Category Archives: Featured Articles

The featured articles at Techie Buzz

Hey Google, Can We Have Some Meaningful Results? Please

You don’t use Google because it’s “Google”. You use “Google” because it offers relevant and meaningful results.

AdSense Scraper Sites Joke

Image credit

Back in the year 2000 – web search was largely dominated by short web queries and the results were very “generalized”, users had to click through multiple links until they were able to find the exact webpage they were looking for. The search volume was fairly low, hence the requirement for a polished algorithm was not laid forward.

Also Read: Hey Google, Here is How You Can Make Google News Spam Free

Then came Google and web search took a significant turn in it’s “relevancy”, “exactness” and “value”. Google changed the way   folks used to find content, people started writing blogs, created information and Google organized all the information in their “index”.

The sad part – Newton’s third law of motion holds true universally.

The reaction: Google’s way of ranking webpages was huge, so big that it gave birth to a giant search marketing industry. The welcome mat for SEO Firms was laid out, which consequently gave birth to content farms, aggregators and scraped websites. Their entire goal of producing content is from the outside in – find the phrases which are profitable, judge the competition, gain a good amount of links and make your way to the SERP’s.

In recent times, there has been much speculation on the way Google search is populated with content aggregators and scraped websites. TechCrunch, Venture Beat and other tech blogs have put down their observations earlier.

It’s not that only we are saying this. Jeff Atwood from Coding Horror recently nailed down their observations

In 2010, our mailboxes suddenly started overflowing with complaints from users complaints that they were doing perfectly reasonable Google searches, and ending up on scraper sites that mirrored Stack Overflow content with added advertisements. Even worse, in some cases, the original Stack Overflow question was nowhere to be found in the search results!

Why Do Content Aggregators Beat The Source In Search Results ?

Let’s take a look on the factors that influence the ranking of a webpage in search results.

Google says that there are more than 200 signals but practice shows that the most important factors which determine whether you page is going to rank well or not are:

1. The quality of the content
2. Number and authority of the links to your content.
3. The Title Of the page.

Let’s say you wrote an informative article on “iPhone cases” and published it on your blog. Since “iPhone cases” is a profitable phrase, this will alert the content aggregators, link farms and scraper sites running AdSense ads. These guys have set up Google Alerts and other ways to get instant notifications whenever a phrase they are targeting, gets found by Google.

They come to your blog, copy an excerpt from your article, publish a new post on their “Aggregation channels” with a link back to your post.

You think it’s cool? ” “Hey Mike, I just got a backlink from xyz.com they have 60,000 RSS readers. I am famous !”

Yes, a lot of people will read your thought but not on your blog. The majority will read it on the “Aggregation channel”.

The Result

Since a large portion of the blogosphere is paying attention to that Aggregation channel, who do you think is going to attract more links?

Social Media Influence Aggregators

As soon as the scraped post hits an “Aggregation channel”, a huge number of blogs will start linking to them (not you). They have an enormous amount of social media subscribers, Twitter followers, newsletter readers and getting 6 dozen backlinks to their own article is child’s play.

Yes, you have written that 900 word article but that doesn’t qualify your post to be linked from other sites. Social media influences search rankings and these content aggregators use huge social media influence to dominate SERP’s.

Conrad Sam from Search Engine Land performed an internal study on profitable keywords, in order to find out which search engine (Google or Bing) returns relevant results. The SEL team followed this convention:

  • 5 points were awarded for a good quality result ranking first, 3 for second and 1 for third.
  • 2 bonus points were added for top 3 results being on a highly authoritative site.
  • 5 points were subtracted if the entire first page didn’t contain any good results.

Search Engine Ranking Authority
It’s no wonder that Google is losing it’s ground on relevancy and exactness. Richard MacManus from Read Write Web puts an interesting comment on why blogs and search engines need to embrace a “change”

I can only hope that Google and other search engines find better ways to surface quality content, for its own sake as well as ours. Because right now Google is being infiltrated on a vast scale by content farms.

That pretty much sums it up. Google has been promoting leechers more than the actual publishers and we ourselves have been victim of this problem. You can read more about it on this post.

What is your opinion of the quality of search results in Google? Are you happy with them? Do you think that they need to improve? Are you a victim of RSS scrapers? Don’t forget to tell me your thoughts through your comments.

Why Is Opera Not Popular?

Lets get this straight. Even though I find browser quite  feature rich when I compare it to other browsers, it is not one of the most popular browser as you know it. As a matter of fact it only has 2% of browser market share. I have been closely following topics related to Opera on Quora (my new love! but more on that later) and found few interesting topics about Opera!

Opera Logo

But let’s discuss Why is Opera not popular?

Xudong Yang, a Web Developer, has jotted down exactly my thoughts in a blog post. To Quote him:

Poor advertisement: IE is the default on Windows, Safari the default on Mac, Firefox/Chromium the default on several Linux distributions. Moreover, we see IE9 ads, Chrome ads, and (rarer these days) Firefox with Google Toolbar ads. I’ve practically never seen Opera ads. Whether this is due to poor finance or bad marketing strategy I’ve no idea, but Opera sure could be much better off if it were in the first place more widely known.

I won’t quote his entire blog post as I’m only interested to concentrate on the advertisement part. But I really suggest you read his blog post. He makes a lot of good points.

Recently, I had a once in lifetime opportunity to meet the founder of Opera; Jon Von Tetzchner, during his Mumbai Meetup. I had always wanted to ask Opera why they did not spend money on advertising and what’s better than asking the man himself. So I did.

Jon Von Tetzchner explained that for spending money, Opera needed money, which they didn’t have. And that word of mouth publicity has worked for them. Bullshit I say. Opera recently announced that Opera had reached a new milestone of 150 million users and here’s the breakdown of it.

For the uninitiated, Opera, for the major part, earns from the search bar on the browser when you make a search query. Assuming 75% of Opera Desktop users use the search bar  at least once a day it’s freaking 37,500,000 searches a day. Now we know that users do not search that freely on their mobile device than they do on desktop. So let’s consider 25% of Opera Mobile and mini users use the search bar daily. That’s again 25,000,000. That makes it a total of 62,500,000 searches EACH DAY! So, don’t tell me you don’t make money!

And if you remember, Mozilla’s Firefox initially rose to popularity because Google promoted it. It has come to the point that Firefox has actually overtaken Internet Explorer as Europe’s dominant browser.  As much as I like Opera browser it really hurts to see the other below standard browsers winning more market share. Opera really needs to do more than Potato videos when it comes to marketing and be more visible to internet users.

Interview: Level Up’s CEO on the Viability of Paid Apps in the Android Market and More

Yesterday, Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio Mobile created a flutter with his remark that "paid content just doesn’t work on Android". Rovio Mobile is the highly acclaimed developer of Angry Birds, which has literally taken the world by storm. However, his comments didn’t sit well with many fans, who have been pointing out that Rovio didn’t even try the premium app route before opting for the ad-supported freeware option.

LevelUp Studio Logo

We reached out to Ludovic Vialle, CEO of LevelUp Studio. LevelUp Studio is one of the very few high quality publishers who have opted to limit themselves to Android. Beautiful Widgets has been consistently topping the Android Market charts (for paid apps), while Plume (previously Touiteur) has won the adoration of many a Twitter user. Having tried both the premium and the freemium business model, Vialle is uniquely qualified to comment on the state of the Android ecosystem.

Ludovic VialleMe: Why Android? Most publishers believe that the real money is in iOS. LevelUp Studio is amongst the very few publishers who have opted for an Android only strategy. What prompted this?

LV: Android was really new when I started to work on it, paid applications were just added to the Market, and I just had a feeling that being the first on a new platform could be a big opportunity. Before that I was an early iPhone user, but I started to dislike Apple’s methods of having everything closed in their eco-system. I was attracted by the different approach from Google with Android.

Me: How big an issue is fragmentation for Android developers? Moving forward, do you see fragmentation getting worse or getting better?

LV: Fragmentation has never been a problem, you just need to think and develop a little more in some rare cases, but otherwise Google did an incredible job to make it possible for everything to work without really paying attention to fragmentation.

Me: In an interview, Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio Mobile (developer of Angry Birds) claimed that Nobody has been successful selling content on Android. I suppose that as a company with multiple paid apps LevelUp Studio will have something to say about that. Vesterbacka also remarked that Paid content just doesn’t work on Android. What is your perspective on paid apps for Android?

LV: I can say that paid applications can be successful, I cannot really compare with iOS because we do not have equivalents applications on the platform. Beautiful Widgets has been the #1 paid application on the market for almost a year (with the exception of a new application occasionally borrowing the first place for a few days), and it certainly helps. Also people do like customizing their devices, and Android is the king of customization. You can make a lot of money from Android, quality and continued support/development is the key.
LevelUp Studio started as a hobby, and now we are an independent software producer, with three employees (two developers + my wife who assists me mid-time in paperwork) and myself. We will probably expand in the future, very soon, at this rate.

Me: Recently you made the full version of Plume (previously Touiteur), supported by advertisements, available for free in the market. What prompted this change? Based on initial results how has this affected the bottom-line?

LV: Previously we were using a Freemiumconcept, a free applications and a Premium version with more features, but to be honest, the revenues were not the same as Beautiful Widgets, very far from it, and developing Plume (Touiteur) was costing more money that it would provide.
So we decided to test advertisements and see how it works, we paid attention not to disturb the users, that was our priority, so we went with 140Proof, which is an incredible partner. In the end, the advertisements are not invasive, and they are providing really interesting content (not ringtones or antivirus advertisements that we are used to seeing). On the other hand, free users with advertisements now benefit from all of the premium features, and premium users don’t get advertisements.
I do not have the numbers yet, but I am confident that it will cover our costs at the very least.

Me: The general perception is that ad-supported free apps work better than paid apps in the Android market. What does your experience suggest?

LV: Unfortunately we do not have enough experience on this yet, but if properly implemented, it can certainly be an interesting model, but not necessarily for everyone. I have feedback from some Android developers who are saying that advertisements are not working at all, and they are going to leave that model. I tend to think that a paid only model with a good application/game could be interesting too (with no lite version).

Me: Both as a developer and a user of Android, what is your take on the recently introduced 15 minute refund window?

LV: As a user and developer: it is too short, sometimes we do not even have the time to understand how an application works within the stipulated time. People are not able to really test and quickly take the decision to refund before the end of the refund window. I think that one or two hours could work, but I understand that it might not be a good solution for game developers. Maybe this could be a developer setting?

Me: What is the one big limitation of the Android Market that you believe is hurting developers?

LV: The lack of a desktop version. I know this is coming, and hope that it will help people to choose applications. Also the limited payment methods (credit card only) .

Me: What is the one thing about Android that you love the most?

LV: Customizations, you can make your phone your own phone. I can even make my phone remain silent when I sleep, automatically! So many possibilities!

Me: Finally, what are you guys currently working on? What can we expect from LevelUp Studio in 2011?

LV: We are working on improving Beautiful Widgets (with some big updates coming soon) and Plume because there is always room for improvement. We will probably be starting a new project in 2011, but we will see how we perform at that moment and if we can afford to do it!

Top 10 Phones Of 2010

The year 2010 was all about phones with 1GHz processor, huge screens, AMOLED displays and loads of internal storage and RAM. Every known hardware manufacturer released a new handset after every 3-4 months. However, only a few of them were good enough to stand out from the crowd.

Also Read: Top 10 Android Phone in the Market

There were some phones which gave Apple’s based a run for it’s money. Microsoft also entered the foray in late 2010 with their Windows Phone 7 platform which introduced some new phones. Even Nokia came up with a good phone using the platform. So which are the top 10 phones than made a mark in 2010? Here is a list of them in my opinion.

10 – LG Optimus One

Phones are not only about high-end hardware and Super-AMOLED screen/Retina Display. Not everyone in this world is rich enough to buy a high-end Android/WP7 handset or an iPhone. While most manufacturers do launch low-end to mid-range Android based handset, they sport either a very low amount of RAM, a weak processor, or an odd resolution (Samsung Galaxy 3). The LG Optimus One is a mid-range handset, but it packs quite a punch. The handset has a 3.2-inch HVGA display and packs 512MB of RAM. The handset is powered by a 600 MHz processor, ensuring that the phone chugs along nicely.

LG Optimus One

While most high-end handsets, including the Samsung Galaxy S series, are still waiting for their Android 2.2 update, the Optimus One runs on Android 2.2 right out of the box. LG has even confirmed that the handset will get the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update. No wonder, the Optimus One is the most popular handset to ever come out from LG’s stable.

9 – Samsung Focus

Samsung Focus

The problem with all Windows Phone 7 based handsets is that they are all too similar, both in hardware and in interface. The only phone which stands out from the WP7 handset crowd is the Samsung Focus. The Samsung Focus uses the awesome 4-inch Super-AMOLED screen found on the Galaxy S line-up of handsets. The Focus is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and has 512MB of RAM as well as ROM along with 8GB of internal storage. The back of the handset sports a 5MP snapper with AF (Auto-Focus) and an LED flash.

The Focus runs on WP7 and is carrier locked to AT&T. The only downside of the phone is the very low internal storage space (8GB). The Focus is the lone WP7 running handset in our Top 10 phones of 2010 and barely makes it to our list at number 9.

8 – Samsung Wave

The Samsung Wave retails for around $370 on Amazon, and that’s what makes it killer. At such a low price, the phone offers top-notch build quality and hardware. The Wave uses the same CPU that powers the Samsung Galaxy S series the 1 GHz Hummingbird processor from Samsung. The phone also packs a brilliant Super-AMOLED display, albeit a small one, at only 3.3-inches.   The Wave was the first handset from Samsung to run its brand new OS Bada.

Samsung Wave

The phone also sports Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and a decent 5MP camera with Flash. The Wave is still the best handset for users who hardly care about apps and games for their phone.

The stellar hardware and the killer price help the Samsung Wave to make it at number 8 on our Top 10 phones for 2010.

Apple iPad Giveaway – Techie Buzz Christmas Love

Update: Sorry folks but the contest is now over. We appreciate all the entries we got and thank everyone for participating. It will be a tough time for us to pick a winner. We will use a randomizer to pick one person as the winner, it will be announced between 26-27 December, 2010. Commenting is now closed on this post.

Update 2: The winner of the Apple iPad Giveaway has been declared, take a look at the winner announcement.

Hi everyone, as promised we are here with our first Christmas giveaway an Apple . The iPad is currently one of the hottest selling internet tablets and it was also one of our fan favorites for the giveaway.

Apple iPad

In the spirit of Christmas, we want to make our readers happy and one of them will be a lucky winner who will take home the Apple iPad. This is the 1st of our two giveaways. We will also be a few more things to our readers on December 27th, so you have one more big giveaway to look forward to.

We will be giving away a 16GB Wi-Fi version of Apple iPad. If you are looking forward to winning an Apple iPad, here is what you have to do. Some of these options are compulsory so please read carefully.

Example Tweet Message: Yippee @techiebuzzer is giving away an iPad, go get one for yourself http://goo.gl/6m7YD #techiegives

  • Share or like this page on Facebook
  • Leave a comment with your tweet or share link here and tell us why you want to win the iPad.

That’s it. That’s not much efforts right? Well, then go ahead and give it a shot, we’ll pick one winner to receive an iPad shortly. Please read the official rules and regulations below.

Rules and Regulations

  1. Contest is open to everyone 13 years or older
  2. In order to participate, users will have to tweet this link on or share it on and then leave a comment on this post. If users do not leave a comment, we will not accept it as an entry to the competition. Contest participants must complete all the required steps in order to be eligible for the contest
  3. Contest will end on December 25, 2010 at 12 PM 11:59 PM EST. We will pick one entry from the received entries and announce the winner on December 26, 2010
  4. If the Apple iPad does not ship to your country, we will offer an appropriate alternative which is available in your country. In this case, the winner may also choose to have the iPad shipped to them. However, the shipping costs will have to be borne by the winner.

Best of luck.

P.S. In past competitions, we have seen some comments go into spam. If your comment does not show up within a few hours, please send us a note using our contact form and we will dig it out from there.

Note: This contest is not endorsed or sponsored by Apple.

Chrome Web Store Analysis: Millions of Downloads, Top Apps and Interesting Facts

Google launched the on December 7th, 2010 at the conference. I have downloaded and used several of these apps on , many of these are really good apps and shows that the future of the web store is really bright.

However It has been almost 2 weeks since the Web store launched, so how has it performed? How many apps have are there in the web store? Which are the best selling apps? Which apps have been downloaded the most? To find answers to these questions I decided to do an analysis on how the web store has worked out and what the stats are like.

Chrome Web Store

I have based this analysis on the current numbers available at the Chrome Web Store since Google has not provided users statistics about the Chrome Web Store yet.

Facts About Chrome Web Store

First of, Chrome Web Store has seen millions of downloads, with the top 15 seeing over 1.5 million downloads so far. Here are some more facts about the Chrome Web Store and Apps:

  • There are ~2200+ apps in the Chrome Web Store right now
  • There are over ~10,500 and themes.
  • Top 15 apps have been downloaded over 1.5 million times
  • The top two most downloaded apps in the Chrome Web Store are games, and they account for almost half a million downloads
  • All apps except for are web shortcuts
  • NY Times is the only news app among the top 15 downloaded apps
  • Out of the top 15 downloaded apps, 9 are Google products
  • Groove Shark is the only music app in the top 15

Top 15 Apps in Chrome Web Store

The Chrome Store has several apps to choose from. I have written about quite a few of them (read about the Chrome Apps). Many of the apps are just web shortcuts, but the number of in-browser apps has been increasing. The top 15 apps on the Google Web Store currently features the following:

Call of Duty: Black Ops Free Giveaway

Update: This giveaway has now ended. Thanks for the overwhelming response. Hang tight for the Apple iPad and Alienware or Dell XPS giveaway coming soon. We are not accepting entries for this giveaway anymore.

Congratulations to all you winners. We request all the winners to send us an email at [email protected] to claim your copy of Call of Duty.

Oh it is Christmas time. We do giveaway stuff for free this time of the year. If you might ask what we are giving away for free, let us tell you that we are giving away a Vanilla Alienware for free worth $1500 in next few days, apart from that we are asking users what they want too on our fan page, if you are not a fan, head here to tell us.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Well we do have the , Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Tab and more in choices, but here is your chance to win a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops game for free, well three people have a change to win it.

So are you game at winning the Call of Duty Black Ops? Here are the rules, which we initially posted on our notes site:

We are giving away 3 COPIES of Call of Duty Black Ops game to three lucky Techie Buzzers. Contest starts now and ends tomorrow at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (20 December, 2010 [added]). What you have to do is become a fan of our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TechieBuzz) or follow us on twitter (@techiebuzzer) and leave a comment, wall post or a tweet on why you want this game.

MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE THE HASHTAG #tbgamer in your comment or tweets. The more you comment or tweet, the more your chances of winning. Sharing this post will earn you more brownie points.

The best entries will be picked by our team and the Call of Duty: Black Ops game will be shipped to you. You have the choice to choose which version of the game you want… aka Xbox 360, PS3, Wii or PC.

Winners will be announced on December 21, 2010.

Have fun and cheers.

Techie Buzz Team

Have fun and we hope you win one of copies of the game.

P.S. Activision is not sponsoring this contest. You can also go and buy this game at Amazon.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is not sponsored by Activision and is entirely sponsored by Techie Buzz.


Winners Announced

Here are the winners of the contest, and their status updates, we’ll get in touch with the winners in a short time to send them the game. We picked 5 instead of 3 winners, we just could not resist it.

All you winners you’ll get your COD soon.

Jen Twark Gersch on Twitter

I want to have this because I have 5 kids and a husband that love to play video games.

http://twitter.com/#!/bdiane34/status/16923710615191552

George BlackTemplar Solon on Facebook

Want one coz i don’t have the money to buy an original copy and would love to try out the multiplayer(never played COD multiplayer)

http://www.facebook.com/Dark69Slayer/posts/469056856598

Simrandeep Singh from Facebook

I need this game as I’m the fan of Call of Duty and I love to play this game. I can’t afford the genuine version of this game. Hope I can win in this giveaway.

http://www.facebook.com/simrandeep/posts/469200901598

@Dark69Slayer on Twitter

@techiebuzzer #tbgamer I want the free giveaway of Black Ops coz i can’t afford one and heard its multiplayer is awesome.

http://twitter.com/#!/Dark69Slayer/statuses/16850842476875776

Geoffrey Carr on Facebook

I want it for my grandson for Christmas. things are very tight this year

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=469069131598&id=1792158376

Congratulations to all you winners. We request all the winners to send us an email at [email protected] to claim your copy of Call of Duty.

Notion Ink’s Product Design Teams Rocks, PR Team Should Go On A Vacation

After all of mine and Pallab’s rant we finally got to see a real video of Notion Ink‘s Adam in action. All through mine and Pallab’s post we were very skeptical about this device, but in the end looking at the product demo in action made me change my mind.

Notion Ink Adam

However, Notion Ink brought this on themselves, first the stupid pre-order system and the stupidly written policies then the video lure which they could not upload would have thrown off anyone.

Now here is what the case is, these guys do not seem to be aware of the fact that there is something called as Public Relationships. Yes, the entire PR team of Notion Ink should be sacked or sent on a vacation, because they created the biggest problem of all, not bringing the device closer to the users who matter to their sales and to their reputation.

Hell, the Adam founder Rohan who I interviewed back in March 2010 is taking all the onus on himself  to provide updates himself. I have seldom seen a CEO or founder of a product taking so much pains to explain why they exist, least of all take all the criticisms.

Nevertheless, I wanted this product to succeed all this while. My skepticism came from the fact that they did not know how to handle things. It still remains, however, it is subdued now and will remain subdued for a while. Remember that I have a very curious and national interest in this project.

Would I order this device now? Of course, I *might* order the Adam on a future date, but I would rather wait for CES 2011 and MWC 2011 before I make a decision. It looks like a very good portable device with a lot of slots among other things, but again, there is no promised Pixel Qi, which is a deal-breaker for me, I will wait till I see that in action.

Rest aside, I quenched my doubts and choked on them, Adam exists and it is good. But I won’t order it as of yet.

What’s Lacking In Chrome OS Cr-48 Right Now? 100% Cloud Storage

I have been playing around with the new Cr-48 (check out pictures) for over a day now and I can tell you that I can live with it for a long time. However, before I do my full review of the experience, I have to talk about certain things that are lacking in the Cr-48 and in general.

Chrome OS Cr-48 Netbook

One of the important things I have missed is the password sync, of course it should come out soon, so I will not delve much into it right now, however Chrome OS and Cr-48 have a bigger problem on hand than that.

Chrome OS Cr-48 is Not Cloud Safe

Let me backtrack a bit. When the came out, I started using a lot of , several of which provided me with in-browser experience (apps which were not just shortcuts). I reviewed quite a few of them including TweetDeck, Write Space  and Sticky notes and Note taking apps.

All of the above mentioned apps stored their data locally. I have also been using an excellent weather app called Weather Bug which works inside the browser and does not use a shortcut, however, all this data is stored locally.

Now the problem is not the apps itself, when I setup the Cr-48 and logged in all my apps were there thanks to Chrome Sync. Google is definitely driving the point of no data loss with it destroying 25 laptops, however, here is the BIG problem I wanted to talk about, If your Chrome netbook dies, you LOSE data.

What data? Well the data which these apps have stored locally, you lose them. You cannot get back that data even if you use Chrome Sync, maybe not for which stores profile information in the cloud. However, you will lose all your tabs in TweetDeck and have to set it up again.

So if you have taken tons of notes and stored it locally, when your Chrome OS Cr-48 crashes all that data will be gone, forever. There is no way to get it back and this is the biggest problem with Chrome OS and Cr-48 in general.

Like a good beta/alpha tester I reported this problem to Google, hopefully they should take note of it. Here is what I had to say to them:

I am not sure if you already do, but you should definitely provide App developers with an API to hook into Chrome Sync.

The biggest frustrating experience I have had with Cr-48 is having to reset all the settings for the apps I use. This is fair enough, little work, but your concept of having destructed several laptops to drive the cloud storage feature seems a bit flawed in this case.

If I destruct my laptop, I can get all my extensions back, but not the settings and saved data, so you are definitely not 100% cloud safe. I would seriously love to see developments in this area and also a push to developers to start using Chrome Sync rather than an external service to store data.

Of course not everyone will oblige, but I am Ok with it as long as I have access to my data no matter which laptop or netbook I use.

Cheers

Keith

As you can see, my biggest problem has been the lack of cloud storage for information which Chrome does not have access to. Of course, it is up to Chrome to provide an API to Chrome Sync so that developers can make use of it to sync data in the cloud. I believe that would be a good move since many developers do not have the money to setup their own servers to store data. And frankly, I would prefer all my data sits in one place rather than it being scattered across the internets.

I am very sure that Google will add this feature to and the shortly. But, if you wanted an honest opinion from me about the Cr-48, I would say that it is not yet 100% cloud-safe.

No Video Recording Capabilities

Another feature that is lacking in Chrome OS and Cr-48 in general is the lack of native video recording. Though this is specifically my own blogging rant, I do feel that it should include a feature.

For example, I wanted to record something on Chrome OS itself, but wasn’t able to do it properly. Of course I used a camera to do it but the video was not perfect at all. To top it there are no apps right now in the Chrome Web Store which support video screencasting. This is not a big deal but people will want it in future.

Overall, there are several more things which I am exploring right now, however, the app data store in Chrome Sync is definitely a feature I will be looking forward to.

Easter Egg In Google CR-48 Netbook – Developer Jailbreak Mode

Google is sending out the CR-48 netbook through their pilot program for free. Many users have already received their netbooks, including me; do checkout some unboxing and hands-on pictures of Chrome OS CR-48 netbook. However, Google’s Chrome OS based CR-48 has a hidden Easter egg and it is called developer mode.

chrome_os_developer_mode_switch

Why is it an Easter egg? Because it takes time to find it and it is hidden inside the battery chassis of the laptop. To enable developer mode, you will have to remove the battery and then remove a sticker next to the battery connector and flip the switch towards the battery connector.

CR-48 Developer Scare Screen

Once you do that insert your battery back in and then reboot Chrome. You will see a scary screen as shown above, it shows a message saying:

Chrome OS verification is turned off. Press space to begin recovery

Don’t worry, just press Ctrl + D and you will on your way booting into your Cr-48. Also, you will always see this screen when you restart the machine, so remember to use the hotkey above.

Booting Cr-48 In Developer Mode

When you boot into developer mode for the first time, Chrome will delete some data and your older profiles, however, you have nothing to worry about since your data is always stored in the cloud.

Google Cr-48 Running Top

I was able to use this developer mode to figure out what is behind Cr-48, there are few things I found out which include:

  1. Cr-48 has a 16GB SSD
  2. Cr-48 has 2GB Ram
  3. Cr-49 has Xorg package installed.

Phew, I will continue my hacking around with the Cr-48 and update you’ll whenever I come across new and interesting things, so stay tuned.

h/t All Credit to the folks at Chrome OS Site for pointing this out.