Google Chrome: The New Beta is Faster Than Ever

Google Chrome has rolled out a new beta in its product lineup and they are happier than ever since Google Chrome is faster than ever.

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The official Google Chrome blog says,

Today’s new beta release incorporates one of Chrome’s most significant speed and performance increases to date, with 30% and 35% improvement on the  V8 and  SunSpider benchmarks over the previous beta  channel release. In fact, looking back in time, Chrome’s performance has improved by as much as 213% and 305% on these two benchmarks since our very first beta.

As clear from the above quote, the new beta has speed, speed and more speed. An improvement of 30% to 35% is remarkable and there soon, there will be a time when Google Chrome will be the leader in web-browser technology.

Though, the new beta is not all about speed. There have been other significant changes. The synchronization feature now works not only for bookmarks but also for the themes and other browser settings. Installing add-ons in incognito mode is also possible and many new HTML5 features have been incorporated encouraging the use of HTML5.

This is also the first Chrome beta that features automatic security updates for the Adobe Flash plugin.

This new beta release can be tried for Windows at the  beta channel, or you can download the  Mac and  Linux versions at the respective links.

Wikipedia Companion: Quickly Search Wikipedia Website from Google Chrome

Wikipedia is a trusted source of information – when you want a general reference or want to define something, without adding all the text in your document. I regularly use the online encyclopedia for my writing work, projects and when I want to refer to definitions or popular personalities. If you are a writer and regularly use Wikipedia pages for referencing, you are certainly going to love the Wikipedia companion extension for Google Chrome.

After the extension is installed, click the small “W” icon placed just right to the Chrome address bar:

This opens a small pop up window where you can type the keywords in a text box and search the Wikipedia website without leaving the current page.

The extension is useful, because I can search Wikipedia from the same browser tab and avoid distractions while I am writing something. The second advantage is that the extension lets you open the page in a new browser tab, in case you want to read the complete Wikipedia page. Here is how the pop window loads the content:

The extension supports multi lingual searches and you can browse a series of pages and links in the same pop up window. To make it clear, you can use the back and forward buttons in the pop up window and any web link can be opened in the same pop up. Neat !

Techi Buzz Verdict

The Wikipedia companion extension is simple to use and solves the problem of opening the Wikipedia website again and again in a new browser tab. If you search Wikipedia quite often, this extension is a must use.

Techi Buzz rating: 4/5 (Excellent).

Google Invests in Future Prediction Specialist “Recorded Future”

Google has invested in a startup from US which claims it can predict the future on anything ranging from stock market events to a terrorist strike. The company claims to have developed a data analysis technology which can predict future events from intelligent extrapolation of present data.

The company’s YouTube channel describes the technology as,

Recorded Future allows financial analysts, intelligence analysts, and predictors to organize and aggregate future observations with ease.

This funding is being made under the banner of  Google Ventures which is responsible for funding many other suck startups. This page from TheNextWeb elaborates a list of all such companies.

This new style of investing in a company is a failsafe method to keep a company under its hood and at the same time, not completely own it to take the losses. Google has invested in some of the weirdest technologies but this one can be relevantly used to better Google’s flagship search product.

Some other weird technologies in which Google invests are an yeast-based antibody discovery platform Adimab, V-Vehicle an efficient car company, and Pixazza which extracts objects from an image and recognizes it across various websites.

Nvidia Puts Intel’s Moore’s Law to Shame

Nvidia has achieved big with its CUDA platform. With the success of the CUDA platform, Nvidia’s hardware technology is rivaled by Intel. Now, Nvidia Vice President and Chief Scientist Bill Dally has released a bold statement saying that the Moore’s Law does not hold anymore.

He has said that while there has been a considerable increase in CPU speed, overall processing power has not followed suite. This goes as a blow to Intel, given that Intel is the leader in CPU technologies.

Forbes writes,

There is a paper written by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of  Intel (  INTC –  news –  people ). Published 45 years ago this month, the paper predicted the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double each year (later revised to doubling every 18 months). This prediction laid the groundwork for another prediction: that doubling the number of transistors would also double the performance of CPUs every 18 months.

This bold prediction became known as Moore’s Law.

Moore’s paper also contained another prediction that has received far less attention over the years. He projected that the amount of energy consumed by each unit of computing would decrease as the number of transistors increased. This enabled computing performance to scale up while the electrical power consumed remained constant.

But in a development that’s been largely overlooked, this power scaling has ended. And as a result, the CPU scaling predicted by Moore’s Law is now dead. CPU performance no longer doubles every 18 months. And that poses a grave threat to the many industries that rely on the historic growth in computing performance.

Now, that is something to watch out for, given that a larger part of the hardware business out there follows Moore’s Law like the Book of Wisdom. Let us see how Intel responds to this. Till then, Nvidia is happy it broke a barrier in technology. After all, that is what makes them so much better.

(Via: Neowin)

Launchpad PPA Upgraded to 2 GB

Launchpad has made an important  announcement this week. The earlier PPA size limit of 1 GB has been upgraded to a new limit of 2 GB. With this new size, the Personal Package Archives will now be able to host more files and provide better applications.

Launchpad is a  web application and  web site supporting software development, particularly that of  free software. Launchpad is developed and maintained by  Canonical Ltd.. On 21 July 2009, the source code was released publicly under the  GNU Affero General Public License.[2] As of August 2009, the launchpad repository hosts more than 13,000 projects. The domain  launchpad.net attracted 1 million visitors by August 2009 according to a  Compete.com survey.

Although Launchpad has provided sizes larger than 1 GB on special request earlier, this move ensures that you will get 2 GB from the very beginning. Existing PPAs larger than 2 GB will remain unchanged.

This announcement was made at the Launchpad blog by Matthew Revell.

Single Click Tool To Enable DreamScene On Windows 7

DreamScene is a Windows Vista ultimate feature that allowed users to set videos as desktop wallpapers. Unfortunately, DreamScene isn’t a part of Windows 7. We had in the past written about a manual method to enable DreamScene on Windows 7. Today we came across a small utility that allowed you to enable or disable DreamScene in a single click. Screenshot:

The utility Windows 7 DreamScene Activator should be run in the Administrator mode and is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

Once downloaded:

  • Right click -> Run as Administrator
  • Enable DreamScene (wait for the application to restart Explorer)
  • Right click a video file (WMV) and set as desktop background

Screenshot:

Download Page

Opera 10.53 Beta For Linux And FreeBSD Released

The folks at the Opera Software ASA have released the Opera 10.53 beta version for Linux and FreeBSD. This beta release of Opera for linux has made the web browser faster, and more feature-rich. The new beta version also has better integration with KDE and Gnome desktop environments. There is also full support for skinning in Opera 10.53 in Linux.

Linux has always been a priority at Opera, as many people within our own walls are devoted users,said Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder, Opera Software. It was important for us in this release to make altopera-logoerations to our terms of usage, in order to make Opera even easier to distribute on Linux.

Opera had released the final version of Opera 10.5x for Windows two months ago, and the Mac version just a week ago. According to the folks at Opera, the Opera 10.5x is the world’s fastest browser. The new version of Opera web browser features a new Carakan JavaScript engine and the Vega graphics library. All these under the hood changes, make Opera 10.5x up to 8 times faster than Opera 10.10 in certain tests.

The new version also includes a brand new rendering engine the Presto 2.5. The new version also offers a Private browsing option to its users. Opera has also made changes to its End User License agreement for easier distribution of the software. The new End User License allows Opera 10.53 Beta to be included in software distribution repositories for wide distribution.

Hera are the major changes in this new release :

Browse with unprecedented speed Our new Carakan JavaScript engine and Vega graphics library make Opera 10.5x more than 8 times faster than Opera 10.10 on tests like Sunspider.

  • Leave no trace Private browsing offers windows and tabs that eliminate their browsing history when closed, ensuring your privacy.
  • Control your view easily Zooming in and out of Web pages is easier with a new zoom slider and view controls accessible from the status bar.
  • Redefine widgets Widgets are now installed as normal applications on your computer and can work separately from the browser.
  • More elegant look and feel The user interface for Linux has been reworked, and the new Omenu allows access to all features previously available in the menu bar. The menu bar can be easily reinstated.
  • No more Qt dependence Opera’s user interface now integrates with either GNOME/GTK or KDE libraries, depending on the users’ installation.
  • Turbo-charged browsing When surfing on slow, congested networks, for example at an airport or on a train, Opera Turbo comes to the rescue, ensuring the fastest page loading no matter the crowd. Tests show that Opera Turbo provides about 65% faster browsing on Edge and around 50% faster browsing speed on 3G networks.

Users can download Opera 10.53 Beta for linux from here.

Protect Your Portable Files with USB Safeguard

usbsafeguard-ico Traveling around with a USB flash drive full of your personal files is often very useful. However, it can also be risky. These little thumb drivescan easily be lost or stolen. If you have personal information on them, the loss could cause you plenty of trouble. Fortunately, there are several free utilities designed to keep your personal files protected (encrypted) with a password.   USB Safeguard is a good option.

USB Safeguard is available as a single executable file named usbsafeguard.exe’. It’s only about 736k, so it will fit easily on most current USB drives. You’ll find that you actually have to move the usbsafeguard.exe file onto the flash drive before it will run. Once it’s started for the first time, you’ll see the following prompt for a password:

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You can type in your password, or you can use the built in on-screen keyboard by clicking the tiny keyboard icon just above the first password field. You’ll have to enter the password twice to confirm it’s typed correctly.

Next you’ll be asked to save the password in a text file on your hard drive. This is a precaution you might want to take, just in case you forget the password later.

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After that, you’ll get the main interface where you can add files from your flash drive that you want to encrypt. You can add files by dragging and dropping them into the large empty area, or you can use the Encrypt Allbutton to grab everything on the flash drive.

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If you’ve added files by dragging and dropping, you’ll need to hit the Encryptbutton to move to the next step. Here’s what it looks like while it’s encrypting your files.

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After it’s finished encrypting, the original files will need to be removed. The following screen gives you several options for dealing with them.

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Here’s what it looks like when you are deleting files:

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Now when you look at the files on the flash drive, you’ll only see the usbsafeguard.exe file and the encrypted archive named image.dsk. That single image file could contain hundreds of files if that’s what you want in it. The size of you flash drive is the only limitation.

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In order to get your files back out, all you have to do is run the usbsafeguard.exe file and supply the password. You’ll see all the files listed and you can select them and decrypt(unpack) the ones you want.

Here are three other file encryption tools we’ve written about:

Keep USB Data Encrypted With SafeHouse Explorer
Encrypt and Hide Data on Flash/USB Drive with Rohos Mini Drive
TrueCrypt | A FREE file encryption utility that is useful too

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This is a good solution for protecting files. I’m not very happy with the main interface that’s used to drag and drop files into. I think it might be more useful if it was more like a Windows Explorer file browser. That said, I plan to keep a copy of it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Asus Officially Launches The Asus EeeKeyboard PC

Asus today officially announced the Asus EeeKeyboard PC. The Asus EeeKeyboard is a fully functional PC in a stylish keyboard form-factor. The Asus Eeekeyboard has a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 800×480. The device features Ultra-wideband (UWB) Wireless Display connectivity which allows it to stream HD 720p videos within a range of 5 meters.

Asus EeeKeyboard

The EeeKeyboard features a solid state drive of either 16GB or 32Bb for all your storage needs. The processing needs of the computer is handled by the Intel Atom N270, and the 1Gb of DDR2 RAM helps things chug along smoothly. The Asus Eeekeyboard duly covers the various connectivity fields including Wifi b/g/n, LAN, and Bluetooth v2.1. It also includes 1 x HDMI out port, 1 x VGA out and 2 x USB 2.0 ports. The device runs on Windows XP Home edition. The devices also has 2 in-built speakers.

The battery life of the Asus Eeekeyboard is quoted at 4 hours.   Surprisingly, the device manages to maintain a compact shape and size, and weighs in a mere 1.1kg. The Asus EeeKeyboard is now available in the U.S. for a MSRP of $599.

(Source)

Upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx from Karmic Koala

Upgrading to Ubuntu Lucid Lynx is quick and  easy. There are two methods available for the upgrade. You can either do it online or, you can use the Alternate Install CD from Ubuntu.

If you prefer to do it online, follow this step by step guide here. Though, if you do not have a reliable internet connection, a better option is to do it offline. To start with, get hold of the Alternate Install CD.

First  download the ISO from this location.  Now you have three options. Burn the Alternate CD ISO to a disk, transfer it to a thumb drive or mount the ISO locally.

If you choose the last option, mount the ISO with this command:

sudo mount -o loop /dir/ubuntu-10.04-alternate-i386.iso /media/cdrom0

Here “dir” is the path to which you have copied your Alternate Install CD ISO.

As soon as the mount is complete, a dialog will pop up asking you to upgrade. Complete the steps and let it install. This will upgrade your system to Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx LTS. Enjoy.

(Via: Webupd8)

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