Wiimote Controlled Firefox

This recent entry at Mozilla links shows a Wiimote controlled Firefox. Paul Rouget has written a neat hack which allows us to use the Wiimote with Firefox. Over at his website, Paul writes,

Everybody has his or her own reason to hack Firefox. Mine is usually:  “just for fun”.

So,  “just for fun”, and to show how far you can go with the extension mechanism, here is a little useless extension I wrote: a  Nintendo Wiimote driver for Firefox.
What does it do? It brings Wiimote events to web content. You can change tabs with a “forehand/backhand” tennis drive and, in your web page, make your elements move using Wiimote events (rotation, g-force, position, etc.). Web pages, of course, do not support this API. But, with another extension, such as aJetpack or  Greasemonkey, you can “hack” a website to add support for the Wiimote.

although the extension is open-source, it works only for Linux currently. Check out this video:

Wiimote for Firefox from Paul Rouget on Vimeo.

Nvidia Releases OpenGL 4.0 Linux Drivers

OpenGL was released just a month days ago. Now, Nvidia has released its latest OpenGL Linux driver with full support for OpenGl 4.0 on GeForce GTX 480/470. In addition to this, Nvidia has also release four new OpenGL extensions which provides additional capabilities to developers.

openGL

There was some initial delay in the delivery of this driver because of the lack of any supported hardware at Nvidia. The linux driver is available as the driver version 195.36.07.04.

This new version of OpenGL still supports the older API. Moreover, Nvidia will still support older versions of OpenGL on older and future hardware. Nvidia has also assured that deprecated functionalities will run on the new version as good as the older version. Read more at the official release notes.

The new features in OpenGL 4.0 require a Fermi GPU to run completely. The GeForce GTX 470 and 480 graphics cards fall under this category.

With the release of this driver, Nvidia is finally catching up with AMD which has had a driver with OpenGL support for quite some months now.

(Via: Phoronix)

Webby Wednesday: Generate Unique Usernames, Add Speech Bubbles to Photos, Create Letter Templates and Browse Facebook Fan Page Designs

Welcome to Webby Wednesdays – a brief compilation of some useful web services which we found useful during the course of this week.

Create Unique usernames with MyusernameGenerator.com

Whenever you signup in a social network, the first thing to choose is the username. It’s a good practice to pick the same username across all the social networks because your friends can remember the username and find you quickly. The username plays an important role in branding your profile across different sites on the web.

generate-unique-usernames

Myusernamegenerator lets you generate unique names for your social profiles. You can choose between different types: short, long, medium, Japanese, heavy, vowels, Chinese and the like. The site also lists the recently generated usernames in the footer. Once you find a short and attractive username, head over to usernamecheck.com and check whether the username is available on all the social sites or not.

Add Speech Bubbles to Photos With Speechable

Speechable is a free photo service that lets you easily upload and add speech bubbles to your photos and share them with friends via email or on Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, blogs, and message boards.

add-speech-bubbles-to-photos

There is nothing to download or install, simply upload a photo from your computer or any web URL. When the upload is complete, create a bubble and add some text in it. You can drag and place the bubble anywhere on the image. This is pure fun, as the images appear to be talking. Here is an example:

adding-bubbles-to-photos

Create Letter Templates with LetterGenie.com

LetterGenie is a web based app that can be used to create letters from templates. This is useful, because you don’t want to lose a client just because your covering letter was poorly written. Once you are done writing the personalized letter, you can print it or download a PDF copy in your computer.

create-letter-templates

The service also lets you import contacts and names from your email client.

Find the best Facebook Fan Page Designs With FacebookShowCase.net

Want to design a Facebook fan page for your company? Why not get some design inspiration from the very popular gallery of Facebook fan page designs at Facebookshowcase.net

facebook-fan-page-designs

The most popular designs are listed one by one on the homepage and you can see the user ratings of Facebook fan pages. The service acts as a great starting point if you seriously want an attractive Facebook fan page.

On each Wednesday, we will come up with a brief roundup of new web tools which provide value and add something extra to your daily technology. Stay tuned!

New MacBook Pros Have Updated DisplayPort, Software Update Available For Them As Well

Just yesterday, Apple released the new MacBook Pros with Core i5 and i7 Processors. Along with the new Macbook Pros, Apple also released a software update for the new Macbook Pros. The MacBook Pro Software Update 1.3 weighs inapple-logo1 at 258Mb. Apple says that update “is recommended for all 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro mid-2010 models and contains improvements for graphics stability for high-performance video and gaming applications as well as various bug fixes.”

The new 15and 17Macbook Pros feature an Intel Core i5 or a Core i7 CPU. The 13Macbook Pro still uses the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, though the processor now runs at 2.66Ghz. 4Gb of DDR3 RAM is now standard across all the Macbook Pros now. Apple also updated its implementation of the Mini DisplayPort. It can now simultaneously transfer video as well as audio signals. This mean users can now enjoy both audio and video signals when they connect their MacBook Pro to a HDTV using a miniDP to HDMI adapter. Apple sells one such converter from Griffin on their online shop. The 24Apple Cinema LED Display still relies on USB connection for audio signals, even when connected to the newer MacBook Pros.

Will Google Open-source The On2 Video Codec VP8?

Newteevee has recently reported that Google will possibly open-source the VP8 video codec next month. VP8 was developed by On2, the company which Google acquired in February.

on2-logo

This news comes at times when there is an ongoing battle among the H.264 and the Ogg Theora video codecs to gain control of the Open Web’s video format. However, Google will introduce VP8 as a new and prospective candidate even though it had announced the H.264 video codec for YouTube earlier.

On2 video compression claims that,

With On2 VP8, we set out to increase compression performance over On2 VP7 and leading H.264 implementations by 20% while reducing playback complexity by 40%.

Ryan Lawler at Newteeve writes,

The move comes as online video publishers are gravitating toward standards-based HTML5 video delivery, bolstered in part by the release of the iPad. However, that acceptance has been slowed by the fact that the industry has yet to agree on a single codec for video playback, with some companies throwing support behind  Ogg Theora and others hailing H.264 as the future of web video.

This move totally dampens the battle between H.264 and Theora, the currently leading web video codecs. Experts believe that H.264 provides a better video quality and playback as compared to Theora. Though, Theora has got quite a following owing to its open-source nature and absence of licensing issues.

Currently, H.264 is supported on Internet Explorer 9 and Safari whereas Opera and Firefox support Theora. Google Chrome supports both these video formats. If things go as per this plan, Google Chrome and Firefox will be the first ones to see support for VP8.

Microsoft To Cease Xbox Live Support For Original Xbox Tonight

Microsoft will be killing the Xbox live service for the original Xbox tonight. Microsoft had launched the original Xbox live service, along with the original Xbox gaming console way back in 2002. Xbox live was the first major successful online gaming service. Obviously, the Xbox 360 will still be supported. Though the games which were supported at the launch of the service in 2002, won’t be supported from now.  This move is definitely a step forward. After the Xbox live service on the original Xbox will be phased out, the 100 friends cap will be removed from the service.

microsoft

Support for classic multi-player games like Battlefront 2, Crimson Skies, and the highly popular Halo 2 will be ceased as well. Owners of the original Xbox gaming console can still play games in the offline (single player) mode. Though, they will definitely be missing the fun of playing multi-player games online like Halo 2 etcetera. This move will allow Microsoft to add new features in the Xbox live, which the older Xbox could not support.

Google Introduces Recipe Rich Snippets in Search Result Pages

Today, Google added another feature in search result pages Recipe snippets. That means, the next time you search for a food recipe on Google, chances are you will end up seeing a thumbnail of the dish along with some more information such as preparation time, user reviews etc.

For example: A simple search on   thai mango salad, shows the following results

recipe-snippets

In the above snippet, there are 3 things to take note of. First, you can see the user reviews and ratings directly from the search result page. This helps to know whether other users have found the recipe useful or not. Secondly, you can know how much time is required to prepare the dish by looking at the   Total cook timedata. Finally, you can see a small thumbnail of the dish in the search result page.

The Recipe snippetsis the fifth type of snippet introduced in Google search results, the earlier types being reviews, people, video and events respectively.

How to Optimize your Site For Recipe Snippets

If you write about food recipes and want to optimize your blog for Recipe snippets, here are a few things you should know:

1. Always include the necessary micro data in your blog posts. This includes author information, preparation time, summary, review, cooking time etc. For a complete list of micro data and RDF’s, check this Recipe snippets help page.

2. Follow the correct format for organizing your recipe’s micro data. Do not lay all the information scattered but try to nest them properly. Here is a small example template that Google provides:

recipe-snippets-example-template

Google will add the recipe snippets gradually in the search results and there is no guarantee when your pages show up as recipe snippets in search results. You can always check and test your pages using the rich snippets testing tool.   [via Google Webmaster Central ]

Apple iPad International Launch Date Postponed By A Month

The Apple iPad has met with astounding success in the U.S. market. Apple claimed that it managed to sold 300,000 iPads on its launch day. When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone OS 4.0, he said that in the first week more than 450,000 iPads were sold. Thanks to the heavy demand in the U.S. market, Apple has decided to push back the international release date of the iPad by a month.apple-logo1

"Faced with this surprisingly strong U.S. demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10," said Apple in a press release.

 

Typical of Apple, the company also boasted about the strong sales of its product in the press release. "We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason—the iPad is a runaway success in the U.S. thus far." As of now, there is virtually no competition for the iPad. Things will however change soon, with the launch of Meizu’s Mbook and few other Android based tablet devices. HP will also be soon launching its tablet device a.k.a Slate, which will run Windows 7.

Apple did not comment on the iPads overheating and Wi-Fi connectivity issue, which we had reported earlier.

US Government Agrees, Piracy Stats Are Bloated

We all are aware of the MPAA and    RIAA crackdown on file sharers and torrent seeders over the last two years.  Well now that the crackdown is getting cold, recent studies have shown that it was all overrated. Most of the piracy claims and stats were overrated. The Government Accountability Office of the US government has checked and declared that it is

difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the economy-wide impacts

of software and music piracy. This study has been conducted over a year and a 32-page report has been released in PDF format.

There was a factor of a “Substitution Rate” in earlier estimates of piracy. According to it, every lost sale was considered as a piracy. So basically, just the fact that you did not buy the software and  inquired  about it added to the piracy figures. It did not matter if you really bought a pirated copy after that, or just switched to a free alternative.

MPAA went further to manipulate stats to show that college student accounted for 44% of piracy when the actual figure was close to 15%. Though, later they covered up by calling it a human error. Now, we all know it was a human error though not so much of a humane error!

An interesting citation from the released PDF say that file sharing can actually help in sales and promotion. It appears at  Techdirt and  says,

Consumers may use pirated goods to ‘sample’ music, movies, software, or electronic games before purchasing legitimate copies,” the GAO continued. “(This) may lead to increased sales of legitimate goods.

Infosys Bags Microsoft Deal: To Manage Microsoft’s Internal IT

Microsoft Infosys IT Services DealIndia based Infosys Technologies has bagged a deal with IT giant Microsoft which involves Infosys providing it’s services to Microsoft’s Internal IT Management in over 104 countries. This includes Infosys looking after Microsoft’s global internal IT services like helpdesk, desk-side services, IT infrastructure and applications support.

This deal will not only help Infosys to expand it’s operations but it would also provide Infosys an unique opportunity to partner with the IT division of Microsoft and gain the much required technical and more importantly early expertise in the implementation and management of the latest Microsoft technologies and ultimately enhance Infosys’s capabilities of helping it’s other customers to leverage Microsoft’s innovation and adopt these technologies.

Although the official value of the deal has not been disclosed yet but some analysts believe that the deal can be easily worth over 100 million dollars. Infosys has initial plans of running Microsoft’s in-house services for applications, devices and databases in 450 locations. Infosys has also tied up with Unisys to provide global desk-side support and service desk services.

Image and News via Digitizor

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