Monday, June 30, 2008

Russian Search Engine: Where Google Isn't Goliath

"Want to know the distance from Moscow to St. Petersburg, the best place in town for borscht, or the weather in Novosibirsk? In most of the world you might Google the answer. But a Russian would more likely "Yandex" it. Few outside of Russia have heard of the Yandex search engine, but that may soon change. Yandex has 44 percent of the Russian market -- 10 points ahead of Google -- and is now the No. 2 search outfit in Europe, according to researcher comScore. Yandex is expected to list its shares on Nasdaq this fall, fetching as much as $2 billion. "

read more | digg story

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The iPhone's Next Frontier: Porn????

"Jeremy Caplan writes that Apple may be golden because of the iPhone, but the soon-to-be-updated device is also increasingly the source of forbidden fruit. Steve Jobs' company is keeping a civil, if embarrassed, silence on one of the potentially most lucrative and controversial uses of its handheld jewel: porn.

Leading porn purveyors see the iPhone as a dream come true. Its relatively ample screen size, speedy Web access and ease of use are just part of it. The device's miniaturized version of Apple's Safari software simplifies mobile access and streamlines the process of tailoring dirty sites for optimal viewing on the go. "It's by far the porn-friendliest phone," says Devan Cypher, representative for San Francisco–based Sin City Entertainment.

Opposition to iPhone porn, however, may grow as well. The genre's availability could spark new demand for mobile-phone porn blockers, as parents realize that children could access adult content on Apple's device. "Our iPhone 2.0 software will give customers the opportunity to turn on parental controls," says Apple spokeswoman Bowcock. Some parents may not be tech-savvy enough to figure that out, though, and some kids may be clever enough to find a work-around. "If a minor with one of these phones pokes around, he could easily access adult sites without his parents' knowledge," says Holden, who authored "Adult Content in the Palm of Your Hand," Juniper's latest research report."

Read the full Time story The iPhone's Next Frontier: Porn

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

100 Miles Per Gallon? Hypermilers Do It All The Time

Hypermilers practice such unorthodox techniques as coasting for blocks with their car's engine turned off, driving far below speed limits on the freeway, pumping up tire pressure far beyond car and tire makers' recommendations and carefully manipulating the gas pedal to avoid fuel-burning excess.Most drivers would take a victory lap if they managed to squeeze that kind of mileage out of increasingly precious gasoline. Even on this, a bad day, Hudgin coaxed 28 mpg more out of his 2000 Honda Insight hybrid than its federal highway mpg rating.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Attack Of The iPhone Killers

"It's like a scene from a bad horror movie. Samsung and Research in Motion are among the companies trundling down the steps into the basement. And down there, waiting for them, is Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and his chainsaw collection. Dudes, don't go down there. 

Apple's easy-to-use, media-friendly gizmo has cut deeply into the smart phone market. Six months after putting out the iPhone last year, Apple had seized 26.7% of the U.S. market in the final quarter of 2007. The assault was put on pause--with Apple dipping to just 19.2% of the market during the first quarter--as Apple reloaded with a faster iPhone. After it goes on sale July 11, however, it's going to be a long, hard year for Apple's rivals."

read more | digg story

Friday, June 20, 2008

Apple news for the week

The Moscow News is reporting that Apple Hesitating to Sell Its New iPhone in Russia. "At an annual software conference in San Francisco, Steve Jobs, the founder and head of Apple Inc., presented a new model of the popular iPhone communicator for 3G networks. Russia and China may have felt left out, however - Apple does not yet plan to sell the latest version of its phone in these countries. But they should not worry - anyone in either country will be able to buy the fashionable device, no matter what Jobs says. As more phones are dumped on the American market than it can absorb, some of the extra ones will find their way to distributors who unlock them (a simple enough procedure) and send them on to Russia. For Apple, this is a win-win situation: they corner new markets without investing a cent in services networks."

Speedy up Mac OS X for free with Secrets

iPhone is HOT and it seems just about everyone is talking about Apples little phone that could change the way people use their phones check out some of the articles from this week: Why the new iPhone will squash BlackBerry, Selling big business on the iPhone, How the iPhone puts a bomb under mobile networks, Why the iPhone 3G is a gold mine for Apple, even at $199, Why iPhone Wannabes Don't Cut It.

There have been a number of reports this week about security flaws in XP (no big surprise), FireFox, and one possible new one for OS X. I always give the standard warning don't use P2P software and download programs as you will get more then you bargained for with this new little AppleScript.

Ashley Highfield, BBC executive, Reviews Ubuntu

Ashley Highfield, Director of BBC Future Media and Technology has given Ubuntu a road-test on his BBC blog and provides a pretty positive review, testing a number of different use-cases of the system including wireless networks, picture editing, iPlayer, updates, webcam support and more.

read more | digg story

New Sony HD Camcorder doesn't require you to say 'cheese'

The Sony HDR-CX12 HD shoots 1080i video in the AVCHD format, using a CMOS sensor that’s especially effective in low light. Just start recording video and the 10 megapixel camera built in to the Sony HDR-CX12 HD Camcorder will snap off a sequence of frames as soon as your subject begins to smile while still recording video. Among the dozens of resulting frames, there’s bound to be one that looks near-perfect. Release date 07/23/2008 $900.

read more | digg story

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hidden Feature of OS X Printing: CUPS

The Great Office War - Watch more free videos

A little-known secret service of OS X (and many Linux distros, as well) is CUPS, a printer management system. It is more powerful than the built-in GUI, but the GUI interfaces with the same daemon (also part of CUPS). The networking functionality and settings are really neat. Its really configurable, too, with a config file similar to Apache’s. It's also an excellent tool for fixing printer weird problems. If your having trouble seeing shared printers hosted by Mac's running older versions of OS X then click here

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why You Should Download Firefox 3 Right Now

"Firefox 3 — the culmination of a two-year quest to build the best browser ever. And while it’s not perfect, it comes pretty close. It’s faster than Microsoft Internet Explorer, but it’s not the fastest browser in the world — depending on who you ask, either Safari on the Mac or Opera 9.5 claims that crown. Firefox 3 is also incomplete by design — users can customize the browser, adding additional bells and whistles through downloadable extensions (see our list of recommended extensions for some ideas). "

read more | digg story

Monday, June 16, 2008

Apple's open secret: SproutCore is Cocoa for the Web

One of the biggest revelations at WWDC was quietly unveiled in a session on Friday morning entitled "Building Native Look-and-Feel Web Applications Using SproutCore." While Apple maintained high security during the entire NDA-sealed WWDC session, the secret of SproutCore is out because it is an open source project and people can't stop talking about it. Using SproutCore enabled Apple to deliver a new suite of online apps in MobileMe for a cross platform audience. The natural next step will be to expand those offerings to include others, for example, iWork productivity apps. Because SproutCore is offered under the open source MIT license, anyone can use it to develop their own highly responsive web apps. It also seems likely that Apple will at some point invite third parties to deliver MobileMe applications, either included as part of the subscription service, or with their own nominal fee. That would mirror the company's efforts in creating a mobile software market in the Phone Apps Store.

read more | digg story

IE8 development: Microsoft should learn from Apple, Mozilla

"IE8 should make things a lot better. To really tackle this problem, Microsoft will need to be a lot more open about its plans for the browser and offer updates far more frequently. Both WebKit (the rendering engine of Safari) and Firefox offer nightly builds, and even the commercial Opera browser has weekly builds available. These regular releases make it much quicker for bug fixes to get into developers' hands, making it easier for them to update their sites now rather than having to wait months between betas. Internet Explorer is hemorrhaging market share, thanks to its virtual abandonment between about 2001 and 2006 and the rapid progress by competing browsers. To stop losing ground to Firefox and Safari, Internet Explorer needs to stand head and shoulders above both of them. But with Microsoft's lack of clear objectives, infrequent releases, and poor communication, IE8 will be struggling to even achieve parity with its competitors."

read more | digg story

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Opera 9.5 Released

Opera 9.5 is available for download today. Direct from the Opera blog page here are the new features:

Opera Link: Your bookmarks, Speed Dial and even notes taken in the Opera browser can follow you anywhere. Opera Link keeps you synchronized between any Opera 9.5 desktop browser and Opera Mini, Opera's free browser for your mobile phone. In Opera 9.5 write a note - copy directions, create shopping lists or jot down anything you need to remember - and access it on any Opera 9.5 browser by simply logging in.

Find anything: Remember a word from a page you've read earlier? Find that page easily with Quick Find. Just enter a word in the address bar to find matching text from any page you have visited.

Looking sharp: Opera makes a move to modernize its look and feel to a sharp new skin with clean lines and clear icons. The 'New Tab' button and other elements have been modified to make the switch to a better Web experience more intuitive. You may also select any of our platform-specific skins to help Opera's appearance adapt to your operating system of choice.

Strengthened defense against malware and phishing: Opera's Fraud Protection not only protects you from fraudulent Web sites, it is now the first browser publically available to protect you from malware and other malicious software on the Web. Powered by Haute Secure, Netcraft, and PhishTank, Opera's Fraud Protection technology automatically blocks offending Web pages to keep you out of harm's way.

Speed: Opera continues to lead in performance. Opera 9.5 makes dramatic speed improvements to the e-mail client, RSS feeds and the browser itself, so you can spend more time getting things done online.

"Opera 9.5 represents the culmination of two years spent listening to our community and transforming our browser to add features and capabilities they have requested," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera. "Opera 9.5 offers new possibilities and capabilities. It's faster, lighter and pushes us further out in front of other browsers, by blending the mobile and desktop worlds together in new and powerful ways. We invite everyone to join us as we continue to shape the way the Web will evolve."

Opera 9.5 - beautifully engineered

Monday, June 9, 2008

WWDC 2008 news

A new 3G iPhone will be released shortly and you can  view todays keynote details here. The iPhone 3G (8/16 GB) will be available on July 11th in 22 countries. Other then 3G the iPhone will also feature Exchange and GPS. According to Apple, maximum price around the world is $199 USD plus the cost of your data plan per month. 

The iPhone 3G will first be released in the 22 largest markets: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US. The remaining 48 countries listed after the break will get theirs "later this year." In total so far the iPhone country count stands at 74.

Even though Russia and (all of) China are not on the list then if you check the iPhone tech specs you will see that their languages are now listed as supported. Apple is also replacing .Mac with MoblieMe. Apple also announced Snow Leopard (are they running low on cats yet?) at the WWDC keynote (podcast) and this release of 10.6 will offer Exchange support and will focus on improving performance. How will they do this? Well 10.6 will be 64bit for INTEL processors and they will make all of OS X multi processor aware to take full advantage of all cores. Not only will Grand Central boost speed but they will also introduce OpenCL and this will tap hidden additional resources. Yes while Microsoft is letting you upgrade from Vista to XP, Apple is really pulling out all the stops to make OS X powerhouse. While it did not make a big splash Apple is also showing off Snow Leopard Server at WWDC.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Replacement Hybrid Battery Costs Plummet

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

The gas prices in the USA are sky rocketing (currently $4.00 plus and increasing every day hybrid cars have become very popular. However still there are not many good solutions for truck drivers. However that being said "In the early part of this decade, some of the biggest worries about hybrids were how could the batteries possibly last, when would they finally give out, and how much would it cost to have them replaced. These days, concerns about batteries have largely faded out of the minds of new car buyers." However even with the price drop in the cost of batteries it's a cost to be mindful of and you might also want to consider a small car such as the Smart, Zenn or GreenVehicles, Aptera, FCX Clarity, Triac.
read more | digg story

Friday, June 6, 2008

WSJ's MOSSBERG: Mozilla Firefox 3.0 Is the Best Browser

"If you buy a new Windows Vista PC, it comes with a decent built-in Web browser, Internet Explorer 7. If you buy a new Macintosh computer, it comes with a decent built-in Web browser, Safari 3.0. So why would you want or need a different Web browser? The new version will be released simultaneously for Windows and the Mac's OS X operating system, as well as for Linux. When Firefox first came out, it was the fastest browser, but it lost that title over the years. However, in my tests, this new third version of Firefox regained the speed crown. It beat IE 7 handily on my test Windows computers and edged Safari slightly on my test Macs. My bottom line: Even though you already have a built-in browser, Firefox 3.0 can improve your Web experience."

read more | digg story

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mac OS X 10.6 code named Snow Leopard, may be pure Cocoa

Ars has learned some more details about Mac OS X 10.6. The release is code named "Snow Leopard" and will indeed be Intel-only, but there are a few other details attached to this tidbit as well. "People familiar with the situation have confirmed to us that TUAW's details are true—Snow Leopard is currently on track to come out during next January's Macworld, and it will not contain major OS changes. Instead, the release is heavily focused on performance and nailing down speed and stability. With Apple's current (and future) focus on smaller, thinner, and more mobile devices, this move makes perfect sense. Things like the MacBook Air, iPhone, iPod touch, and other mysterious devices that have yet to be announced need better performance for better battery life, and that's definitely something Apple wants to excel at in the years to come. Our sources did not note whether Apple planned to discuss Snow Leopard at this year's WWDC."

UPDATE: It's confirmed that 10.6 currently requires an INTEL chip.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Third-party iPhone applications to arrive Monday

"Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to take the stage at the Moscone Center to unveil the next-generation iPhone at the company's annual Worldwide Developers' Conference. A source at a software company that has been working on a native iPhone application tells us the company is getting ready to launch that application on Monday, which could also imply that Apple's App Store will be up and running that day."

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why Macs Still Aren't Right for Most Businesses

"There's no doubt that the Mac is a great machine. But, Is Apple too flashy? Is it more trouble than it's worth for the basic computing tasks? It seems that Apple's quirks don't alway suit small businesses least not yet. Many smart shops I chat with are dumping their Windows machines for Macs. Bottom line: If you're facing a Vista upgrade, you would be a dope to flatly ignore Apple gear. Get down to an Apple Store - or even better, use the company's nifty Apple Consultants Network to let a real pro cook up a bid for you."

read more | digg story

Monday, June 2, 2008

Backup hell and back!

Well what can I say I should practice what I preach about backups. I have always strongly encouraged my clients to backup their data however as for my data well I was always going to do it next week. So recently I had back to back disk failures. Not only did I have my main disk but also my recovery hard disk as well! No fun for sure so I thought I would blog about my experiences and perhaps some others might be saved some of the pain the I have been though.

Disk failures what can be done? Well generally there are two types of problems and both of them can be cause you heartache:
1) Physical hard disk failure. Physical hard disk failures are the type of failures in which something is physically wrong with the hard drive itself. Perhaps its making a clicking sound or the drive head scratched the platter. It’s very possible that the hard drive may not make any noise at all or that the computer doesn’t even acknowledge the hard drive’s existence.
2) Logical failure is the type of failure in which there’s nothing physically wrong with the drive itself and it working just fine. However, the information stored on the hard drive is in bad shape due to data corruption, cross linked files, bad blocks, etc.
Fist if you have a problem run the built-in tools that came with your computer for Macintosh OS X users that program is Disk Utility and older Windows users use ScanDisk or Check Disk. Windows XP users can run Check Disk by reading tech note # 315265 How to perform disk error checking in Windows XP. Sadly for most OS X users Disk Utility is not going to solve your disk problems other then repairing permissions. So far I haven't had great success with DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro. I do like Drive Genius and Data Rescue II. However some times even the best tools will not be able to save your bacon so your best off having a good backup plan.

What is a backup plan?
Well I could be very complex here but Ill make it very simple for the average user. You should have a local backup and an off site back up. Why do you need both? A local backup is great for quickly recovering a file you might have deleted. Whereas the off site backup is great in cause you suffer a natural disaster or computer theft.

What software should I use?
Well there are lots of options for sure but I am only going to cover some of the most common that I have used. 

Time Machine is great choice of any OS X 10.5 user as it's free and can be used with any USB or FireWire external hard disk. However Time Machine can be extreemly frustrating because if there is a problem your going to have a dificult time tracking down the problem and fixing it. If your interested in the gory details of how Time Machine works then I recomend reading Time Machine Exposed! by Matt Neuburg. Also if you have run into problems with your Time Capsule then check out Save the World, Save Time Machine

Backup 3 is not a bad choice if you are a .Mac user. Because with one click you can backup all or most of your data to your iDisk. However depending on the .Mac account you have then you have between 10-20GB of space and Apple is willing to sell you more. However to me this seems to be a pricy option if you plan to also backup your photos and music as I think you will go way over the default disk space.

EMC Retrospect Desktop Edition is a great choice for power users. Infact if you buy a hard disk from many vendors Retrospect Express is bundled with the hard disk for free. The Retrospect software comes with simple scripts and works with both Macintosh and Windows. if you are a power user then you can customized all your backup needs in detail. I like Retrospect and now use it rather then Time Machine.

What do you do if your want to also do off site backups and you don't want to have to think about it? Well there are some very interesting cross platform solutions such as Mozy, CrashPlansteekup.  Mozy has been my choice because they give you 2GB of storage space for Free! Folks free is hard to beat! Now if you need unlimited space then Mozy cost around $4.95 a month. Steekup seems to be the cheap at around a $1.45 a month but I have not used this service myself as I have been using Mozy and while it's no speed demon it does the job.

 Important note if you have lots of data and you don't plan on sending it to your chosen offsite service (if they offer such an option) then remember it's going to take a very long time to copy all of your data up to their server so plan for that and do keep making your local backups and if at all possible make a copy of your data and keep it in your bank safety deposit box or at your parents house in a fireproof safe. Another thing you want to consider is not using any of the off site services if you ISP is Time Warner Cable as they are now using Internet metering and the cost of backing up could become very expensive for their customers.

I try to keep an open mind so if you want to post about your backup experience with local and remote (off site) cross platform backup solutions Id love to hear about it.