Scribd Joins Microsoft and Apple in Ditching Flash for HTML5

We told you earlier that Flash and HTML5 are going to battle it out in 2010. Well, the heat is on and it seems like Flash isn’t gaining much ground right now except may be Android’s support. In a recent blow, the popular document sharing service Scribd has decided to ditch flash and adopt the new HTML5 standard.

Scribd CTO claims that HTML5 provides a dramatically better reading experience compared to Flash. But let’s face it, as a major we service, they would not want to miss out on the iPad frenzy by keeping up with flash. Previously, Apple and Microsoft have also openly denounced flash as an inferior technology than HTML5 and have decided to convert to HTML5 for all their applications.

Scribd hosts tens of millions of documents so it will take a little bit of time to convert all of them, but they have already started doing so. By implementing HTML5, the documents will no longer be enclosed in a box or a frame, but every document will be like a separate web page. Almost all major browsers will be able to read Scribd’s documents and documents will still be embeddable in other sites using an iFrame.

With Adobe still firm in defending Flash against HTML5, the war is anything but over.

Intel To Launch 25nm 600GB SSD By The End Of This Year

Apparently, it looks like Intel will be launching a 600GB 25 nm Solid State Disk(s) by the end of this year. This year, users have already seen the price of the SSDs dwindling to a record low. SSDs are now available for a mere 100$. SSDs have a higher read/write speedIntel compared to traditional Hard Disk drives. They also consume less power, and are smaller in size. Their only downside is their longevity. Traditional Hard Disks have a longer life-span compared to SSDs.

Users can argue that traditional Hard Disks are comparatively cheaper than SSDs, but that is just a matter of time. SSDs prices have been falling down, and soon they will reach a price-point where they are reasonable for general masses to buy them. Intel is one of the most renowned SSDs manufacturer. According to Fudzilla, Intel has big plansfor the holiday season with the launch of new 25 nm MLC NAND Flash memory based SSDs. The company plans to launch the SSD in capacities of 160GB, 300GB and 600GB.

Soon after, Intel will launch 1.8 inch SSDs with their capacities reaching up to 300GB. The launch of these new 25nm 1.8 inch SSDs will mark the end-of-life of the existing 34nm and 50nm 1.8 inch SSDs from Intel. These 1.8 inch SSDs will be primarily used in Camcorders, Blu-Ray players and other similar devices.

BIG TV To Launch 60 New Channels, Plans To Sell 20% Stake

As if BIG TV is not already providing a lot of entertainment to it’s customers through their own entertainment channels and HD Content in addition to other channels, BIG TV now plans to launch 60 more channels which will include entertainment content and more HD content in addition to all other existing channels that it has already been offering.

Currently BIG TV uses eight transponders to broadcast over 200 channels. The company now plans to use a superior compression technology (MPEG 4 for instance) that would help them broadcast up to 35-40 channels per transponder. So, BIG TV is planning to introduce two new transponders that will enable them   to broadcast another 60 channels, including the existing HD movie and entertainment channels over next three months. The number of channels can be taken upto 400 in the future with 12 total transponders in place.

Talking of investments, BIG TV’s chief executive officer, Sanjay Behl said that the company is also open to selling up to 20 per cent stake in the company to a strategic partner. And with this a possibility of FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors) getting interested cannot be ruled out.

HP India Slapped With Rs 1,450 Crore Tax Notice

Even the biggest of biggest enterprises do not get past the eyes of the tax collection agencies in India. This time it is computer manufacturing giant – Hewlett Packard (HP India). The government has slapped a tax notice of Rs 1,450 crore on HP India Sales Pvt. Ltd. for allegedly evading Customs duty. However this charge was refuted by the company.

The charges that have been reported are undervaluation of components and spare parts imported from countries like Singapore and the US and thus evading Customs duty. This tax demand one of the biggest in recent times and could be a major cause of concern among IT companies in India.

However, HP India has been transparent and has cooperated fully with the DRI in its investigation and they plainly refute the DRI’s position and are ready to challenge its claims through the judiciary. HP India has also voluntarily paid Rs 79 crore after the investigation

Call Drop.io and Create a Public Voicemail as MP3

phone-msg-2-mp3 There are many file sharing services out there. Many offer simple free file hosting, however, I don’t know of any that offer as many ways to share files and share ideas as the Drop.io service. I recently received a letter from them that mentioned a cool feature I wasn’t aware of. Here’s the letter:

Few know this, but it’s easy (not to mention useful) to record a voicemail inside a drop.

Here’s how:
1. Start a ‘drop’ with 1-click
2. Inside the drop, hit the button that says ‘create a free number’
3. Call that number and leave a voice message
… that’s it! The message will automatically become an mp3.

Reporters use this function as an easy way to record interviews on-the-ground and podcasters use it for their shows. We like to leave personal greetings on drops filled with photos for our friends and family.

Check out the voicemail we left for you – and leave us a message in return.
http://drop.io/maynewsletter

I can think of several other ways to use a public (or private) online voice mail. There are many other useful Drop.io features you might want to check out. Here’s short video about them:

Here are a few of our previous posts about the Drop.io site and services:

1. Drop.io Extension For Google Chrome

2. Drop.io | A File Sharing Program, which is more than just RapidShare

3. Send 100MB Attachments With Yahoo Mail

4. Drop.io, A Service To Privately Share Your Files

5. Drop.io Extension For Google Chrome

Be sure to let us know if you have some new ideas how to use this or any other file sharing service.

LinkedIn Turns 7 Year Old Today

LinkedIn didn’t gain much popularity until 3-4 years ago but it is a fact that this professional social network is older than most of the major sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. LinkedIn was officially launched on 5th May 2003 and here is a screenshot of how it looked back then:

Even though LinkedIn only has a little over 50 Million users compared to Facebook’s 500 Million, it is highly targeted towards professionals and offers much more serious networking opportunities. LinkedIn has an estimated valuation of over $1 Billion now which will only grow with time. One thing that might have kept LinkedIn’s growth sluggish for a while is lack of third-party apps and plugins to expand the network’s functionality. Something that helped Facebook and Twitter tremendously in achieving an exponential growth in their early years.

The news about 7th birthday was revealed by a Tweet from a senior LinkedIn executive, and was celebrated in the India office. What do you think about LinkedIn’s current direction and market position? Do you think Facebook might step over their boundry soon with a professional version?

Microsoft Shows Off Spindex Social Aggregator

Microsoft FUSE (Future Social Experiences) has unveiled Spindex – a service they like to term as the impossible project”. Spindex is a social aggregator that pools data from Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, RSS, and Bing. In Microsoft’s own words, Spindex allows you to “communicate with your friends wherever they are”, quickly spot “what’s new, what’s popular” and “see personalized trending topics”.

Microsoft-Spindex

If the official description didn’t catch your fancy, then I don’t blame you. At first glance, Spindex seems to be awfully similar to at least a dozen other content aggregators out there. In fact, the screenshot on its homepage instantly reminded me of Threadsy. However, Microsoft promises that Spindex is not just a social reader. Apparently, it has an algorithm that will scan your social data and try to make sense of it. I am not sure as to what they mean by that, but let’s hope it’s not just typical PR mumbo jumbo. Because, unless Spindex has some real innovation behind it, it may flop like numerous other Friendfeed copycats.

[ Visit Spindex.Me ]

HP Unveils Three New Pavilion Series Of Laptops

HP just announced the HP Pavilion dv6 laptop which has a 15.6 inch touch screen display. The main focus of the laptop is providing the best multimedia experience to its users. The laptop comes with the HP SimplePass technology, which provides the user’s data a greater level of security. The device has a brushed-aluminum finish etched with a streamlined design. hpThis is the first laptop in the market which has a laptop form-factor and comes with a touchscreen display.

The laptop has a maximum storage capacity of up to 1TB. The usual VGA, eSATA, USB 2.0, and HDMI ports are all duly covered. Users have an option to select either an Intel processor or an AMD processor. Along with the HP Pavilion dv6, HP also launched the HP Pavilion dv5 and the Pavilion dv7 laptops.

The HP Pavilion dv5 laptop has a first-of-its-kind 14.5 inch HD display. The HP dv6 and the dv7 laptops also come with a metal finish, and HP SimplePass technology. The HP Pavilion dv7 has an Altec Lansing speaker, accompanied by an HP Triple Bass Subwoofer for a superb audio and virtual surround sound experience. The laptop also comes preloaded with Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 and Corel VideoStudio Pro X3.

All 3 laptops come with the HP TrueVision webcam which optimizes video for any light setting, and HP the QuickWeb which provides the users with quick access to the web.

(Source)

Whats Up With Canonical Licensing H.264?

Recently there was a lot of speculation on why Ubuntu went out of its way to license H.264 and discarded Theora in the process. This made Canonical the only company dealing in Linux to license H.264. It was highly expected of Ubuntu to license Theora though this licensing of H.264 comes as another blow to the already losing out Theora codec.

There were further talks on this matter and Canonical’s Chris Kenyon talked to the H-Online saying,

The good news is that there are other ways of enjoying video content and we strongly believe in the work to establish open source codecs. We offer strong support for Ogg Vorbis in our standard images.

This means that Theora still rules regular distros while H.264 is used in OEMs only. He has strictly assured here that the matter is of importance only in case the device comes pre-installed with Ubuntu. Thus, it is valid only for OEM installs and not for other regular versions. Further, the vendor also has options to exclude the H.264 codec from its offering.

Canonical simplifies this by saying,

Like Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Fluendo, RealPlayer, DVD players and other proprietary software, we have a direct re-distribution agreement for H.264.

MouseTrap Locks the Mouse Cursor in a Multi Monitor Setup

[Windows only]: If you use multiple computer monitors at your workplace, then you know how frustrating it is to keep the mouse cursor in control. Sometimes, it occurs that the cursor swaps in the external monitor. You can’t operate program windows or applications in the main monitor, have to move the cursor back to the main monitor and so on.

MouseTrap is a free utility for Windows which can lock the cursor in a specified monitor. Once the program is running and the host monitor is specified, you can’t really move the cursor out.

To use the utility, simply unzip the files and run the executable. When you want to lock the cursor, hit ALT + Z and the cursor is locked. To release the cursor, hit Alt + X. This is quite useful when you are viewing a movie or presenting something in a big screen and want the cursor to be confined in the external monitor only.

The program has no interface, not even a system tray icon so if you want to get rid of the cursor locks, use ALT + X. The program works in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Techi Buzz Verdict

Mousetrap solves the purpose well, but unfortunately there are no settings which you can tweak. If you forget the keyboard shortcuts, you have to use Windows task manager to quit the application. I would like to see at least a system tray icon being included in the later releases.

Techi Buzz rating: 3/5 (Average).

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