably the third spot purchased will be a repeat of one of the first spots.

"We could have taken a serious approach to touting the industry's most advanced processors, but the overwhelming success of our ‘Sponsors of Tomorrow' ads tells us ‘geek humor' works," Conrad said. "Our new ads continue to poke fun at smart people, and the folks working at Intel are among the smartest around.

The ads were created by Venables Bell & Partners a San Francisco based ad agency that has created spots in the past for Intel including the 2009 “Rockstar” campaign which was ranked as the fifth most popular campaign in all of 2009 by AdWeek.

Source: Intel

Tom's Hardware Updates GPU Charts

One of the features I love on Tom's Hardware has to be their GPU charts. If you aren't familiar with Tom's performance charts they give a side-by-side comparison of several different GPUs (and CPUs) running various benchmarks, applications and games.

Late last week Tom's announced that they had updated their Graphics Card Charts to not only feature several of the newest GPUs but to also include some of the older mainstream cards. With the newly added and updated charts Tom's now features 15 charts in all, varying from cards dating back to 2005 to the newest offerings from AMD and NVIDIA.

*Updated (8/31/2012)


Tom's Graphics Cards Charts

Anyone looking to buy a new GPU or build a new PC should checkout the charts before spending their hard earned cash on a new card. The side-by-side comparisons really give you a good look at the best bang for your gaming buck.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Apple Reports Record Profits, Next Quarter Could Be Higher

Apple today announced record setting financial results for its fiscal 2010 first quarter ended December 26, 2009. The Company posted revenue of $15.68 billion and a net quarterly profit of $3.38 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $11.88 billion and net quarterly profit of $2.26 billion, or $2.50 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.9 percent, up from 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

“If you annualize our quarterly revenue, it’s surprising that Apple is now a $50+ billion company,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The new products we are planning to release this year are very strong, starting this week with a major new product that we’re really excited about.”

What new product might Steve be referring to, chances are it will be the much rumored Apple tablet that will reportedly be announced at the Apple press event being held on Wednesday.

Chances are that if the Apple tablet is as well received as many think it may be Apple will see another quarter of record setting profits coming in the second quarter. According to several early studies as many as 41% of respondents have said if the price is right they will purchase the new "iSlate - iTable - iPad" (or whatever it will be called)

In Q1 Apple saw a record setting 3.36 million Macs sold, representing a 33 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter, representing 70% year on year growth in desktop sales and a record number of 8.7 million iPhones sold in the quarter, representing 100 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Add to that a record high in iTunes sales and what was likely a record number of sales via the App Store and Apple is easily looking at the potential of having record sales throughout the rest of the year.

Google Chrome Now Supports 1,500+ Extensions

Google has released the latest version of their Chrome web browser for Windows full support for the more than 1,500 extension in the Chrome extension gallery. Linux user don't fret as extensions are enabled on the beta channel. And for those using Google Chrome for Mac, hang tight — Google has said they are working on bringing extensions, bookmark sync and more to the beta ASAP!

In addition to adding full extension support Google also announced that Windows based version of Google Chrome will now add bookmark sync. Bookmark sync keeps your Google Chrome bookmarks synchronized and up-to-date across several computers, without needing to manually recreate your bookmarks every time you switch computers. To read more on bookmark sync, check out this handy guide.

Personally I can't wait to give Google Chrome another trial. I'm a die hard Firefox fan and haven't tried Chrome in some time. I love my Firefox extensions and couldn't see living without them so it will be nice to see what extensions Chrome has. If you're on a PC and haven't tried Google Chrome yet, or like me haven't tested it in some time, you can download Google Chrome and give all these new features a whirl.

Extensions you might like:
Here are five extension we are getting ready to load and try.
  1. Zemanta -  this blogging extension looks like a useful add-on for any blogger. It adds an easy to use dashboard for adding content to most all popular blogging platforms.
  2. AdBlock - we all know what this is, but if you don't its a great extension for removing scripts and ads from pages
  3. Clickable Links - make all links formatted or not clickable, this is handy for quick easy browsing for sites that don't auto populate links
  4. eBay Extension - I love eBaying so I'm dying to test the features packed into this one
  5. AddThis - I use this extension daily from within Firefox. You get a quick easy way to send bookmarks, links, Tweets or posts to many popular social media sites.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sony Ericsson Releases Vivaz HD Video Phone

Sony Ericsson announced today the new # Sony Ericsson Vivaz – the second installment in a new family of communication entertainment phones featuring HD video capabilities. The new Vivaz will come to market in Q1 2010.

With Sony Ericsson Vivaz communication truly becomes entertainment with high quality HD video allowing consumers to produce and broadcast their best experiences with the latest video capture and sharing features.
  • Capture - record spontaneous moments and memories in HD quality and crisp high resolution for a real-life video experience. The dedicated video key allows consumers to shoot video instantly with continuous auto focus for the perfect film every time.
  • View - review video content in the standby panel or online via Wi-Fi on the 3.2 inch widescreen
  • Share - upload via Wi-Fi onto YouTube and Picasa in high resolution while still using other features on the handset
The open platform also allows users to personalise their entertainment experience by downloading great applications through PlayNow and the Symbian Developer Community.


“User-generated content, especially video, is exploding on the web,” said Lennard Hoornik, Head of Marketing, Sony Ericsson. “With Sony Ericsson Vivaz, we have created a mobile phone that makes it easy to catch life in high quality video and upload that self expression onto the web to share with the world. Sony Ericsson Vivaz offers beauty inside and out with an open and intuitive user experience allowing consumers to capture, view and share their lives and spontaneity in HD quality.”

Sony Ericsson Vivaz features the new design philosophy ’human curvature’, first introduced with the Xperia X10, which will become a consistent feature of Sony Ericsson’s portfolio going forward. Designed to mirror the shape of the human body, and at the same time delivering a precise and compelling phone interaction, Sony Ericsson Vivaz is instantly recognizable.

Sony Ericsson Vivaz
  • HD video – produce and broadcast your best experiences with the latest video capture and sharing features
  • Social networking – easy access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter
  • 8.1 megapixel camera – capture life’s moments in high quality
  • Face and smile detection – a perfect picture every time
  • Sony Ericsson Media Player
Sony Ericsson Vivaz supports UMTS HSPA 900/2100 and GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS HSPA 850/1900/2100 and EDGE 850/900/1800/1900. Sony Ericsson Vivaz will be available in selected markets from Q1 in the colours Moon Silver, Cosmic Black, Galaxy Blue and Venus Ruby.

Log on to The Sony Ericsson Product Blog for more information: http://blogs.sonyericsson.com/products

Specifications
Camera
  • 8.1 megapixel camera
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Auto focus (photos)
  • Continuous auto focus (video)
  • Face detection (photos)
  • Geo tagging
  • Image stabiliser
  • Photo light
  • Send to web
  • Smile detection
  • Touch capture
  • Video light
  • Video recording (720p HD recording)
Music
  • Album art
  • Bluetooth stereo (A2DP)
  • Media player
  • Music player
  • Music tones (MP3/AAC)
  • PlayNow
  • TrackID
Web
  • Bookmarks
  • Google search (from standby)
  • Web feeds
  • WebKit web browser
Voice
  • Speakerphone
  • Vibrating alert
  • Video calling (main camera)
Messaging
  • Conversations
  • Email
  • Handwriting recognition
  • Instant messaging
  • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
  • Picture messaging (MMS)
  • Predictive text input
  • Sound recorder
  • Text messaging (SMS)
Design
  • Auto rotate
  • Picture wallpaper
  • Symbian OS™
  • Touchscreen
Entertainment
  • 3D games
  • Facebook application
  • FM radio
  • Java
  • Twitter application
  • Video streaming
  • Video viewing
  • YouTube
Organizer
  • Alarm clock
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Document readers
  • Flight mode
  • Notes
  • Phone book
Location-based services
  • A-GPS
  • Google Maps
  • Wisepilot turn-by-turn navigation* (free trial version)
*The service may not be available in every market. For more information, go to www.sonyericsson.wisepilot.com
Connectivity
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Bluetooth™ technology
  • DLNA Certified™ (photos and audio)
  • Micro USB connector
  • Modem
  • PictBridge printing
  • Synchronisation
  • TV out (VGA resolution)
  • USB mass storage
  • USB support
  • Wi-Fi
Preloaded applications
  • Facebook – social networking
  • Google Maps – navigation
  • QuickOffice – Microsoft Office viewer Road Sync – synchronization
  • SMS Preview – messaging app
  • Twitter – social networking
  • YouTube – video sharing
  • Water Level – tool app
  • Wisepilot – navigation
  • World Mate – clock and weather app
  • Rally Master Pro
  • SSX Snowboarding
Screen
  • 16.9 nHD wide touch screen
  • 16,777,216 colour
  • 3.2 inches
  • 640 x 360 pixels nHD
Scratch-resistant
Accessories
In-Box:
  • Sony Ericsson Vivaz
  • Battery
  • HPM-60J Stereo portable handsfree
  • 8GB microSD card
  • Micro USB cable for charging, synchronization and file transfer
  • User documentation
Optional:
  • Wireless Stereo Headphones HBH-IS800
  • Stereo Portable Handsfree MH700
  • SD USB Adapter CCR-80
Facts 1)2)
  • Size: 107 x 521.7 x 12.5 mm
  • Weight: 97 grams
  • Phone memory: Up to 75 MB
  • Memory card support: SanDisk microSD, up to 16 GB
  • Memory card included: 8 GB microSD card
  • Operating system: Symbian S60 5th edition
  • Processor: 720MHz
  • Talk time GSM/GPRS: Up to 13 hrs
  • Standby time GSM/GPRS: Up to 430 hrs
  • Talk time UMTS: Up to 5 hrs 20 min
  • Standby time UMTS: Up to 440 hrs
  • Video call time: Up to 2 hrs 30 min

Source: Sony Ericsson

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

PEPID Releases Its Medical Application For The Palm Pre

New software is the first medical app of its kind for the smart phone.

PEPID, the leading developer of clinical decision-support information and technology for doctors and nurses, announced today the release of its Palm Pre application, making PEPID the original developer of point-of-care medical applications for the device and Web OS operating system.

“We are committed to making PEPID available for every device and operating system on the market,” said John Wagner, President. “As physicians and nurses upgrade to the latest smart phones such as the Palm Pre, they can count on having access PEPID’s award-winning content and tools.”

PEPID’s reputable clinical and pharmacological content is designed to support clinicians through every stage of the decision support process, from the initial content, all the way through treatment and follow-up care — increasing patient safety through better-informed patient care. PEPID contains the most extensive drug database on the market today, thousands of disease profiles and medical conditions, medical and dosing calculators, a drug interactions checker, along with numerous illustrations, laboratory values, and a differential diagnosis generator, all available on the Palm Pre.

“We’ve integrated all of this information into one application, which can be quickly and easily accessed by subscribers using the Palm Pre,” said Edward Reynolds, PEPID’s Chief Technology Officer. “Our development teams ensure that PEPID’s content is available for the latest technology—the next big release will be for the Google Android platform, which is coming soon.”

Studies have shown that medical errors are reduced and patient care improves when clinicians use software like PEPID. Now they can have the latest medical information and tools at their fingertips with the new PEPID application for the Palm Pre.

PEPID has provided clinical specialty-focused products since 1994, focusing on the way healthcare professionals practice medicine. PEPID offers one of the most robust medical information resources on the market as well as some of the best customer service in the industry.

Looking in one place and finding everything you need is powerful in any industry, but the benefits are even more substantial in healthcare. PEPID is available on Palm Pre and all other smart phones, online or delivered into an existing electronic medical record system.

Pepid has developed a suite of medical software packages for PDA, smartphones and other web-based devices used by medical professionals. At the core of the programs are high-quality medical calculators, a portable drug companion, and a drug interaction guide.

In addition to these basic functions, there are specialized medical PDA programs designed for different specific applications. For example, the Clinical Rotation Companion is designed as a quick and simple-to-use resource for medical students and residents in a hospital-based setting.

The Emergency Medicine Suite is geared to practitioners in the Emergency Department. It includes an emergency medical database organized to help with diagnosis, treatment and disposition.

The Primary Care Plus Suite is designed for physicians in both the ambulatory care and hospital care settings. This provides a detailed description and discussion of disorders and disease a primary care physician will see in an office or in-patient practice.

Learn more at www.pepid.com.

HP Shows Off Touchless “Wall of Touch”

Hewlett Packard is showing off the wall of the future, well I'd like to call it that.

The “wall of touch”, is an interactive touch screen wall comprised of up to nine 43 inch to 46 inch, 1.5 inch thick panels with a resolution of 1080p. Driven by an H-P Z800 workstation, the wall acts as a large immersive H-P TouchSmart computer both in terms of content and resolution. Users can access cable feeds, satellite feeds, downloaded and streaming content from the web such as YouTube, Hulu.com, and social networking sites, as well view DVR and DVD content.

The wall utilizes a touchless system employing a mechanism that uses optical cameras and a magnetic strip to detect when users are approaching the wall. Simply move your hand around in the area of one of the screens and the pointer tracks along. For us shorter users that wouldn't be able to reach all four corners of the screens, the wall of touch will also work with a standard keyboard and mouse.



HP first began working on the “wall of touch” prototype about a year ago. The prototype gained the interest of several companies including the NBA and Continental Airline. Both of which are currently showing off the device.

He said “wall of touch” will not be widely available to consumers until 2011, and would likely come with a hefty price tag: anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to $100,000 for more advanced systems with technologies like HD video conferencing.

This new touchless wall reminds me of the surround gaming wall from the Gerard Butler movie Gamer. Imagine the immersive gaming possibilities of a surround style setup capable of interpreting all of a users gestures.

Intel Slashes Prices On A Few CPUs

Intel has dropped the price on three of it's mainstream CPU's this week.

The 2.93 GHz Pentium E6500 was cut by 12 percent, from $84 to $74, while the 2.7 GHz E5400 has dropped 14 percent from $74 to $64. The 2.5 GHz Celeron E3300 saw the biggest cut of 19 percent down to $43 from $53. (full price sheet)




While the slashes only affect three chips, and none of the higher end line-ups. The news is still good for those looking to update their older systems to the newer architecture or those looking to build new low cost systems.

Pilot My-Cast by Garmin iPhone App Now Available

Digital CycloneSM, Inc., a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd., the global leader in satellite navigation, announced today that Pilot My-Cast by Garmin is available immediately for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Pilot My-Cast by Garmin is a premium aviation weather, flight planning and flight filing application exclusively for customers in the U.S. and Canada.


“We’ve designed the iPhone and iPod Touch version of Pilot My-Cast from the ground up,” said Craig Burfeind, president of Digital Cyclone, a subsidiary of Garmin. “Our customers range from the student pilot who has taken their introductory flight to executives of general aviation companies. Pilots who use Pilot My-Cast, tell us they can’t live without it. They appreciate that we tailor the information to their flight. They input their route, and then Pilot My-Cast overlays the flight path with the weather – no other aviation weather app gives pilots this much customization.”

The iPhone and iPod Touch version of Pilot My-Cast is designed to take advantage of the devices’ gesture-based user interface, and includes five intuitive menu tabs at the bottom of the page: routes, flight plan, weather, airport information and settings.
 
  • Routes: Create a route to any airport, fix or VOR in the United States or Canada. The route, or flight path, may then be viewed on a map with a weather overlay so that pilots can immediately see if their desired flight path is near threatening weather. Pilot My-Cast is currently the only aviation application that overlays a route and weather information. 
  • Flight Plan: Create and file a flight plan with a few screen touches and send the information directly to the DUAT(s) providers. Pilot My-Cast stores the most recently filed flight plan, so pilots only need to alter information that has changed from earlier flights. 
  • Weather: View current and predicted weather information including NEXRAD Radar, METARs and TAFs displayed in text and graphic formats, panable weather maps, infrared and visible satellite loops, lightning data, SIGMETs, AIRMETs, PIREPs, NOTAMs, winds aloft and more.  
  • Airport Information: Access the AOPA Airport Directory, one of the most comprehensive sources of airport information that includes information for over 5,300 public-use airports and more than 7,000 FBOs, such as pilot services, ground transportation, lodging, restaurants and local attractions.Settings: Customize Pilot My-Cast with aircraft and pilot specific information. Also, link to flyGarmin.com and view information about other Garmin portable and panel mount products, such as if the portable device’s databases are current.

Compared to other aviation weather cell phone applications, Pilot My-Cast is unique because it receives aviation data directly from the foremost providers, such as the National Weather Service, Environment Canada, and Federal Aviation Administration. Thanks to these direct relationships, customers who use Pilot My-Cast by Garmin will receive the same up-to-the-minute information that they would if using a desktop computer with Internet service.

Pilot my-Cast for the iPhone and iPod Touch are available in the app store for a monthly fee of $9.99, or an annual subscription of $99.99. To order Pilot My-Cast or to see a list of other supported phones, visit www.digitalcyclone.com/pilot

Source: Garmin

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Win a Trip to the Game Developers Conference 2010 From Intel

The Intel Software Developer Network is giving one lucky dev an 5 Day All Access Pass to the Spring 2010 Game Developers Conference (March 9-13), plus 5 nights at the W Hotel in San Francisco.




To enter game developers must evaluate their game using one of the new Intel Software Assessment Tools.
Once you've evaluated your app simply visit the contest page here and enter.

As an added bonus all submitted entries will receive a free solar mobile phone charger, simply for submitted an app. Not an Intel Software Partner Program Member? That doesn't matter you still have time to Join now for FREE.

The fine print
Contest Description
The GDC10 competition runs from December 7th, 2009 11:59 pm (Pacific time) through February 12th, 2010 11:59 pm (Pacific time). The GDC10 competition is open to Intel® Software Partner Program members who have completed the following steps:
Started or completed a software project that has been enabled for Intel Multi-Core Technology and/or Intel® Graphics Technology;
Successfully uploaded a Multi-Core and/ or Graphics Tool Report File after running the corresponding Software Assessment Tool(s);
Completed the GDC 10 competition entry form, including both contest questions at the bottom of this form.
Multiple software projects meeting the above criteria may be submitted as separate entries.

How To Enter:
  1. You must be an Intel Software Partner Program member with either an open or closed project to enter this competition. New members are welcome to join Intel Software partner program and open a project plan in order to participate.
  2. Download and run the Intel® Software Assessment Tool for Graphics or Multi-core on against any of your open or closed projects, and submit the Tool Report File.
  3. Complete an on-line Entry Form on the GDC10 Campaign landing page. The Entry Form has two sections that are key to the Competition and to selecting winners 1) submit a creative idea for an online or at-GDC promotion for your software, in 50 words or less 2) Tell us how we can improve your experience with Intel® Software Assessment Tools. All fields on the Entry Form must be completed to be eligible for the Competition.

Prizes

One Grand Prize Trip Package to GDC10:
A winner for one Grand Prize of a trip package to DC10 will be selected. This package includes:
  • 5 (five) night’s accommodations for 1 (one), March 8-13, 2010 at the W Hotel San Francisco;
  • One All Access Pass to the GDC 10 Conference;
  • Online and/or at-GDC co-promotion of your software, as determined appropriate by Intel Software Partner Program and as agreed to by the Winner.
The online co-marketing campaign will be developed by an Intel-approved agency pending final approval by an Intel representative. Campaign material development will be for the completed application and will be done in conjunction with an Intel-approved vendor and may include marketing materials in online format. An Intel representative will be designated as the winner’s campaign contact and will discuss campaign specifics. Intel brand and legal restrictions will apply to campaign materials. Prize is only for campaign materials and no additional services or subscriptions are included. Winner agrees that the Grand Prize marketing campaign is being provided “as is,” and Intel makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee regarding marketing campaign outcomes, such as acquiring customers or selling products. NO CASH PAYMENT TO THE WINNER. This Trip Package to GDC10 prize has an estimated value of US$5,000.00.
Travel costs including airfare are NOT included in this prize, except as specified below in the “Latin America Special Travel Bonus”

  • Solar Mobile Phone Charger: For the duration of the Campaign, every US-based completed entry will receive one Solar Mobile Phone Charger. Limit of one charger per entry, to be delivered to the individual and address listed on the Contest Entry Form.
  • Latin America Special Travel Bonus: Intel Software Partner Program members based in any Latin America country that win the competition will also get an US$800.00 airfare reimbursement (with proof of purchase).
How to win- Competition Judging Criteria: All submitted eligible entries will be evaluated and judged by a panel of judges from Intel based on the following criteria:
  • Evaluation of creativity, marketing impact and innovation of proposed online marketing campaign to promotion your software application.
  • Evaluation of suggested improvement to the Intel Software Assessment Tool user experience that, if implemented, provides high benefit to other users.
All decisions of the judges are made at the judges’ sole discretion and are final in all matters relating to this Competition.
  • Odds of Winning: Odds of winning depend on the total number of eligible entries received.
  • Timelines: All eligible entry forms must be submitted by 11:59pm (Pacific time), February 12th, 2010 to be eligible for the Competition and all eligible entries will be judged by February 28th 2010. The Winner will be notified by email and/or telephone no later than March 1, 2010.
  • How to Claim Your Prize: For the Grand Prize, you will be contacted by an Intel representative by March 1st, 2010. The winner must meet all eligibility requirements set forth in these Official Competition Rules to qualify for the prize. The prize winner must complete eligibility and liability/publicity release or the prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. The winner’s name may be published by Intel in program-related communications and/or on the Intel Software Partner Program Web site. Prize winners will be notified based on contact information supplied by Participants, the accuracy of which information is the responsibility of the Participants. In the event a Participant cannot be contacted as determined in the sole discretion of Intel, or a winner rejects a Prize, an alternative winner will be identified.

Monday, January 18, 2010

PowerColor Announces the ''DirectX 11 Experience'' Contest

Video card manufacturer PowerColor today announced the "How was your first time? DX11 Experience!" contest asking users for artistic picture of themselves and their "First time DX11 experience." The final winner who beats other original pictures from other 3 communities will get a fantastic PowerColor PCS+ HD5870. The other 3 winners join the final and represent each community will also get a brand new PowerColor PCS+ HD5770!

The rules of this competition are simple, just submit a picture of your first DX11 experience moment, you're reaction, or you're cat reaction to your reaction, anything that might relate to your first DX11 Experience! You just have to hope that others will vote for you as the most original.

This competition has five communities as partners where you can submit your picture, later the community you submitted your picture will vote for the most original one to represent their community. The winner of each community will get brand new PowerColor PCS+ 5770.

When each community has found its winner will then go on direct competition with the other communities winners in a voting that will be held here to find the craziest picture of all. The global winner will receive a brand new PowerColor PCS+ 5870.

Participating communities include, TechPowerUp, HardwareHeaven, HardwareLuxx and MeriStation.

Schedule:
The submissions for this competition are open from January 18th to January 31st, 2010. Communities will cast their voting to select their winner from February 1st to February 3rd, 2010. Winners of each community will be posted on the competition main page on 4th February for worldwide voting that ends on 11st of February, 2010. The worldwide winner will be announced on 12nd of February, 2010.

Rules
1. You must be 16 years or older to participate.
2. You must own the submitted picture / have the rights to use it.
3. Participants are required to upload their pictures both in the main competition page and the community they choose to participate.
4. No plagiarism of any kind. If you copy you will be disqualified and publicly humiliated
5. It's a open to creativity competition, you can post pictures of anything that might relate to your first DX11 Experience, your reaction, your room's door scratched from your dog that wanted to go for a walk and you were too entertained to remember, well anything original just be creative!
6. Pictures can include artwork and be modified.
7. No pornography, nudity, profanity, nor any kind of material that might be offensive.
8. In case of tie, each community administrator will ultimately choose the winner
9. Only one participation per user/person allowed.
10. PowerColor will do everything in their power to ensure a speedy delivery of all of the prizes.
11. PowerColor and its partners reserves the right to refuse entry into the competition, and any entrant found cheating, plagiarizing, or generally following un-sportsmanlike behavior will be instantly disqualified.
12. No responsibility will be taken for lost entries.
13. These rules may change at any time and you must accept these changes.
14. By submitting your first entry, you have confirmed your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Apple Tablet Coming January 27?

Apple has confirmed a special event will be held January 27 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco by sending out invitations to select media outlets. The event will take place at 10am PST. While the invitation is very nonspecific there are hints that indicate that it will be related to creative activities. Just what those creative actives might be are open to much speculation.



The invite, "Come see our latest creation," leaves a lot to the imagination as to what Apple has up its sleeve. But the rumor mill has been very busy of late speculating that Apple will be releasing some type of tablet device over the next couple of months. Could this big even mark the release of said device or will it be something else?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This Week In Cell Phones: Google, AT&T And Verizon Slash Prices

This week we've seen three great money savings announcements, two companies cutting plan costs and a $100 price drop for a popular new phone.

AT&T and Verizon Slash Plan Rates

Verizon Wireless and AT&T both have announced plans to cut the price of their unlimited calling plans. Beginning Jan. 18, both companies will drop the fees for their  unlimited talk plans to $69.99 a month or for just $89.99 you can upgrade to unlimited calls and texts.

Verizon’s unlimited voice plan for individuals was $99.99, with unlimited text and video messages costing $119.99, according to the carrier’s Web site. AT&T is cutting the price of its unlimited voice plans from $99.99 a month, according to the Dallas-based company’s Web site.

The new AT&T plans include:
  • Feature Phone customers now have the option of unlimited talk plans for $69.99 a month per person or $119.99 a month for a family plan with two lines included. The unlimited texting plans remain $20 a month for individuals or $30 a month for the Family Talk plan.
  • Quick Messaging Device customers may now choose unlimited talk for $69.99, and Family Talk customers may choose unlimited talk for $119.99 per month (two lines included). These plans require a minimum of $20 per month for individual plans and $30 per month for Family Talk plans in texting and/or Web browsing packages for new and upgrading customers.
  • All AT&T smartphone customers, including iPhone owners, can now buy unlimited voice and data for $99.99. For smartphone customers with Family Talk plans, unlimited voice and data is now available for $179.99 (two lines included). Texting plans remain unchanged at $20 for unlimited plans for individuals, $30 for Family Talk Plans.
The new Verizon plans include:

  • Verizon Nationwide Unlimited Talk plan that allows customers to call anyone in the United States for $69.99 monthly access or a Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text plan to call and send text, picture and video messages to anyone in the country for $89.99 monthly access.
  • Nationwide Family SharePlans will also have new unlimited options. Nationwide Unlimited Talk Family SharePlans will be $119.99 monthly access while the Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text Family SharePlans will be $149.99 monthly access. All Family SharePlan pricing includes the first two lines of service. Standard text message rates will apply for customers on the Nationwide Unlimited Talk plans who do not sign up for a text messaging bundle.

Google Drops Nexus One Price By $100 For Existing T-Mobile Customers

When Google originally announced the the Nexus One it was released with a $379 price tag for existing T-Mobile customers with data plans wishing to re-up their contract to a new two year agreement with the company. At that time users without data plans or new customers were paying $279. Earlier this week Google announced they'd slash a $100 off the phone price meaning the Nexus One will cost all existing T-Mobile subscribers the same price of $279.

T-Mobile customers with data plans that originally paid the $379 fee for their Nexus One are being refunded the $100 difference.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Linux Foundation launches Job Board

Are you a Linux tech looking for a new job, then you might want to head over to the Linux Foundation. They just announced the launch of a new jobs portal on their community driven Linux.com website.

The foundation's Linux Jobs Board features options for not only job seekers but job posters as well. For those posting there are two options: Jobs can be posted on Linux.com only, with prices starting at $99 for 15 days, or jobs can be posted on both Linux.com and with JobThread Network, which reaches more than 50 additional publishing sites. The Linux.com and JobThread Network option costs 49 cents per matching view.

Job seekers, have several options at hand including the ability to add their LinkedIn details on their Linux.com profile, including resumes, the option to browse job categories or search by location. You also have the option to subscribe to the Linux.com Jobs Board RSS feed and receive e-mail alerts or follow Linux-related job opportunities on Twitter.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Upgrading Your GPU, So Easy A Monkey Can Do It

The folks over at AMD definitely have a good sense of humor and this new video proves it! "Louie the monkey" shows us that performing a video card upgrade truly is "So easy, a monkey can do it!"

Google, Microsoft, Other Tech Companies Pledge Millions To Haiti

Google, Microsoft, Apple and several other top tech companies have pledge to donate millions of dollars in disaster relief aid to Haiti following the January 12 earthquake.

"In order to help the people of Haiti respond to this catastrophe, Google is donating $1 million to organizations on the ground that are rescuing those still trapped and providing clean water, food, medical care, shelter and support for those affected," Jacquelline Fuller and Prem Ramaswami of the Google Crisis Response Team wrote in an Official Google blog posting.

In addition Google has reached out to the YouTube community for help. A Spotlight on the YouTube homepage drives traffic to videos from Oxfam and the American Red Cross, where you can make donations to relief efforts. 

Microsoft has announced it is making an initial commitment of $1.25 million, which includes cash and in-kind contributions.

Other support efforts include:

  • By activating our Disaster Response team- a dedicated group that plans how our company, people and partners can be mobilized during issues such as this-  through outreach to lead government, inter-government and non-government agencies involved in leading local and global response efforts. We’re currently engaged with humanitarian relief organizations to assess how we can make a difference.  More information on Microsoft Disaster Response is on our Microsoft Corporate Citizenship website.
  • We have issued an appeal to our employees to support the relief organizations working in Haiti – we match our US based employees donations up to a maximum of $12,000 per employee.
  • We are working with impacted customers and partners to help get critical systems up and running.
  • We are helping drive awareness and donations for relief efforts through MSN and Bing.
  • The NetHope Emergency Working Group was activated last night to set up the basic telecommunications communications between the relief agencies operating in the affected areas.
  • The NetHope Haiti Emergency Center (a secure Sharepoint application used by all of the NetHope members) is active and serves as a focal point for all reports, events, contact lists and collaboration.
  • Microsoft is committed to supporting the immediate relief and rescue efforts in Haiti and we are working with our NGO partners to provide the necessary support.

Other tech related organizations that have pledge support include Salesforce.com, which has set up a special donation page on its Website, for funneling Haiti-earmarked funds to the Red Cross and World Vision. Apple has also got into the act by placing a "Haiti Earthquake Relief Donate Here" button on iTunes.

Beware Possible Scams

The good in people often brings out the worst in other and there is always someone out there looking to cash in. The FBI has warned that there are several major sites, email scams and other related issue facing potential donors.

People should apply a "critical eye" to requests for financial donations. "Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes," the FBI said in its advisory.

Scam e-mails are already emerging. Symantec noted a so-called 419-style e-mail that purported to come from the British Red Cross. The fake British Red Cross e-mail uses the real London address of the organization, according to Mathew Nisbet, a malware data analyst with Symantec Hosted Services. The contact e-mail for the British Red Cross is wrong, however, and the organization doesn't collect donations using the Western Union money transfer service, either.

Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter Net Income

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter revenue of $10.6 billion. The company reported operating income of $2.5 billion, net income of $2.3 billion and EPS of 40 cents.

For 2009 Intel posted revenue of $35.1 billion. The company reported full-year operating income of $5.7 billion, net income of $4.4 billion and EPS of 77 cents. The company generated more than $11 billion in cash from operations and paid cash dividends of $3.1 billion.

Fourth-Quarter Results

  • Revenue $10.6 Billion, up $2.3 Billion and 28% Year-over-Year
  • Record Gross Margin of 65%, up 12 Points Year-over-Year
  • Operating Income $2.5 Billion, up $958 Million and 62% Year-over-Year
  • Net Income $2.3 Billion, up $2.0 Billion and 875% Year-over-Year
  • EPS 40 Cents, up 36 Cents Year-over-Year

Fourth-Quarter Results, Excluding the Settlement Agreement with AMD

  • Non-GAAP Operating Income $3.7 Billion, up $2.2 Billion and 143% Year-over-Year
  • Non-GAAP Net Income $3.1 Billion, up $2.3 Billion and 267% Year-over-Year
  • Non-GAAP EPS 55 Cents, up 40 Cents Year-over-Year

Source: Intel

Google Docs Offers 1GB Free File Storage Why No One Should Care

Free online storage is a great thing if it comes in a quantity that really makes a difference, however Google's latest offering of 1GB of free cloud storage using the Google Docs web interface just isn't that.

Sure 1GB might might be ok for some users in the enterprise arena that wish to share a few small documents but for the common user that just isn't enough to get excited about. To start with your files can be no larger than 250MB. This quota counts only against uploaded files not associated with one of the file type supported by Google Docs. In other words, file types that don’t count against your storage include spreadsheets (xls, xlsx, csv, ods, txt, tsv, or tsb format), documents (HTML, txt, doc, docx, rtf, odt, or sxw format), and presentations (ppt or pps format). That would also include items such as PDF files, graphics, raw photos and even unedited home videos, however these would have to be fairly short to fit the size limitations.

Now don't get me wrong I like the ease of use that Google Docs offers and you do have the option of buying additional storage for $0.25 per GB per year, but come on guys a single gigabyte? I've been testing put.io and they offer 50GBs. Heck most everyone these days has a website or access to a free website with hosting that will offer more than 1GB of storage. Even most ISPs these days give you a reasonable amount of storage space. If you really wanted to throw something out there why not toss us 5Gbs?

Other Options

For those of you that know 1GB just isn't enough to get around on these days there are a few other alternatives. Yeah they aren't Google but hey Google has enough of our service these days don't they.


Dropbox offers 2GBs of free online storage
Windows SkyDrive  features 25Gbs
put.io this is a company currently in beta testing of file sharing/file storage site that mainly offers media streaming
Mozy they offer 2GBs of free storage
iDrive 2GBs of storage with tons of features
ZumoDrive another free 2Gbs of file sharing and storage

As mentioned check with your ISP most everyone these days offers at min. amount of storage space.

Intel Science Talent Search 2010

Three-Hundred Young Scientists to be Honored as Semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search 2010

Three-hundred seniors from 175 high schools across the country will be named semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search 2010, a program of Society for Science & the Public. As America's oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition, the Intel Science Talent Search brings together the best and brightest young scientific minds in America to compete for $1.25 million in awards. Each semifinalist receives a $1,000 award from the Intel Foundation with an additional $1,000 going to his or her respective school, resulting in $600,000 in total semifinalist awards.


The Intel Science Talent Search encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and develop the skills to solve the problems of tomorrow. Projects submitted for consideration cover all disciplines of science, including biochemistry, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, behavioral science, and medicine and health.

Semifinalists were selected from 1,736 entrants, up from 1,608 last year, and hail from 37 states and the District of Columbia. To learn about specific semifinalists and view a state-by-state breakdown, visit www.societyforscience.org after 4 p.m. EST.

On Jan. 27, 40 of the 300 semifinalists will be named finalists and will gather in Washington, D.C. from March 11-16 to compete for more than $630,000 in awards from the Intel Foundation. The winners will be selected based on rigorous judging sessions and announced at a black-tie gala award ceremony at the National Building Museum on March 16. The grand prize is a $100,000 award; the remaining top 10 will receive awards totaling $305,000.

More Information
To view ongoing updates about the Intel Science Talent Search 2010, join the Facebook group at www.facebook.com/pages/Inspired-by-Education/32855637280 and follow Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/intelinspire.

To learn more about the Intel Education Initiative, visit www.intel.com/education and the CSR@Intel blog at blogs.intel.com/csr. To join Intel's community of people sharing their voices for change in global education, visit www.inspiredbyeducation.com.

To learn more about Society for Science & the Public, visit www.societyforscience.org.

Source: Intel

Facebook Teams With McAfee To Fight Malware

Facebook has made a bold move to attempt to beef up its security and improve the integrity of its social networking platform by teaming with security giant McAfee Inc. to offer a free antivirus trial to all their users.

Facebook has begun rolling out advertisements with the news of the free six-month trial download of McAfee's Internet Security Suite (along with a discounted price once the six months are up). The software used in tandem with a new light-weight PC scanning and malware removal tool McAfee has developed should help users detect and remove not only spyware but possible phishing hijacks.


McAfee Facebook remediation tool scans hijacked accounts that have been temporarily suspended due to suspicious activity. The tool scans to detect if your account has been compromised by a malicious third-party via a phishing attack. Once the scan is complete should a users PC shows as compromised a security trigger is set off McAfee jumps into action and will prompt you to use a free McAfee Scan and Repair program.

In order to get your free six months' subscription, simply log into your Facebook account, go to the McAfee Facebook page, and click "Become a Fan." Once you are a fan, you'll be able to download the free software by going to the "Protect Your PC" tab--you will be asked to provide a credit card. Facebook says your card will not be charged until the six months is up (and you can cancel before that).

Social Networks Under Attack
Facebook is not alone when it comes to attacks on social networks. Almost every major site it there has faced their share of threats. One of the largest such threats was the social networking worm Koobface, which plagued the site of the last two years. Despite many measures taken Facebook as well as Twitter and MySpace have seen steady rises in the number of accounts being hijacked.

The new services aren't meant to be a magic bullet however when used properly (updated regularly and scanned often) they should help prevent some of the issues we all face. Even then keep in mind this is only one good step toward protecting users from malware, it's still important for users to use common sense and protect themselves. Take steps that go beyond malware protection to ensure your Facebook profile is secure: set proper privacy restrictions, don't share phone numbers and addresses at all, and don't click on links that look sketchy.