May 31, 2007

Google Gears - Offline Functionality for Web Apps

Web applications bring your data online and make it available anywhere there's an Internet connection. But happens when you're on a plane or when you can't find a WiFi hotspot?

Google launched an open source browser extension for IE and Firefox called Google Gears that enables web applications to be available offline.

"Gears is an incremental improvement to the web as it is today. It adds just enough to AJAX to make current web applications work offline. Gears today covers what we think is the minimal set of primitives required for offline apps. It is still a bit rough and in need of polish, but we are releasing it early because we think the best way to make Gears really useful is to evolve it into an open standard. We are releasing Gears as an open source project and we are working with Adobe, Mozilla and Opera and other industry partners to make sure that Gears is the right solution for everyone," explains Google.

Once you install the extension, every Gears-enabled web application will ask your permission before storing data offline.

Depending on the functionality implemented in the application, Google Gears caches resource files so they're available offline, stores data in a SQLite database that has powerful search features and synchronizes data in the background.

Google Gears will enable you to read the most recent messages from Gmail while offline or to edit your documents in Google Docs even without a network connection.

Google Reader is the first Google application powered by Gears. To enter the offline mode, just click on the small arrow and all the recent feed items are downloaded to your computer. You can disconnect from the Internet or click on "work offline" in your browser and you will still be able to read your favorite feeds in Google Reader. Like in any feed reader installed on your computer. Well, almost, because Google Reader doesn't download images or other multimedia files embedded in the posts.

You can even close Google Reader's tab and try to load the site again: it will instantly show the cached data. Try to add tags to a post or star it; once you go back online, Google Reader will synchronize the data.

P.S.: Another nice update in Google Reader is that you can see the exact number of unread posts for each feed. Google Reader learned to count beyond 100.

YouTube enters the Living Room - Move May Backfire for Apple

Watch Youtube in your Living Room

Apple wants you to watch live internet videos from Youtube on your large television screens through Apple TV. They will soon provide a free software update to make your Apple TV compatible with YouTube.

Users can browse video categories, search and play any video from while relaxing on the living room sofa. YouTube members can also log-in to their YouTube accounts on Apple TV to view and save their favorite videos.

Are you excited with the idea of Apple offering internet video outside the computer ?

Apple TV requires high-definition widescreen TV while most YouTube videos have a 320x240 pixel resolution. Will you enjoy watching pixelated video content and listening to sub-standard audio on you expensive television set ?


Blackle - Black version of google

Blackle is nothing but a black version of google. I appreciate the concept Ontkush came up with.

“A few months ago, TreeHugger Mark Ontkush wrote a post on his blog EcoIron titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year. The post lays out the following train of thought. “An all white web page uses about 74 watts to display, while an all black page uses only 59 watts.” Google, which has a white background and gets about “200 million queries a day” could reduce global energy use by 750 Megawatt-hours a year by simply changing the color of its homepage to black.In response to this post a black version of Google emerged called
According to Blackle’s homepage at publication time, 4,408.917 Watt hours have been saved by. Nice ideas. But how does the search measure up? Very well indeed. Give it a whirl yourself and start saving energy one search at a time. ::

So here’s your site:

May 29, 2007

Zune Crosses The 1 Million Mark

Microsoft claims it has sold over 1 million units of its 30 GB MP3 player, Zune, launched nine months ago.

President of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, Robbie Bach told the San Francisco Chronicle it has already passed the million mark, and Zune now has a 10 percent market share in the hard-disk-based music player category.


Google Buys GreenBorder, Web Sandbox

Google bought GreenBorder, a Mountain View-based company that creates security software designed to protect a computer as you surf the web. According to Silicon Valley Watcher, GreenBorder developed "an easy solution to virus, spyware, and trojan threats by isolating each Internet session from the rest of the PC and earlier Internet sessions. The beauty of the Green Border Pro software is it doesn't need to be updated to guard against new virus signatures or new types of malware. It creates a secluded, virtual Internet session and when you are done, it flushes everything away, in your cache and in temporary files."

The application was initially a sandbox for Internet Explorer, but now it also supports Firefox and lets you open files downloaded from the Internet in a virtual environment. Each application protected by GreenBorder has a colored border around the window, so you know you're safe.


Airtel 'Voice Chat' on Fixed Lines

Airtel has introduced a 'Voice Chat' service on its fixed lines, a service the company claims will add a whole new dimension to communication, while safeguarding the security and anonymity of customers.

With 'Voice Chat' Airtel fixed line customers will be able to talk or chat anonymously with other Airtel mobile and fixed line customers across the country.

Airtel says the service will enable fixed line customers search for friends from among total strangers, without having to reveal their identities.

To avail the service, Airtel fixed line customers need to simply call *694, and register their profile.

Once registered, customers can then search for profiles with similar interests to chat with or to extend invitations for chat.

Users would retain the option to accept or reject these invites, says Airtel. This makes for both security and anonymity, the company feels.

And, users would also have the options of Call Back and Direct Calling on their chat IDs.


May 27, 2007

Kingston Receives Validation for DDR3

Kingston has announced that its DDR3 1066MHz memory modules have been validated on Intel reference platforms (PMO).

"As Kingston prepares for the industry migration to the new DDR3 memory technology, having validation on Intel Reference Platforms is critical to indicating we have a ready solution for PC system manufacturers, motherboard builders and the early adopter community," said Rajesh Panicker, country mManager, Kingston Technology, India.


EU Warns Google About Questionable Privacy Practices

The European Union's data protection watchdog, known as the Article 29 Working Group, has issued a letter warning Google that its data retention policies may be in violation of EU laws.

The BBC reports that EU data protection commissioners who serve on the Article 29 panel are concerned about the search giant's practice of keeping personal search records for two years.

Google tracks and stores all queries, associating search terms and history with individual users based on their unique IP address. While the company has stated that the records are sued to monitor and improve its search-related services, critics charge that the data could be used to profile users and pry into their personal lives.

The EU effort to reign in Google's privacy policies has the backing of the Union's Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini, who has affirmed that he "considers those questions raised by the letter to be appropriate and legitimate," according to an EU spokesman.

A Google spokeswoman confirmed that the EU privacy group is concerned about the company "keeping information about people's search for a definite period of time ranging from 18 to 24 months." She told the BBC that Google plans to address the EU complaints prior to the data protection panel's next meeting in late June.

Screenshots of YouTube's New Player

YouTube tests a new version of its player that will improve the way you interact with videos and will create a cinematic experience.

The player will add a feature that was already available in Google Video: jump to any part of the video even if the video isn't fully downloaded.

For each video, you'll be able to see around ten related videos. You don't have to wait until the video ends to play a new one because they're available as thumbnails if you hover over the video. The effect is similar to the dock from Mac OS X. You can also click on the two arrows to go to the previous / next video.

The "menu" button gives you access to the embedding code or to the URL of the YouTube page that shows the video. If you click on the button, the video is smoothly minimized in the left corner and it continues to play.


May 26, 2007

Future-Watch:- Google as a Personal Assistant

Google wants to be more than a search engine that finds some pages on the web in response to a query. Google wants to become a personal assistant that organizes your information, enhances the search results based on your preferences and recommends interesting things for the future.

Eric Schmidt was quoted by Financial Times to say: "The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as 'What shall I do tomorrow?' and 'What job shall I take?' ". While the questions seem tough or too important to be answered by a search engine, Google's goal is to transform all the information gathered from your queries, actions and options into something useful. Unlike your ISP, Google allows you to use its search engine without creating an account and is transparent about your options.

Of course, a personal assistant needs to be trustworthy because you provide it with your personal information. It also needs to show up at work whenever you need it, anticipate your actions without being annoying, do background researches to answer your questions properly, prioritize information according to your interests.

Who knows, maybe in the future Google - the personal assistant - will know more about you than yourself. But it will hopefully be more subtle than the now defunct Clippy.

May 25, 2007

Symantec Puts India on 'Red Alert'

Red Alert! The Indian ecosystem is found to be under threat from viruses, malicious codes, bots, command-control servers, spammers, phishers, the works. Symantec says so in its latest Internet Security Threat Report.

As part of the report, Symantec researchers have discovered that India is a hub for no less than over 40 command-control servers.

And Mumbai has the highest number of bot-infected computers, accounting for 38 percent of the total; followed by New Delhi with 25 percent; Bangalore with 15 percent; and Chennai with 10 percent.

Prabhat Kumar Singh, Director of Security Response, Symnantec, says they have detected a per day average of 277 active bot-infected computers functioning in the country. Meanwhile in the Asia-Pacific region, 19,095 active bot-infected computers are found to be operational every day.

Further, in terms of hosting phishing Web sites, India ranks 14th, with Mumbai accounting for 30 percent of total such Web sites; followed closely by Delhi with 29 percent; and Bangalore and Chennai each 12 percent.

Again, India stands at number 18 among spam producing countries, accounting for 1 percent of all the spam that originates globally.

Singh elaborates that close to 76 percent of messages originating in India are considered spam, and that this happens to be higher than the worldwide average of 59 percent.

Interestingly, the survey reveals that 84 percent of the attacks on India originate in the US, while 68 percent of the attacks on USA originate in India.

The study has also found the rise of a new kind of malicious code named 'Bancos' in the second half of last year. 'Bancos' steals online banking usernames and passwords. And Symantec is of the view that this is one area that will dominate the Indian threat scenario in the months to come.

Doordarshan Mobile TV Pilot in Delhi

State-owned broadcaster, Doordarshan (DD), has launched a mobile TV pilot service on cell phones, currently limited to subscribers in some parts of New Delhi, says a PTI report.

Inaugurating the service, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, PR Dasmunsi, exclaimed that this is a 'great moment' for Doordarshan.

Currently available only on DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld) compliant mobile handsets, to subscribers within a radius of 10 to 12 kilometers from Akashvani Bhawan on Parliament Street, New Delhi, the free service has already been kicked-off by DD.

As of now, there are 8 channels being beamed; namely, DD National, DD News, DD Sports, DD Bharati, DD Urdu, DD Punjabi, DD Bangla, and DD Podhigai.

Available from 5.30am to 12 at midnight, the service does not involve any other levy by any mobile service provider.

Commenting on availability, BS Lalli, CEO of Prasar Bharati, said initially, 8 channels will be available on handsets, to be soon stepped-up to 16.

Adding to this, A S Guin, Engineer-in-Chief at Prasar Bharati, said the service will be expanded to 16 channels within 6 to 8 months, and that after covering Delhi, it would be taken to other metros within an 18 months time frame.

Presently, analogue studio recording is transmitted to satellites that convert the same into digital signals. At the viewer's end, digital signals are once again downgraded to analogue by televisions or set-top-boxes.

Reportedly, Doordarshan has about 1,400 analogue transmitters of varying power. In Guin's view, all satellite channels of DD would be digitalized by 2017 at studio and transmitter levels.

DVB-H compliant handsets have already been announced by Nokia and Samsung. While currently, these handsets cost in the region of Rs 30,000 and above, DD expects other companies to come out with cheaper handsets in the range of Rs 18,000.

Google Talk Gadget with Emoticons

The showy Google Talk Gadget has three sets of emoticons. You know, just in case you want to express your feelings and you can't find the words.

May 23, 2007

Gmail Doubles Maximum Attachment Size to 20 MB

Gmail upgraded the maximum attachment size from 10 MB to 20 MB. Gmail was quite forgiving and you could send more than 10 MB in some cases, but now it's possible to send at least 20 MB in one message.

Of course, few mail providers will accept a such a big message, so it's safe to send messages bigger than 10 MB to other Gmail accounts, to Yahoo Mail Plus or to other premium accounts.

It would be nice if Gmail showed a progress bar for the upload and if uploading files to Gmail was faster and more reliable. But maybe we're asking too much.

May 17, 2007

World's First 12.1 Megapixel Digicam

Sony has introduced the world's first 12.1-megapixel compact digital camera, the Cybershot DSC-W200.

The company says that the DSC-W200 combines an amazing detail of 12.1-megapixel resolution with high sensitivity for shooting without a flash even in very low light.

Besides, the DSC-W200 has advanced high-tech features like Face Detection, D-range optimization, in-camera retouching, and red-eye reduction, along with Super SteadyShot image stabilization that keeps blur to a minimum, the company says. And for shooting and sharing on location, it has a large 2.5-inch LCD screen that makes viewing exceptionally easy.

With a compact Silver Aluminium body, the camera also has high definition (HD) output for displaying still images on HDTV screens, optical viewfinder, and Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lens.

Sony says the DSC-W200, which has more megapixels than most digital cameras, is able to capture greater image definition to enable big prints and tight crops without losing sight of detail.

The advanced Super Hole Accumulated Diode (HAD) CCD design allows more light to pass through each pixel, thus increasing sensitivity and reducing noise.

Other key features include: Sony Bionz processor for improved picture quality and high-speed operation; DRO technology for automatic contrast and exposure correction; HD slideshow with music for playback on camera LCD screen or HDTV; up to 300 shots with LCD screen on; MPEG Movie VX (VGA 30fps movie mode with audio); PictBridge for direct connection to printer without need for PC; and 31MB of internal memory.

The camera has an on-screen function guide, along with an on-screen menu in choice of 17 languages, including Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

The camera is supplied with a rechargeable battery, charger, AV and USB cables, wrist strap, and is compatible with a wide range of optional Sony accessories.

Meanwhile, the DSC-W200 will be available within a month's time in India through Sony branded stores, and will likely carry a price tag of Rs 17,000 approximately.

Yahoo! India Launches oneSearch Beta

Yahoo! oneSearch Beta, Yahoo!'s mobile search service, is now available to Indian users and can be accessed through Yahoo!’s mobile Web site, on any mobile phone with a browser and Internet access.

David Ko, vice president and general manager, Connected Life Asia said, "Consumers want search on their mobile phone to be entirely different from search on the PC. Yahoo! oneSearch is designed specifically for the mobile phone. It understands what busy consumers are looking for when they are on the move and brings up relevant answers in the first screen. Yahoo! oneSearch delivers better results with just one search, instead of a sea of Web links to PC sites."

Google to Upgrade its Search Engine

Google's search engine will soon move to a 'Universal Search Model' and the search giant has announced its first step in that direction. According to Google, the Universal Search Model is designed to offer users a more integrated way to search for and view information online. Google has also introduced an updated homepage design and several new navigation features in the first phase of the transition.

Representatives say Google will attempt to ultimately search across all its content sources, compare and rank all the information in real time, and deliver a single, integrated set of search results. The company will incorporate information from a variety of previously separate sources including videos, images, news, maps, books, and websites into a single set of results.


MORE@Google Labs

Hindi Podcasting Service PodBharti Launched

India's first Hindi podcast targeted towards the Hindi-speaking audience in the country and abroad has been launched.

The brainchild of Maharashtra based blogger duo Debashish Chakrabarty and Shashi Singh Podbharti looks to provide a coverage of news and views about Indian language blogging, tools and technology, current affairs and the entertainment industry. has also partnered with English Podcast The Indicast.

Aditya Mhatre and Abhishek Kumar, co-producers of The Indicast are fairly positive about the ti-up. "There are lots of podcasts being done purely in French, Spanish etc, but there has been none in an Indian language, so it's a great idea to produce a Hindi-centric podcast. Podbharti fills in a huge gap", said Mhatre.


Google Launches New Design, Universal Search and a Site for Search Experiments

At the Searchology event that happened today at the Googleplex, Google talked about the past, the present and the future of search. They explained that search is a difficult subject with a lot of problems yet to be solved, but search is still Google's core competency.

Universal Search

Google launched the universal search that adds news, images, videos, books and local results in the standard results. "Google's vision for universal search is to ultimately search across all its content sources, compare and rank all the information in real time, and deliver a single, integrated set of search results that offers users precisely what they are looking for."

This screenshot shows a video integrated in the main search results and a Plus Box that lets you view the video inline. And in the case of Nosferatu, you can see the whole movie.

New Design

The interface we talked about last month will also be live for everyone. Google adds a horizontal navigation menu to all of its services, but the menu will feature different links based on the page you're currently viewing. Everything will go live in a few hours.


Upcoming Video Games for 2008

Here’s a quick look into some upcoming video games set to be released in 2008. Some were only showing as 2008 releases, while others had more specific dates…

APB (Xbox 360)
Castle Crashers (Xbox 360)
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures - 2.8.2008 (Xbox 360)
Final Fantasy Versus XIII (PS3)
Gran Turismo 5 Q1 2008 (PS3)
Hail to the Chimp - Q2 2008 (Wii, Xbox 360)
Heavy Rain (PS3, Xbox 360)
Iron Man Q2 2008 (PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
Kung Fu Panda - 6.30.2008 (PS2)
L.A. Noire (PS3, Xbox 360)
LEGO Batman: The Video Game (Wii)
Major League Baseball 2K8 - 3.30.2008 (PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
Marvel Universe Online (Xbox 360)
Mushroom Men - 6.30.2008 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Naruto - (Xbox 360)
Postal III - Q1 2008 (Xbox 360)
Puzzle Trek - (Xbox Live Arcade)
Resident Evil 5 - (Xbox 360, PS3)
Resistance: Fall of Man Sequel - (PS3)
Saboteur - (Xbox 360, PS3)
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel - Q1 2008 (Xbox 360)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Q2 2008 (PS3, Xbox 360)


DDR3 vs. DDR2

About three years ago DDR2 memory first appeared on the desktop PC scene. It would be impossible to say it burst on the scene since it was introduced with the unimpressive Intel NetBurst processors. In that market DDR2 was more like a trickle since it was mainly a curiosity for a processor that was running a distant second place to the leading AMD Athlon chips, which were still powered by DDR memory.

DDR2 finally became the universal standard last May/June when AMD switched to DDR2 on their new AM2 platform and Intel introduced Core 2 Duo, the new CPU performance leader. Core 2 Duo resided on socket 775, which also was fed by DDR2. While it sometimes seems like centuries ago, it is worth remembering that Intel Core 2 Duo regained the CPU performance crown less than a year ago, and the two years prior to that all the fastest systems used AMD Athlon 64/X2/FX processors.


To provide compatibility and interchangeability for computer memory, the structure and form factor are controlled by a standards organization known as JEDEC. JEDEC specifies voltages, speeds, timings, communication protocols, bank addressing, and many other factors in the design and development of memory DIMMs. Taking a closer look at publications at can provide insight into what DDR3 brings to the market and where it might go. Comparing DDR2 and DDR3 several interesting points stand out.

Official JEDEC Specifications

Rated Speed 400-800 Mbps 800-1600 Mbps
Vdd/Vddq 1.8V +/- 0.1V 1.5V +/- 0.075V
Internal Banks 4 8
Termination Limited All DQ signals
Topology Conventional T Fly-by
Driver Control OCD Calibration Self Calibration with ZQ
Thermal Sensor No Yes (Optional)

Please keep in mind that JEDEC specs are official. They are a starting point for enthusiast memory companies. However, since there was never a JEDEC standard for memory faster than DDR-400 then DDR memory running at faster speeds is really overclocked DDR-400. Similarly DDR2 memory faster than DDR2-800 is actually overclocked DDR2-800 since there is currently no official JEDEC spec for DDR2-1066.

Lots MORE...

Gmail's PowerPoint Viewer

The Spanish blog Dirson found a new feature in Gmail that lets you view the attached PowerPoint presentations as a slideshow. Until now you could only download the attachment or view it as stripped-down HTML file.

It's interesting to see this new feature, not long before Google launches the promised presentation tool for Google Docs. The slideshow included in Gmail uses Flash, while most Google tools use AJAX, and seems inspired by Picasa Web Albums.

Among the features, there's an interesting "embed this presentation" that should let you include a presentation into a site. But it's not functional yet.


May 14, 2007

Sony Launches Social Network, Vaio Nation

Sony has launched a social networking website with an emphasis on film and music. Users of the new Viao Nation website will be able to create individual pages and blogs, with their own films or music, which can then be voted on by other members of the community.

Representatives say Vaio Nation is a free online community, designed to showcase the brightest talent in film and music, across the world. The website states, "Vaio nation helps users Connect directly with each other, through blogs. The most popular clips will be featured in the 'Vaio Nation Charts' (HYPE), providing a real opportunity for anyone to get noticed. Here users will also find the best tunes and videos that Vaio Nation has to offer."

The website will also have news, reviews and comments about the content, from Sony’s in-house writers and critics. Several artists, including Norman Jay MBE and Bafta-winning film director Daniel Mulloy are already involved with Vaio Nation, from the world of Film and Music.

Later in the year Sony will be adding sections on fashion and design as well.

May 10, 2007

Reliance to Launch Social Networking Website

Reliance ADA group, the company behind casual gaming portal, have launched a social networking website,, in the alpha stage. Currently, the website is accessible to internet users only via invitation, since it is in the testing phase and the company is looking for user feedback for creating and modifying features. According to representatives, the website is expected to be out in the beta stage by the end of May 2007.

Representatives say the website will have a web 2.0 format with features such as blogs, forums, video support and communities, tailored for the Indian youth. The website doubles up as a video sharing site, with a dedicated section for users' videos, in categories ranging across Bollywood, animations, short films, travel and DIY , among others. The site also features regional videos in Indian languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Bhoijpuri and others. Communities range from politics to entertainment and users have the ability to create their own public or private community, called 'adda'.

Besides these features, the website has an internal search engine blogs and forums while the team is encouraging its current selected users to contribute with their ideas for further development.

Microsoft Wants to Build, Not Buy, Software

Microsoft's success in the IT industry is no secret. The company tends to make a big success out of most businesses it decides to try out. When the software giant does fall behind the competition however, it turns to a vast sum of money and either acquires or simply demolishes the competition out of noticeable existence.

In a meeting held by Microsoft's business division president Jeff Raikes this week, Microsoft announced that it will now take a different approach when it comes to business software: build, not buy. What Microsoft will bank on is creating new software based on current an in-house developed portfolio of software that includes SQL Server and Office.

For the past several years, Microsoft purchased many small companies, absorbing their assets and intellectual property. The fruits of its acquisitions usually end well, and the company has demonstrated its tactics since the very early days of DOS -- which was written by an individual software developer and then bought by Microsoft during its startup years.

"I've never been opposed to the idea of looking at players in the industry. We've looked, to be quite honest. We just thought organic development would get us to the real solution faster," said Raikes.


Fidg’t: Central Control of Social Networks

fidgt.jpgPresenting at Innovate!Europe 2007 today is Santa Monica based PROTOMOBL with a product called Fidg’t, that aims to make social network management easier.

The concept is simple: a centralized control point for social networks. Fidg’t brings together contacts from across multiple networks and platforms allowing for the easier leveraging of social networks from the one place.

Fidg’t mobile is also a fully fledged online Instant Messaging platform that provides similar functionality to Trillian and Meebo with support for AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and MSN/ Windows Live Messenger. Media handling on the mobile version includes the ability to post directly to Flickr or stream content from

The Fidg’t Visualization Tool has a wow factor to it. The tech behind it might not be exciting but visually it’s stunning (the video below probably doesn’t do it full justice). It does however require a download. Windows, Mac and Linux are all supported.


May 7, 2007

Class action filed against Google, YouTube

Google and YouTube have been hit with a proposed class-action lawsuit by England's Football Association Premier League Ltd. and independent music publisher Bourne Co., alleging massive copyright infringement and encouraging other content owners whose videos have appeared on YouTube to join the suit.

"Defendants are pursuing a deliberate strategy of engaging in, permitting, encouraging and facilitating massive copyright infringement on the YouTube Web site," the lawsuit states.

The complaint, filed Friday in New York federal court, alleges that YouTube has purposely refused to remove copyrighted works from its site or employ "readily available technology" to prevent the infringement. Google, which bought the site in November for $1.65 billion, encourages YouTube to continue allowing copyrighted works to be posted by users, the lawsuit claims.


Future-Watch:-HP HDX Pavilion Laptop

HP plans to release the HDX Pavilion laptop that I'm sure will get some style into laptops. It features a massive 20-inch screen coupled with a remote. Vuilt using the Santa Rosa, the laptop can act as a very powerful workstation, gaming and an entertainment system as well.

No confirmed reports of configuration and availability yet. I guess we'll have to wait till Santa Rosa releases officially.

Microsoft, Yahoo! to Co-operate?

With all the speculation over Microsoft pursuing a Yahoo! acquisition on the one hand, and on the other, counter speculation regarding possible pitfalls of such an integration, latest reports have cleared the air... to a certain extent...

It is learnt that Microsoft-Yahoo! merger talks are no longer active, even as possibilities of mutual co-operation between the two remain.

Which means, there is still room for Microsoft and Yahoo! to cooperate as part of a partnership or a JV (joint venture), in which Microsoft will likely spin-off some of its online properties to Yahoo!, a report in the Wall Street Journal says.

The report reads, "both companies discussed a possible merger or other match-up that would pair their respective strengths."

A Microsoft-Yahoo! merger, had it happened, was being seen as a potentially powerful combined front versus Google's dominance of online search and advertising.


Nvidia touts 'world's fastest GPU'

Back in February, GamePro (Digital Arts sister magazine) published a report claiming that the current video card war had shifted heavily in ATI's favour, as more complaints arose from consumers regarding incompatibility between NVIDIA's 8800 series cards and DirectX 10 on Windows Vista.

But it seems that NVIDIA has already begun its counter attack. Thursday, the company announced that it will release another video card that not only runs an average of 10 to 15 per cent faster than its previous record-breaking model, the GeForce 8800 GTX, but is also fully tuned for use with DirectX 10. Called the GeForce 8800 Ultra, this new GPU wields 768MB of video memory, and will be available to consumers starting May 15.


Technorati Removes Alexa Rankings, Explains Blog Authority

As you can see in the before-n-after screenshots above, Technorati has made some minor changes to their Blog Profile pages [example].

This Technorati design changes are not to prevent Technorati Gaming but there two significant developments:

1. Technorati has removed the Alexa Traffic charts and daily post count from blog profile pages.

2. Technorati no longer displays the links cosmos number [how many blog posts and unique blogs are linking]


May 5, 2007

Microsoft may take Yahoo for $50 Billion

Microsoft is reportedly rethinking a possible acquisition of Yahoo for an estimated Wall Street price tag of $50 billion. According to the NYPost, “Microsoft has intensified its pursuit of a deal with Yahoo!, asking the company to re-enter formal negotiations…”

Ever since Google grabbed DoubleClick in April, the pressure has increased. Mashable, tells us, Microsoft and Yahoo! “combined would command 27% of the search market against Google’s 65%.” Obviously a smart by on Microsoft’s part.

May 4, 2007

7 New Nokia Phones after June

Nokia today announced 7 new entry-level phones for the Indian market.

The new phones include: the Nokia 1200 and 1208, the Nokia 1650 and 2660, the Nokia 2505, and the Nokia 2630 and 2760.

Speaking at the launch, Soren Petersen, Senior Vice President for Mobile Phones, Nokia, said, India is very important to Nokia, and to the global mobile communications industry as a whole.

Petersen said, one of the fastest growing markets in the world, India is also home to several Nokia facilities, including R&D and manufacturing.

The Nokia 1200 and 1208 sport new phone-sharing and call-tracking technology, and are aimed at first-time mobile phone users.

Both comtemporary phones, the Nokia 1650 and 2660 are an attempt at marrying functionality and attractive design.

The Nokia 2505 is one of Nokia's sleekest looking fold-style phones for the CDMA market. A unique smooth-back design makes the phone ergonomic enough to both hold and ferry around in a purse or pocket.

At a mere 9.9mm, the Nokia 2630 could qualify as the thinnest handset in Nokia's armory. Both the 2630 and the 2760 are designed for the fashion-conscious, while retaining Nokia's easy-to-use feature set.

All 7 phones will be available in the second half of this year, most likely after June. They will be priced between EUR 35 and EUR 90, which translates anywhere between Rs 1,925 and Rs 4,950.

Yahoo To Announce Closure of Yahoo Photos Tomorrow

I am at a dinner event with Brad Garlinghouse (Yahoo SVP Communications & Communities) and Stewart Butterfield (Cofounder Flickr) are sitting at my table and told me that they will announce the closure of Yahoo Photos tomorrow. The actual closure will occur over the next few months, they say. The service will be shutdown in favor of the newer and more modern Flickr, which they acquired in March of 2005. There has long been an issue at Yahoo! where newer services have competed with older services, and Yahoo! have finally taken some strong action to getting their house in order with a consistent set of product offerings.


Upcoming Gmail Features

Gmail's translation messages include a lot of references to features that were tested and might be released to the public. Among them:

* Skip spam classifier as an action for a filter.

* Information about your login: "This account is open in N other locations", "Last account activity".

* Attach inline images.

* View attached images as a slideshow.

* Multi-user conversations in Gmail Chat.

* Integration with AIM in Gmail Chat.


Tech-Crunch:-Virtual Rape Is Traumatic, but Is It a Crime?

Last month, two Belgian publications reported that the Brussels police have begun an investigation into a citizen's allegations of rape -- in Second Life.

I am half convinced that the tantalizingly brief story, printed in De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws, is a hoax or an April Fool's joke.

Yet it has prompted several threads of discussion, from a legal analysis to four pages of commentary at the Second Citizen forums.

Unfortunately, rape in virtual spaces is not unheard of. And I'm not talking about the "consensual" rape built into some games (although if you're interested in that debate, GameGrene has a good conversation about it).

There is no question that forced online sexual activity -- whether through text, animation, malicious scripts or other means -- is real; and is a traumatic experience that can have a profound and unpleasant aftermath, shaking your faith in yourself, in the community, in the platform, even in sex itself.


May 3, 2007


hey ppl....
i welcome my very good fren sohit ahuja.... to passiontech... sohit will contribute to passiontech.. so now u'll have lots more news n stuff....

Yahoo! Puts IM Inside Web Browsers

Yahoo Inc., the world's second-largest supplier of instant-messaging, has begun offering a new version that works inside a Web browser rather than requiring users to download a separate piece of software.

By dispensing with the need to install and run a separate IM program, Yahoo is looking to reach out to tens of millions of consumers around the world who use the Web in Internet cafes instead of on personal computers at work or at home.

The move also appeals to travellers, business professionals on the go and office workers whose companies block IM software downloads on their internal networks for security reasons.

"Too many people have been restricted from benefiting from this type of communication," Brad Garlinghouse, Yahoo's senior vice president in charge of communications, said in an interview.


Robot can climb walls, ceilings and glass

Wall-Climbing Robot

Researchers at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University have created a robot capable of climbing walls and glass at a rate of six centimeters per second. As Technology Review tells us, “Such robots could, among other applications, be used to inspect the hulls of spacecraft for damage.” This robot has two triangular wheel-like legs with three foot pads and a tail allowing it to move easily, even from wall to ceiling. It uses a dry elastomer adhesive to stick, but they are testing a new fiber on its feet that should make it five times stickier. Watch it in action below…

Disney Targets Pre-Teens with New Social Networking Portal

Disney has joined the ever growing list social networking destinations with the launch of Disney Xtreme Digital, targeted directly at Disney’s core market of pre-teens.

The new service, said perhaps lazily by some outlets as being a MySpace clone, comes complete with user generated profile pages that leverage the wealth of Disney’s pre-teen friendly content in terms of allowing customization, as well as offering the standard competitions, video, music, games and networking features. Naturally Disney has also included strong parental controls, that include the ability to limit access access to the various features on the site, including chat.

The service currently opens in beta, with users restricted to the United States only.


Free Push Email for Mobile Phone Users in India

Mobile Phone subscribers in India need not envy the Blackberry crowd any more as they can now convert their regular cell phones or smartphones into a Blackberry like push mail devices for free.

Mobile Phone Push Mail
Consilient (former partner of RIM) today entered the Indian market with their free push e-mail service that will bring your GMail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or any other POP3 / IMAP mail right on the cell phone screen. Consilient Push Mail also supports most file attachments including PDF, ZIP, Excel and Word.


May 2, 2007

Future-Watch:-Pentagon to Merge Next-Gen Binoculars With Soldiers' Brains

Darpa says a soldier's brain can be monitored in real time, with an EEG picking up "neural signatures" that indicate target detection.
Image: Darpa

U.S. Special Forces may soon have a strange and powerful new weapon in their arsenal: a pair of high-tech binoculars 10 times more powerful than anything available today, augmented by an alerting system that literally taps the wearer's prefrontal cortex to warn of furtive threats detected by the soldier's subconscious.

In a new effort dubbed "Luke's Binoculars" -- after the high-tech binoculars Luke Skywalker uses in Star Wars -- the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is setting out to create its own version of this science-fiction hardware. And while the Pentagon's R&D arm often focuses on technologies 20 years out, this new effort is dramatically different -- Darpa says it expects to have prototypes in the hands of soldiers in three years.

The agency claims no scientific breakthrough is needed on the project -- formally called the Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System. Instead, Darpa hopes to integrate technologies that have been simmering in laboratories for years, ranging from flat-field, wide-angle optics, to the use of advanced electroencephalograms, or EEGs, to rapidly recognize brainwave signatures.

In March, Darpa held a meeting in Arlington, Virginia, for scientists and defense contractors who might participate in the project. According to the presentations from the meeting, the agency wants the binoculars to have a range of 1,000 to 10,000 meters, compared to the current generation, which can see out only 300 to 1,000 meters. Darpa also wants the binoculars to provide a 120-degree field of view and be able to spot moving vehicles as far as 10 kilometers away.


Google accused of 'massive copyright infringement'

An organisation of more than 8,000 authors accused Google Inc of "massive copyright infringement" saying the powerful Internet search engine cannot put their books in the public domain for commercial use without permission.

"The authors' works are contained in certain public and university libraries and have not been licensed for commercial use," The Author's Guild Inc. said in the lawsuit in US District Court in Manhattan.

The lawsuit asked the court to block Google from copying the books so the authors would not suffer irreparable harm by being deprived of the right to control reproduction of their works. It sought class-action status on behalf of anyone or any entity with a copyright to a literary work at the University of Michigan library.


Let’s fight this out:-Google Responds to Viacom’s Lawsuit

Google responded to Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit over alleged YouTube copyright infringement today. Their answer: Let’s fight this out, in front of a jury.

We earlier predicted that there was no way Google would agree to a settlement with Viacom that involved any damages, and assumed that they would work to sign a licensing deal instead and convince Viacom to simply settle the lawsuit. Viacom later signaled that they weren’t much interested in a deal when they agreed to provide content to Joost and then did a search advertising deal with Yahoo instead of Google.

I have visions of bloggers fighting to get a good seat at the trial, and live blogging the entire thing. The fate of YouTube’s buisness model, as well as many other web startups, will likely be linked to the outcome of this litigation.