All posts by Pallab De

Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .

Google Nexus One – Full Specs And Launch Date Revealed

Engadget is reporting that Google Nexus One will be launching on January 5. However, most of you may have to wait a bit longer, since the launch event is likely to be an invite-only affair. On what basis Google plans to hand out the invites remains a mystery, but it is likely that registered developers will be among the lucky few. The good news is that T-Mobile will start selling the phone directly to customers in the near future. However, the exact date is unknown.

Nexus-One-FrontNexus-One-Back

Engadget also managed to get their hands on the detailed specifications. Here are the highlights:

  • OS: Android 2.1
  • Height: 119 mm Width: 59.8 mm Thickness: 11.5 mm
  • Display: 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED
  • Processor: Qualcomm QSD 8250, 1 Ghz
  • Storage: 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, 4GB microSD card included (expandable up to 32 GB)
  • Camera: 5 megapixel with LED Flash
  • Connectivity: HSPA 900 / 1700 / 2100, 7.2Mbps down and 2Mbps up (This means 3g would work on T-Mobile but not on AT&T)

Nexus-One-Specification
Nexus-One-Specification-2
Nexus-One-Specification-3

Google certainly knows how to hype up a product. They have done it time and again by simply restricting availability; and they seem to be doing it again. Google first started the fire by handing out the phone to employees all around the world (which was a sure-fire way to guarantee leaks).And now, by making the initial launch event they are only adding fuel to the fire.

Opera 10.5 For Linux: What We Know

Yesterday, Opera 10.5 pre-alpha (codenamed Evenes) was released as a special gift to the small but dedicated fan base. It definitely had everyone talking.You can find our review of Opera 10.5 here. In short, Evenes is fast – really fast. It not only came close to Safari and Chrome’s JavaScript rendering speed but also defeated them in most of the benchmarks. Unfortunately the pre-alpha build was released only for Windows and Mac, leaving Linux users high and dry. But, this doesn’t mean that Opera Software has forgotten about UNIX users.

Yesterday, Opera software didn’t release a UNIX build of Evenes simply because, it wasn’t polished enough to be usable. Opera has long been criticized due to the lack of a native interface for UNIX and Mac. With Opera 10.5 for Mac, the developers have tried to address this issue by switching to the Cocoa framework. Similar treatment is planned for the Linux build too.

With Evenes, Opera Software will be ditching the QT framework. Yes, you would no longer need to have QT libraries installed in order to use Opera. This is expected to make Opera smaller and faster.

Opera-10.5-UNIX-Unstyled

Opera 10.5 will be using X Window (X11) drawing primitives. However, it will also support native styling for both Gnome and KDE. The KDE build isn’t yet ready but we do have a few screenshots for GNOME users.

Opera-10.2-UNIX
Opera 10.20 for UNIX
Opera-10.5-Unstyled-UNIX
Opera 10.50 for UNIX
Opera-10.5-GTK-styled-UNIX
Opera 10.50 for UNIX with GTK Native Styling

So, when will Opera 10.5 pre-alpha for Linux be released? When it’s ready.

Next-Gen iPhone May Have 5 Mega-pixel Camera: Will Be Launched in WWDC 2010

iPhone fans get ready – the next-gen iPhone is coming. According to reports, Apple may be preparing to introduce the new model during WWDC 2010, which will probably take place during June 2010.

Omnivision – the manufacturer of the iPhone 3GS imaging unit, is expecting the number of units ordered by Apple to grow from 20-21 million in 2009 to 40-45 million in 2010. Omnivision is also believed to have received orders for 5 mega-pixel CMOS image sensors (CIS) from Apple. This confirms the speculation that, the next generation iPhone will include a 5 mega pixel camera.

iPhone-Next-Gen-5megapixel

In 2009 alone, Apple ordered a total of 65 million CIS units from Omnivision. This enabled Omnivision to register a profit of $8.1 million in the second quarter of 2009, after being in the red for four consecutive quarters.

At the moment very little is known about the next-gen iPhone. But, Apple is definitely on the right track. An upgraded camera will help iPhone remain competitive in the face of renewed competition from the likes of Droid (and upcoming Nexus One).

Nexus One Walkthrough Hits YouTube: More Information Leaked

The Nexus One leaks are continuing to trickle in. Slowly but surely a much clearer picture about the highly anticipated Google phone is beginning to emerge. Earlier today, a rather lengthy walkthrough of the Nexus One interface appeared on YouTube. The video quality is pretty poor, but the walkthrough is definitely thorough.

Along with a video, several new snaps of Nexus One have also been leaked. All of them are available over here.

Nexus-One-FrontNexus-One-Back
The Google Phone: Nexus One
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Nexus One compared with the iPhone

Meanwhile, Gizmodo and tnkgrl were lucky enough to be able to get a hands-on with Nexus One. The hands-ons once again confirmed that, Nexus One would pose a serious challenge to Droid and may even manage to take on the much revered iPhone. Some of the things which were confirmed are:

  • The phone looks great and feels great.
  • The screen is splendid – it is vibrant and reactive.
  • Nexus One is fast – I mean really fast.
  • Nexus one supports animated and interactive wallpapers.
  • At the moment 3G works only on T-Mobile. On AT&T, the Nexus One uses EDGE.
  • Multi-touch support is not present in the browser or in Google Maps.

For hardware specification and more information about Nexus One check out our previous posts.

Jogstr Allows You to Stumble Through Digg

Do you love StumbleUpon? Do you love Digg? If the answer to both the questions is yes, then you will probably enjoy Jogstr. Jogstr is a web-service which takes the data from Digg and serves it through a StumbleUpon like interface.

Using Jogstr is simple. Just select the categories you are interested in and click on the Jogstr button. Jogstr will randomely select a recently popular item from Digg and display it. If you are only interested in a specific niche, you can also filter stories based on their sub-category. Although Jogstr displays the most popular stories by default, it is possible to configure it to stumble through the Upcoming section instead. Sharing pages is quick and painless thanks to inbuilt support for Twitter, Facebook and pretty much every social bookmarking service you have heard about.

Jogstr - Stumble Through Digg

Techie Buzz Verdict

One of the best things about StumbleUpon is the element of surprise. Once you have selected your areas of interest, it works on its own. Jogstr brings the same experience to Digg. It works really well for the Entertainment as well as Offbeat section. However for the rest of the categories, you may find the traditional Digg interface to be more useful. Jogstr is an interesting idea which has been executed nicely. Give it a try and let us know what you think about it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

[ Visit Jogstr ]

Mozilla Developer Sheds Some More Light on the New Firefox 4.0 Theme

Mozilla has been working hard on giving Firefox 4.0 a facelift. Stephen Horlander, who has been a long time Mozilla contributor, has shared some more information about the upcoming user interface (UI) changes.

Firefox-4.0-Skin
Firefox 4.0 Mockup

The new skin will eliminate the Menu Bar and instead tuck away all the options within a single application menu. This is similar to what you may have seen in Windows 7 applications like Paint and WordPad as well as the recently released Opera 10.5 pre-alpha.

The other big change in Firefox 4.0 will be the placement of the tab bar. According to current plans, the tab bar will be now positioned above the address bar. However, the tab bar will not be merged with the title bar. The title bar will be retained in order to house the application button. There will be numerous other changes all around including new icons and refined toolbar appearance.

Firefox-4.0-Skin-Changes
Firefox 4.0 vs 3.5

The Firefox 4.0 UI is still a work in progress. However, it is definitely shaping up to be an impressive update to the existing skin. What do you think about the changes? Do you prefer having a simple single menu instead of a menu bar? Don’t forget to let us know.

Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha Is Here and It Is Fast!

The wait for Opera fans is over. Opera Software has officially released Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha. Couple of days back, an internal build of Opera 10.5 had been leaked. However, the official pre-alpha is a lot more stable and contains a few extra goodies. The big new features in Opera 10.5 are:

Opera-10.5-screenshot

Carakan: The speed race just got a lot more interesting. Opera 10.5 introduces the much anticipated Carakan – Opera’s new JavaScript rendering engine. We did a quick test using the V8 Benchmark. This is what we found:

Browser-Speed-Benchmark
(higher is better)

Opera 10.5 blew away Firefox and outperformed Safari by a fair margin, but Google Chrome still reigned supreme.

HTML5: Opera 10.5 uses an updated rendering engine( Presto 2.5.18). Presto 2.5 introduces a number of new features including support for CSS3 Transitions and HTML5 features like persistent storage.

Vega: Vega is Opera’s graphics library and was previously used only to render SVG. However, in Opera 10.5 all graphics is Opera is rendered using Vega. For now Vega is a highly optimised software rendering engine, but this move definitely does open up the possibility of using hardware acceleration in the future.

Better Platform Integration: As mentioned earlier, Opera 10.5 includes better Windows 7 integration including support for taskbar thumbnails and jumplists. However, there is good news for Mac users also. Opera has finally decided to utilise the Cocoa framework, as a result of which Opera now looks and feels like a native Mac app.

Opera-Thumbnail-Tabs

Private Browsing: Opera 10.5 not only introduces Private Browsing but also puts its own spin on it. Unlike in other browsers, you don’t need to open a separate window to enter private browsing mode. Opera supports per-tab private browsing. Whenever you use a private tab, Opera will not keep a record of pages opened in that tab.

Opera-Thumbnail-Tabs

Non-modal Dialogue Boxes: Dialogue boxes are no longer in your face. Instead they are displayed as page overlays.

Various UI Improvements: There are minor UI improvements all around. The cache viewer and find have been drastically improved while the address field and search field have been retouched.

Opera-Cache-Viewer

Opera 10.5 is available for Windows and Mac users. There are some known issues including high memory usage. This build has major performance issues on older computers and it not recommended unless your processor supports SSE2. And finally, there is no UNIX build this time around.

Update: I wen’t ahead and carried out a few more tests. Opera managed to beat Chrome in both Peacekeeper and Sunspider. So, it appears that Opera is now the fastest browser available.

Browser-Speed-Benchmark
(lower is better)

InvisibleHand Ensures That You Shop At the Lowest Prices – Always

It isn’t always easy to find the best deals while shopping online. In fact most of us simply check the prices at two or three stores and make the final purchase, without even realising that shop X may be offering a special 20% Christmas discount on the same product.

Last year, we had featured a Firefox extension called FoxyPrices which automatically hunted down the prices for you. Unfortunately, FoxyPrices isn’t yet available for Google Chrome. InvisibleHand is a similar extension which works for Firefox as well as Chrome and supports US, UK and German stores.

Invisible-Hand-Firefox-Chrome-Extension

InvisibleHand is an install and forget it kind of an extension. Whenever you start browsing a supported online store it will automatically jump into action and begin searching for better deals in the background. You will be notified when a better deal has been found. It also monitors Google searches and steps in if you are searching for a product.

Techie-Buzz Verdict

InvisibleHand-Get-The-Best-PricesI know little about economics and I certainly know anything about Adam Smith’s principle of the Invisible Hand. But, I love anything which can help me save money. And InvisibleHand does just that. Price comparison services are nice and useful. However, what makes InvisibleHand awesome is that it’s completely automated. Its also fairly well executed. It works mostly in the background and is intuitive and unobtrusive. Yes, it does get things wrong sometimes. For example, it isn’t able to differentiate between an iPhone and an iPhone case. But, most of the time it gets things right. InvisibleHand’s biggest strength is that it supports a large number of stores – 50+ US stores, 45+ UK stores and 15 German stores. InvisibleHand has already helped American users save more than 10 million dollars. Give it a try if you want a hassle free way to save money while shopping online.

Techie-Buzz Verdict: 4/5 (Excellent)

[ Download InvisibleHand for Firefox and Chrome ]

Twitter May Have Finally Reached Profitability

Twitter-ProfitableTwitter has often been ridiculed due to the apparent lack of a business plan. In fact Twitter’s possible business model has been a topic of hot debate. Over the past year, it almost looked as if pundits were obsessed with figuring out/speculating how Twitter will ever manage to make money. Now BusinessWeek is reporting that, Twitter might have finally reached profitability.

We had earlier reported that, Twitter has inked content sharing deals with both Microsoft and Google. While these deals will undoubtedly bolster the concerned search engine’s real-time capabilities, they have also succeeded in pushing Twiter into the black. Twitter is believed to have received $15 million from Google and $10 million from Microsoft. As a direct consequence of these multi-year agreements, Twitter will be able to make a small profit in 2009.

The other important contributor has been a reduction in the bills paid to telecommunication companies. Twitter’s growing clout has allowed them to renegotiate many of the deals at more favorable terms. In fact, this has resulted in Telecommunication bills being replaced by employee expenses as the single biggest source of expenditure. Maintaining profitability in the future will depend on Twitter’s ability to explore new revenue sources and keeping the number of employees in check.

Delete and Disable Recent Items from All Windows 7 Jumplists

Jumplists are among the most useful new features present in Windows 7. However, they can be a cause of concern for the privacy concious. The jumplist for most applications display recently opened files and/or frequently opened files. It is fairly easy to get an idea about what you have been up to, by just glancing at the jumplist entries. Unfortunately for users, how to disable this feature isn’t very obvious. In this article I will show you how to delete Recent items as well as permanently disable this feature.

How to Clear Recent Items List

Clear-Recent-Items-From-Jumplists

Windows stores the Recent items list at the location %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations. Paste this path in Windows explorer and hit enter.
Simply delete all the files present in this directory to reset the jumplist for all applications.
If you don’t feel like doing this manually, you can always rely on CCleaner to take care of all privacy concerns.

How to Disable Recent Items in Jumplists

Disable-Recent-Items-In-Jumplists

Right click on an empty portion of the taskbar and select Properties from the context-menu. Browse to the Start Menu tab and uncheck the box next to “Store and Display Recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar“. This should make Recent items disappear from the jumplists.

Did you find this tip useful? Do you have any other Windows 7 related questions? Don’t forget to let us know.

Opera 10.5 Internal Build Leaked

Opera-10.5-Evenes-LeakedEarlier this week, Opera Software had revealed that a special pre-alpha build Opera 10.5 will be unveiled on 22nd December. However, gHacks is reporting that an internal build has already been leaked. You can download the leaked build from here.

The big changes in Opera 10.5 (codenamed Evenes) are:

1. Updated skin: Opera has received another facelift. The tab bar has been merged with the titlebar – similar to what we are accustomed to seeing in Google Chrome.

Opera-10.5-New-Interface

Opera-10.5-Jumplist 2. Better Windows 7 Integration: Evenes takes advantage of Windows 7 features like jumplists and taskbar thumbnails. The jumplist displays a list of your speed dial entries while taskbar thumbnails allow quick switching between tabs.

3. Private Browsing: Private browsing has become a standard feature in modern browsers and with Evenes Opera has finally caught up. Unlike in other browsers, you don’t need to open a separate window to enter private browsing mode. Opera supports per-tab private browsing. Whenever you open a private tab, Opera will not keep a record of pages opened in that tab.

4. Improved UI: There are UI enhancements all around. Interfering dialogue boxes have been done away with where ever possible e.g. the wand (password manager) and the find (in page search) dialogue boxes have been now integrated into the UI. Find has also been beautified. It now dims the rest of the page while highlighting your query. This is similar to how Safari’s search feature works.

Opera-10.5-New-Find

5. Updated Rendering Engine: Evenes ships with a newer rendering engine (Presto 2.5.18) which is expected to improve Opera’s rendering speed. However, the long anticipated Carakan (Opera’s new JavaScript rendering engine) is still missing.

Opera 10.50 pre-alpha will be formally available on December 22nd. Since, there is still a couple of days left the public build will possibly different than the leaked one. The internal build may have regression and stability issues. If you wish to try it anyway, it is highly recommended that you install it separately (instead of updating the existing installation).

Update 1: Opera software has officially responded. According to them the leaked build is actually pretty old and the build to be released on Tuesday will be a lot nicer. So does this mean that Carakan will make it to the official pre-alpha build?

Update 2: Opera 10.5 pre-alpha has been officially released. You can find your coverage here.

Speed Dial Extension for Chrome Makes The New Tab Page More Configurable

One of the most popular features of Opera is the Speed Dial. It has been emulated by several other browser manufacturers including Chrome. Chrome displays thumbnails of the most frequently visited websites as well as a list of recently closed tabs in the new tab page.

There is no doubt that Chrome’s new tab page is extremely handy. However, it is also very rigid. There is very little about the new tab page, which you can change. Speed Dial extension for Chrome tries to make the new tab page more personal by giving you more control.

Chrome-Speed-Dial-Configuration-Options

Speed Dial extension allows you to dress up the new tab page by using a custom background color or even a background image. You can also change the number of Speed Dial entries that are displayed. However, the biggest change is the way the Speed Dial entries are chosen. By default, Chrome fills in your Speed Dial slots using most frequently visited pages. However, once you install the Speed Dial extension you will be able to manually chose each entry.

Chrome-Speed-Dial-Extension

Techie Buzz Verdict

The Speed Dial extension for Chrome basically takes Chrome’s new tab page and makes it behave like Opera’s. This is an early release, hence some features like ability to use local background image is missing. Using a remotely hosted image has its own disadvantages. I often ended up with partially loaded or missing background image. The other drawback is that, creating a Speed Dial shortcut takes a bit more effort than I would have liked. In order to add a page, you will have to browse to that page and then click on the Speed Dial icon (which is oddly similar to AVG’s logo) in the Omnibar.

Give Speed Dial extension for Google Chrome a try if you want more control over your new tab page.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)

[ Download Speed Dial Extension for Google Chrome ]

via LifeHacker

Download Full Version of UniBlue DiskRescue for Free [Software Deals]

DiskRescue from Uniblue is premium defragmentation software which would normally set you back by $39.95. However, Softpedia has teamed up with Uniblue to offer the full version of DiskRescue for free.

Uniblue-DiskRescue-Free-License

In order to avail this giveaway, simply go to the offer page and enter your email address. Don’t subscribe to the newsletter if you don’t wish to receive regular email updates from Uniblue. You should instantly receive the download link and serial key in your inbox. To be honest I am not a big fan of DiskRescue. Free utilities like Defraggler and Auslogics Disk Defrag are more than capable of taking care of basic defragmentation, while premium defrag tools like Perfect Disk and Diskeeper offer more features.

CleanDesktop is Desktop Cleanup Wizard for Windows Vista and XP

Having a clean and well organized desktop is often the first step to improving productivity. If you have ever used Windows XP, you will surely remember the Desktop Cleanup Wizard. It was a no-fuss utility which automatically scanned your desktop icons and offered to delete the ones you never used. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to dump this utility in Windows Vista.

Fortunately for us, Omkarnath from TheWindowsClub has developed his own CleanDesktop utility. It is intended to be a Desktop Cleanup Wizard substitute for Windows Vista and 7. CleanDesktop scans your desktop entries and lists items which haven’t been used for 30 days or more. You have the option of permanently deleting these entries or moving them to the folder \Desktop\Unused Icons.

Clean-Desktop-Desktop-Cleanup-Wizard

Techie Buzz Verdict

CleanDesktop is a portable utility which does exactly what it is supposed to do. In order to make the most out of this utility, I recommend that you use Task Scheduler to run it once every month. In fact I would like to see future versions of CleanDesktop include in-built scheduling options. Give CleanDesktop a try if you frequently end up with a cluttered desktop.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)
[ Download CleanDesktop ]

uTorrent 2.1 Adds Support for Video Streaming, Access Anywhere and DNA

The final build of uTorrent 2.0 may not be out yet, but that hasn’t stopped the developers from beginning work on future builds. They have already released multiple alpha builds of uTorrent 2.1 (codenamed Falcon). Falcon will be a major update for uTorrent and will include both visible and under the hood changes.

The biggest attraction of uTorrent 2.1 is support for video streaming. Video streaming will allow you to begin watching videos without waiting for it to be completely downloaded. In fact if your connection is fast enough, you would be able to instantly begin watching the video. This will be similar to the experience provided by online video services like YouTube.

Simon Morris (VP of Marketing and Product at BitTorrent) commented that, “Our hope is to transform getting media using uTorrent from a ‘load-wait-watch-tomorrow’ to more of a ‘point-click-watch’ experience.”

Although uTorrent didn’t explain how the new feature works, it probably uses a sequential download scheme. In sequential download mode a client gives preference to pieces with lower sequence numbers (rather than giving preference to availability). This can reduce download speed, but allows an audio or video file to be previewed before the download has been completed. Many rival clients like BitComet have had this feature for a long time. For playback uTorrent can use its own online player or your favourite local media player.

uTorrent-Falcon-New-Interface-Video-Stream

Falcon will also introduce a new zero-configuration, secure web UI which will allow you to access uTorrent from other terminals or from your smartphone. The new “Access Anywhere” feature will utilize end to end encryption to enhance security and privacy. Another notable addition is support for DNA – a free content delivery service run by BitTorrent. uTorrent 2.1 also features a refreshed UI with brand new icons. Other features which are currently being worked upon include, optional file security preferences and browser integration. A beta release is expected during the first quarter of 2010. If you are feeling adventurous you can download the alpha build from here.