Friday, September 11, 2009

The donut land on Googleplex

Before you run out of breath hearing the news that the donut update for Android is ready for primetime, please inhale a long deep mouthful of air, use a paper bag if necessary, because the donut you're expecting isn't exactly a firmware update; it's a real donut.

Well, not a real donut as in the one you usually buy and eat, it's a statue. One hella big donut statue to be precise, its size is bigger than a grown man. Google sure is one of a kind company, who has a sense of humor to placed the donut next to the already existed Android and cupcake statue at Googleplex, like you can see at the photo above.

Source is from Phandroid.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The one thing iPhone users want that Apple can't give

The Apple iPhone is one of the most savviest smartphones available right now on the market today, not just because it is so slick and sexy-slim, but also because of many things it can do with help from the abundant apps offered in App Store.

This fact has been backed up by O2, the wireless carrier who has an exclusive right to sell the iPhone in UK, a spokeperson said (via TG Daily): "The iPhone is our fastest selling handset ever and has been a phenomenal success for our business. Customer demand for both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G[S] has been outstanding."

Apple also has been improving, and still doing it, the iPhone "experience" with the new iPhone OS 3.0 software update, giving users many new features of what they've been asking for since the first gen. Like for examples are the 'cut&paste' feature, MMS, tethering, etc. But there's one thing that Apple still can't give...

According to a recent report from Strategy Analytics, called "Retaining and Attracting New Customers: Profiling the Apple iPhone User," iPhone users are demanding for better battery life. The report was made to project what iPhone users like and dislike, so it can be used to know what kind of improvements the users want in a new model.

"iPhone owners use more features on a regular basis than non-iPhone owners, with two-thirds browsing the Web and sending personal e-mails daily -- features which will considerably drain battery life," according to Paul Brown, Senior User Experience Analyst at Strategy Analytics (via PC World).

On its Technical Specifications page, Apple is stating that the iPhone 3G[S] battery has longer life than previous models:

  • Talk time: Up to 12 hours on 2G, and up to 5 hours on 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 300 hours
  • Internet use: Up to 5 hours on 3G, and up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Video playback: Up to 10 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 30 hours
Those are what Apple is claiming, but in real life that isn't all come true. iPhone users are complaining how the battery is drained too fast for a single day charge, one user called 'aart12' said: "My iPhone usage is hardly more that my use with other phones, but it barely lasts 9 hours from full charge. I have even experimented with not using the phone at all, turning off wifi, and push, and even then the full charge only lasts 10 to 11 hours. THAT is ridiculous."

Although other users are taking the battery life issue with more logical reasoning, 'tregan01' said: "The argument for a longer battery life on the iPhone is relative. If you used it as a phone, like it is, the battery life is fine and will last you all day. If, however, you're like myself and I assume most iPhone users, and use it to continuously check email, connect to the Internet, etc, then you're using the iPhone more like a portable computer, and the battery is comparable to that of any standard laptop."

Battery life has always become an issue for mobile users, because while the technology and software are keep improving rapidly from time to time, engineers haven't been able (yet) to pack more cells into smaller containers to create a long lasting battery life. Palm Prē™ users also have similar problem with battery life, especially since Palm's latest smartphone packs smaller battery size than in the iPhone 3G[S].

It is safe to say that the argument of having longer battery life in any smartphones nowadays is impossible, since we're transitioning from mobile phone to smartphone and to smaller-more-portable laptop. With more features thrown into a smartphone, it's becoming a netbook-alike even when it is already capable of taking you to surf the web with desktop experience, close but not the same.

But if you do prefer more 'dumb-er'* iPhone in exchange for better battery life, then that's probably what you're getting these days... ;-p

* Note: please forgive the pun of using this word several times on my posts, it is un-intended and the word seems to be picking up the pace lately on the net..

Scientist says Twitter makes you dumb

What is your initial reaction upon hearing that scientist believes Twitter makes you dumb?

Some will say something like; "I can't believe it!" or "Heh, I thought so.." or "Told ya..!"
Or perhaps you'll say; "So what..?"

During the British Science Festival at the University of Surrey in Guildford, Dr. Tracy Alloway of the University of Stirling revealed that Facebook users can boost their intelligence, while microbloggers are 'tweeting' their brain cells away.

Dr. Alloway learn that spending time on Facebook requires you to work on your memory, means social networking can stimulate memory skills of your brain, an important key to success and happiness than IQ. While using Twitter or watching videos on YouTube requires little use of working memory, and can have a negative effect on intelligence.

"It was a massive effect. On Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but it's also very succinct. You don't have to process that information and your attention span is being reduced and you're not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections," said Dr. Alloway.

So what do you say? Have you been using Twitter lately, how are you feeling today? ~LOL~

Source is from TG Daily.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

PA's 4th edition of "There's an app for that!": Alien attack survival kit

Another week went by since the third edition of "There's an app for that!", and now we've arrived at the fourth edition. Enough of all the serious tools and apps, it's time for something more serious than that. A couple weeks ago I've just watched District 9 movie, great movie by the way, bottom line the moral story that can be drawn from the movie is that everyone can be turned into an alien. You'll never know...

So with that serious thought in mind, I'm gathering around three apps to help you survive or thwart aliens attack, because who knows perhaps they'll come in handy for you someday.

I'll periodically release another edition when I found some interesting apps. Have a great start of the weekend y'all, and hopefully these apps can cheer you guys up.

Alien Detector

Got the feeling you're being followed by an alien that look like a human? Feeling like your best friend act strange lately? Or do you ever wonder if you were once abducted by aliens and they put bad things in your brain?

Then don't wonder around clueless any more, there's an app for that: Alien Detector. The 0.99 cents worth app will help you detect the person you suspect as an alien, here's the description from the developer: "Alien Detector is a high-tech app that with the advanced use of accelerometer simulates a sophisticated alien life form detecting device. Just tilt your iPhone/iPod Touch a little to start the measurements."

Remember, the first step to stay out of alien's way is to spot one nearby.

Zombie Survival Kit

Aliens, zombies, what so different about them if they're all after your life.
But how about if you're done chasing or running away from aliens and zombies, you're cornered and forced to face them? There's an app called Zombie Survival Kit ($0.99 cents) to help you to talk your way out with one of its many features; the Zombie Translator.

Here's the description of the aforementioned feature by the developer: "When they do approach you, try and reason with them by using the zombie translator. We have carried out market research to identify the most useful sayings to say to zombies, and have converted these sayings to audio."

Besides that, my favorite feature would be the Zombie Insulter. But use it at your own risk, because not all zombies are alike, not all of them like to be insulted by mere mortals like us.

Wave Writer

Sometimes you just can't reason with aliens and zombies, because they're basically different from us, so the best thing to do is run. But like in any horror movies, we usually end up locked in a tall building or in a remote area.

And when help is coming, which a platoon of tough soldiers in a chopper is searching for you, screaming and shreaking like a little girl won't do any good. What you can really do is to use your iPhone/iPod Touch as a beacon light to attract the rescue team, there's an app up for that task: Wave Writer.

The free app is for creating a scrolling banner that matches to the speed of your phone as you wave. The effect is that of stationary text in space exposed by the phone. It's good for attracting people's attention, just becareful on attracting alien's attention as well while you're doing it.


The last effort, when all things fail.
Inspired by the recent reports of exploding iPhones, this app will blow off your iPhone automatically once activated. Just don't forget to throw your iPhone at the aliens & zombies, otherwise...
Watch the video on how to properly use it, or how you'll end up if you don't.

SMiT joins the tablet foray with an Android MID-560

Another week means another one of those tablet topics you've been hearing lately. But this time is not from Apple or Toshiba, this time around is coming from a China-based company, in Shenzhen to be exact, called State Micro Technology Co. Ltd (SMiT in short).

The SMiT introduced its Android tablet protoype at IFA 2009 event and it's called MID-560, MID which you may already knew it stands for Mobile Internet Device is a brand and a hardware design made by Intel. The specs of the MID-560 are a bit scarce right now, but here are what we know right now:

  • Smit_mid_2 4,8" touchscreen with 800x480 resolution
  • GPS
  • 8GB Flash Memory
  • WiFi
  • 3G
  • miniUSB
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Android OS
No price and release date are mentioned yet. At the end of the video, the device is put into a car mount dock station, showing the MID-560 is going to be very useful as a GPS device on the road. How's that for you GPS lovers?

What interesting is when the MID-560 got handled on the video and the back of the device immediately reminded me of iPhone 3G's back, shown at the inset picture above. During the hands-on in the video, you'll notice there's no home button or back button on the MID-560, which is why I always hate prototype device; it shows how the manufacturer is rushing things to show off an unfinished product.

During the video interview, I can't help but to noticed that the laptop used at the SMiT's booth is a unibody MacBook running Windows XP. I bet many Apple fan(-anatic)s out there are crying to see a MacBook is being used that way... ;-p

Sources are from TechVideoBlog, via AndroidGuys.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A disguise in plain sight

The best place to hide is in plain sight.

With the increasing immoral endeavors to have Apple's MacBooks in any way they can, you should worry not only when you walk into an alley alone at night, these days you could even mugged in the middle of the street at daylight while carrying an "over-priced" laptop in a closed tight messenger bag.

An unordinary design firm in Barcelona called MiteMite is offering unusual case to disguise a laptop as a newspaper, sounds and look unnecessary? That's exactly is the point why MiteMite made it, to hide your precious device in plain sight.

MiteMite says it specialises in creating products which will spread a few more chuckles in a somewhat mundane reality (great slogan by the way..), but for a case worth $85 like that, I suppose it generates more chuckles to learn that you can actually spend just few cents for a real newspaper to cover your laptop. But for those who want to do it with more style and fun, MiteMite's product is the one for you.

Sources are from MiteMite, via New York Times blog, via Valleywag.

You can now buy friends on Facebook

Guess it all comes down to money and riches.
Got 7.6 cents? For that price, you can have a total stranger who don't really care if you're alive or not to be your friend in Facebook.

An advertising service firm called uSocial is offering friends for the right price, or if your prefer a more subtle word; for those who need friends in this dire time. Based on uSocial's calculation, one Facebook friend is worth $1 to your business in return revenue. So by linking new friends who'll become potential customers for your business, you'll be able to get in touch and give updates via Facebook or email.

The uSocial promise to deliver 5000 new friends to an appointed Facebook account, that means you'll have to fork out $654.30 for virtual love. It's the highway road to make instant base of fans, painless, no more awful rejections and blocks to deal with.

Sneaky? Nah, it's just business, nothin' personal. ;-p

I just can't imagine how long the wall in my Facebook account will be with posts from 5000 people I barely know, Brennon Slattery from PC World said it perfectly: " With Facebook friends like that, who needs spam?" ~LOL~

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Pureness is today's untainted beauty

Words are not enough to describe this minimalist beauty, you simply have to see it yourself to know why Sony Ericsson finally able to make lots of buzz around the blogosphere after a very long time of failure. The Pureness is the future of the XPERIA family line-ups, which is Sony Ericsson's brand for high-end smartphone.

Although the transparent screen of Pureness is still in monochrome, it is the first we ever see used in reality. Yeah sure, in the next 3-4 years to come, or a century later our children will laugh on how we were admiring this while they're experiencing full color transparent screen, just exactly how we laughed at the brick-sized mobile phone back then.

But nevertheless, for now let's salivate and savor the images of this XPERIA Pureness. See all of them at AreaMobile site. The smartphone is said to be offered at around 699 Euro (about US$1,000) on November.

Google's dead-simple home page design is patented

Who would have thought...
Do you know that simple yet boring Google search home page? Of course you do! (If not, just "google"-it-up ~LOL~) Well, apparently Google think it is more than what meets the eye and patented the design.

It has been five years since Google first submitted the patent design of its search result along with the home page on 2004 back then, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded the patent of what Google calls it as: "Graphical user interface for a display screen of a communications terminal"
Wow! Guess all of patents in the world always have long names for every little-short things...

So beware all of you web designers, if you're planning or already use Google's famous search home page design. Because like Ryan Tate from Valleywag said it: "In other words, ... Google owns the idea of having a giant search box in the middle of the page, with two big buttons underneath and several small links nearby" ;-p

Read the whole story and full pictures of the patent at the link above.

Toshiba starts the race for a tablet with JournE Touch

Ohkay, I admit it.. I am a bit obsessed with everythin' related to tablet right now ever since the rumors about Apple's tablet sprouted all over the net. But I guess I'm not going to be the only one, because looks like Toshiba also believes in tablet, the computer manufacturer which is largely based on Japan has started the race to market a tablet with an early introduction of its JournE Touch.

JournE Touch is a 7-inch touchscreen tablet powered by Windows Embedded (CE) OS and ARM processor, supports many media formats like: JPEG, MP3, Windows Media audio & video files, MPEG4, H.264, and including Divx.

The idea is to use the tablet with WiFi to access internet services such as YouTube, MSN Messenger, Picasa, Flickr and RSS feeds with the pre-installed IE and Windows Media Player 9.0. Toshiba plans to market the device in Europe with a different model that'll support access to the Acetrax video on demand service.

Erica Ogg from Crave reported that applications for the JournE is "when you want to access the Internet without booting your PC," said Toshiba executive Marco Perino. And it's an alternative to a smartphone, which Perino says "is not so practical because the keyboard is not the right size."

According to Martyn William's report from IDG Service (via PC World); an optional cradle adds a USB and HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interactive) connector. The latter will enable it to be hooked-up to a TV set so content photos, video or content downloaded or streamed from the Internet can be viewed on a television. The JournE has 1GB of internal memory that can be extended to up to 32GB with a plug-in SD card.

Battery life is around 14 hours, according to Toshiba, so it will last considerably longer than a laptop. It will be available later this year and will cost €249 (US$356).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gone in 31 seconds...

I remember how my ex-girlfriend loved to watch the "Gone in 60 seconds" movie which stars Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie whenever it's played in tv, me myself didn't really get what about the movie that excite her.

But upon reading the news about the burglary at Sagemore Apple Store in New Jersey a couple days ago, and after watching the video footage of the store's security camera, I think I'm beginning to understand...

Earlier this week, exactly on Wednesday, five burglars broke into the Sagemore Apple Store after smashing the glass door with a brick around 2:05AM and quickly clean up the Apple devices displayed in the store. They took 23 MacBook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPod Touches!

The burglars timed their break & entering plan right after the security guards made his rounds, they saw what they like, they entered the store, and then they all gone in only 31 seconds. Plain simple as Vini, Vidi, Vici...

Perhaps it has got somethin' to do with the excitement from rushing in and grabbing everythin' you can get your hands-on, maybe that's why women are so good whenever it comes to cleaning up the goods at the big sales... ;-p

But still, about those stolen MacBook Pros, iPhones and iPod Touches, I do hope Apple will be able to get them back in one way or another. Hopefully that "Find my iPhone" feature will finally come in handy for the company itself who made it, and let's just hope the thieves are not that stupid to bring the laptops to a Mac Genius Bar for repair. ~LOL~

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A gigantic virtual keyboard in Snow Leopard signals Apple's tablet is imminent

Well, well, well.. will ya look at that.
That's an awful big-sized virtual on-screen keyboard even for a person with low eye sight, and what is it doin' in the new Mac OS X Snow Leopard?

If it's not enough with just rumors about Apple's tablet, then we finally have a solid proof that Apple is indeed have a tablet on the work, or in fact already prepared to launch as we speak. A senior editor at Cult of Mac, Leander Kahney has found what he calls it as virtual keyboard in Snow Leopard. Quoting from Leander himself: It’s a big, bold version of the iPhone’s virtual keyboard with large keys that scream “type me!”

Leander also reminded us how different the virtual keyboard now compared to the older version in previous Mac OS versions, which the old virtual keyboard usually hidden in the “International” tab of System Preferences, and obviously it was not as big as this new one. Snow Leopard's virtual keyboard now can be stretched as wide as your screen, and Apple doesn't even bother to hide it anymore, you can activate it through these steps:

  • Go to System Preferences> Keyboard
  • Click the box “Show Keyboard & Character Viewer in menu bar
  • Go to the menu bar at top right and click “Show Keyboard Viewer

According to Leander; right now the new virtual keyboard just records the keystrokes on your physical keyboard and shows the characters that will be typed when the Option key is held down, and so on.

The huge virtual keyboard is not the only sign that Apple has prepared Snow Leopard to be used in touchscreen device, such as a tablet. Leander shows some good examples like how new features in Snow Leopard are more touch-friendly: "Look at Expose in the Dock — the new feature that reveals all an application’s open windows when you click and hold the application’s icon. It’s tailor-made for fingers. Even more convincing is Stacks in the Dock. Hit a folder icon in the dock, and up pops the folder and all its files."

That's true, lots of Snow Leopard's features have big icons (or windows). Sometimes we easily missed what is obvious in front of our eyes, and rather try too hard to see what is on the other side. Like for examples: Snow Leopard users now can see their files and documents in Cover Flow style, this again is fitting for finger-scrolling on touchscreen. The included new Safari 4 in Snow Leopard also features at-a-glance preview of users' Top sites up to 24 thumbnails on a single page, and making them accessible with just a touch.

Could these all be indicating that the Apple's tablet arrival is imminent?
Have you drool too much already, and enough to fill in a bucket? ;-p

If not, then perhaps the images above can be an assistance for you. Made by Seb_or_Sam (Flickr link), is Apple's tablet mockups of how it would work. Of course, there are some pros and cons, there are some likes and dislikes, but nevertheless the mockups help to make us dream more of the Apple's tablet.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Black Centro spotted in Entourage tv series

I've just watched the latest episode of Entourage, and spotted an obsidian black colored Centro being used by Andrew Klein (played by Gary Cole). It's pretty rare to see a character in there flashes around their cell phones for a full blown-off scene like the one above, so yeah of course I immediately noticed it. ;-p

The other phones used in Entourage new episodes lately are mostly the popular ones: the BlackBerry Bold and the iPhone 3G. Although the super agent Ari Gold (played by Jeremy Piven) is no longer use Trēo™ 650, he now use the BB Bold, it's nice to know that one of Palm's smartphones is still used in there.

Apple has prepared iPhone tethering in Snow Leopard

JPCaine (Twitter link, via the iPhone Blog) has found this little gem inside Apple's newest Mac OS X Snow Leopard: iPhone tethering icon ready in System Preferences > Network settings, like you can see at the screenshot above.

This precious small finding once again bring the question back onto the plate on the table; is AT&T the real culprit who prohibited tethering practice in iPhone? Because it's getting obvious each passing days with the mounting evidence, that AT&T is dragging down iPhone's true capabilities although Apple has made it available to be harness anytime.

And perhaps this quite obvious and a daring show-off of iPhone tethering icon in Snow Leopard could mean that Apple is about to cut loose AT&T's exclusive deal on iPhone, well I'll say it's about time don't you think?