DYK Thursday – Barack Obama is The First US President Whose Portrait Was Taken From a Digital Camera

In United States, they follow a tradition of keeping portraits of all the presidents who lived in White House. The tradition  started with Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington, which was made of oil paints is followed till now.

Bill Clinton, an early president of the US, was the first person to get his portrait painted by an African American, Simmie Knox!

But, as “Change is always a constant” there has been a change in this tradition too. The latest president of US, Barack Obama’s portrait is not painted with oil paints, but is taken from a digital camera!

barack_obama_portrait
Compare with the other two, you will see the difference

The camera that was used to take the photo of Barack Obama was a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.  But, even the painted version of Barack Obama’s portrait would be available at the end of his tenure as a president. You can also find the pictures of all the portraits here.

Wow, that’s really amazing! Did you know that?

And BTW, DYK that Elephants are afraid of Mice? Watch this video if you don’t believe me!

Thanks Amit and Clif!

HTC Desire Firmware Updated To Version 1.15.405.4

Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC, recently released a new firmware update for its powerful smartphone, HTC Desire. The new version 1.15.405.4 can be easily updated Over The Air (OTA). This is the first firmware update available for HTC Desire. The changes in this firmware version is still unknown.

htc desire

“In our commitment to providing you with the best user experience, we are pushing out a new firmware update to you phone. Your phone will receive a notification of this update when it is made available. Simply press OK to accept the update via data connection such as Wi-Fi or GPRS/3G,” HTC’s website states.

It is advised to backup all your data before updating your device. The changelog for this update is not yet available. We will update this post as soon as we get the complete changelog of this firmware update. If you find something new or if you have some screenshots or videos of this firmware update, please share with us.

Free Disk Space Analyzer – O&O DiskStat – Limited Time Offer

folder-check-icon[Windows Only] I recently saw an offer for a 1 Terabyte hard disk for around $120. The price of storage space keeps getting better and better. Once you start filling up huge disks, you need a way to figure out what stuff belongs on them and what you need to send to the trash.

There are dozens of disk management solutions out there and many of them are free. However, sometimes you get what you pay for. O&O Software is giving away copies of their O&O DiskStat program. It’s normally priced at $30 USD. In this case, you are getting much more than what you pay for.

o o-screenshot

Quote from O&O Software:

O&O DiskStat is a high-power tool for analyzing the used disk space on your storage volumes. With an easy-to-use interface based on the design of the Windows Explorer, you can take a closer look at the file and folder structure of your internal and external drives. Through intuitive and beautiful graphical representations you will find out which files, file types and folders are taking up the most space.

A few of the features:
* Analysis of the File System Structure
* Supports Internal and External Drives
* Windows Explorer Look & Feel
* Support of 64-bit Systems
* Windows Vista/7 Compatibility

Sign up for a free license of O&O DiskStat (requires an email address)

BSNL Launches Life Time Prepaid at Rs.20 in Maharashta-Goa

BSNL
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has announced the launch of Life Time 2G GSM Prepaid card at Rs.20 in Maharashtra-Goa telecom circles. The card is also accompanied with a talktime of Rs 15.
However, to continue enjoying the lifetime validity, you will have to make a minimum recharge of Rs.50 in every 6 Months.
BSNL also introduces 2 new FRC applicable for all new GSM Mobile service subscribers. It allows you to enjoy BSNL`s Pay Per Second Plan and All@49 plan at Rs.42 and Rs.48 respectively.
FRC 42
The call charges will applicable according to Pay Per Second Planfor 365 days from the date of recharge.
FRC 48
The tariff will be applicable as ALL@49 planfor 365 Days from the date of recharge.
ALL@49 plan allows you to talk to any network (STD or Local) at 49p/Min.

Followed by Airtel, BSNL Doubles Broadband Speed of all Customers under Unlimited Plan

Recently Airtel announced that it will double the internet browsing speed for all its customers free of cost (i.e. if you have 256 kbps connection, it will automatically be converted to 512 kbps plan) and it seems like BSNL has followed Airtel’s strategy and has rolled a similar plan wherein broadband speed of all BSNL customers with any unlimited plan will be doubled without any extra charges.

BSNL Speedtest Results

As a proof, you can check out the speed test results of my 256 kbps unlimited plan on the image above. My home unlimited 256 kbps plan has automatically been upgraded to 512 kbps plan. Though, as per BSNL, this is just a promotional offer and will last until 26th April but, personally I am quite sure that this offer will be extended for an indefinite period considering the falling broadband tariffs of competing ISPs.

Besides this, BSNL also has several freebies for new dataone broadband customers such as waiver of activation charges, unlimited free data usage for first 15 days at a speed of 2 Mbps, etc.

KDE Software Compilation – Customized Editions and Kim Kardashian

Today we have two big news related to the KDE Software Compilation:

  • KDE SC is coming in three  customized  versions.
  • American socialite Kim Kardashian is going to officially promote KDE SC.

The KDE Team has decided to come out with three  customized  versions of KDE Software Compilation to satisfy the diverse users that KDE SC now has. This is the official statement:

KDE has enjoyed great success over the years and today marks another important step in the evolution of our growing community. Many years ago when KDE was just beginning we had a small user base and similar expectations of how the software should work. But with growth and success also comes new users and new expectations. As an effort to meet the growing demands of our user community KDE has identified 3 key areas in which we would like to better cater to users’ needs. In order to achieve this it has been determined that there will be, going forward, 3 separate releases of each Software Compilation tailored to these areas.

Here are the three editions of KDE SC that is going to be available:

Ultimate Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who prefer full customization in everything. This edition will come with a double, triple and quadruple tabbars to make all the settings accessible quickly. If you want to play around with your computer this is the edition for you.

Dwarfed Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who love open-source softwares but cannot handle all the decisions makings that setting up an open-source software requires. This edition will come with all the normal softwares that KDE SC usually comes with.

Basic Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who have just migrated to KDE SC and open-source. This edition will provide a rock solid stability without any customization. To make sure it is as simple as possible, it will be closed-source and root level functionalities are disabled.

Another big news is that American socialite Kim Kardashian has officially been  chosen  as the official promoter of the KDE Software Compilation.

This is what KDE chief Matthias Ettrich told a press conference in Hamburg:

It’s not often that we come across such a perfect fit. Where would you find a prominent person whose name and surname both begin with K? She’s the perfect choice to promote KDE. She will give us exposure like nobody else can.

As our web page says, we have a strong focus on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems and creating a vibrant atmosphere open for experimentation,” Ettrich said. “What could be more innovative than getting this big K to promote KDE?

Apparently this move by KDE SC has made the people at GNOME worried and are also trying to get a celebrity to promote GNOME as well.

Happy April Fools Day Everyone! :)

Tata Docomo GSM Services Launched In Himachal Pradesh

Tata Docomo, the GSM brand of Tata Teleservices Limited, recently launched its GSM mobile services in Himachal Pradesh. The company will allow its subscribers to call anywhere in the World on a per-second pulse. They have an extensive coverage of 286 towns & 4,342 villages in Himachal Pradesh.

tata docomo

Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, said: The value proposition offered by TATA DOCOMO is a unique and revolutionary idea which symbolizes the spirit of innovation and inventive genius. This launch is truly a moment of triumph for the consumer. The launch of the pay-per-use concept by TATA-DOCOMO will create a paradigm shift in the overall telecom experience for the customer and provide a service that is refreshingly different.

Mr Anil Sardana, Managing Director of Tata Teleservices Limited, said. It is a privilege to be fulfilling that promise in Himachal Pradesh – where subscribers are discerning and seek transparency, innovation and differentiation. Our partnership with NTT DOCOMO will help us
provide subscribers with tremendous technological and service differentiation. Keeping in view the century of trust associated with the House of Tata, we are launching the concept of fare being fair. From today, TATA DOCOMO subscribers in Himachal Pradesh will be able to enjoy the benefits of pay-as-you-use.

Tata Docomo offers special calling rates and SMS packages for its subscribers in Himachal Pradesh. Buddynet members can enjoy special calling rates of 1 paisa for 6 seconds for all local calls and 1 paisa for 2 seconds for all STD calls. They will also get free access to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Linked-In and Nimbus.

The company also provides a special SMS tariff for subscribers in Himachal Pradesh. The first SMS of the day will be charged at 60 paisa and the next 200 local or national SMS in that day will be free of cost. Tata Docomo will roll out its GSM services in Rajasthan within few days.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 Released; Beta Version of RHEL 6 Coming Soon

RedHat has recently upgraded its Linux server product to RHEL 5.5 with many new features and performance improvements. The latest OS from RedHat has improved  Windows Interportability and  Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)  Virtualization which allows running unsupported hardware through an emulator. It also includes support for newer hardware of Intel and AMD.

Tim Burke, vice president of platform engineering at Red Hat, reported to InternetNews.com that,

We overlap on our releases as it takes many years to produce the new version – RHEL 6 – which is currently in development, Within the coming month we’ll have our beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

The hardware is of nominal value until you’ve got the software to enable it and that’s what really shines in RHEL 5.5. We’ve done a huge number of scalability enhancements for both bare metal and virtualization environments.

RedHat will also announce the availability of RHEL 6 in June. This will be the next major version after the release of RHEL 5 in 2007.

One major improvement in RHEL 5.5 is the support for new processor families from Intel (Westmere) and AMD (Opteron). One major feature improvement is the Runtime Allocation which allows processes to scale their memory requirements at runtime. Interportability with Windows 7 has also been improved through improvements in Samba.

Get a 30 days trial version of RHEL 5.5 through the RedHat Network.
(Via: Serverwatch)

Garmin-Asus M10 GPS Phone Launched in India

Garmin is famous for its excellent navigation software. However, its past attempts at manufacturing a GPS phone received lukewarm reception. One of the main prohibitive factors with earlier Garmin-Asus phones was the price. However, now Garmin-Asus has introduced a slightly more affordable Nuvifone M10 in India.

The M10 is powered by a capable Qualcomm 7227 600MHz processor and runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3. Its main attraction is obviously the in-built navigational software provided by Garmin. Navigational features are available in Hindi and English and are integrated into every nook and corner of the handset including frequently used applications such as calendar, contacts, email, internet browser, and messaging. It also includes some really useful advanced navigational features such as ‘lane assist’ (guides drivers to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit and realistically displays road signs) and ‘highway mode’ (tells drivers the next three upcoming street exits so they can plan ahead).

Garmin-Asus-M10

M10 boasts of s a 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen (480×800 pixels) with accelerometer for auto-rotate. As you can expect from a Windows Mobile phone, the M10 is quite capable when viewing office documents and handling social networks. It also features of a five mega-pixel camera. Unfortunately, there is no flash. So, unless the lighting is adequate you can forget about the camera.

The M10 will retain in India for Rs. 19.990 and will be initially available in major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. If navigation is important to you, you will be hard pressed to find a better option at this price range.

Apple Ties Up With Amazon To Sell iPad At A Discount

Amazon has always been know to sell products at a discount, which other retailers cannot provide. However, in a startling marriage, Apple and Amazon have decided to tie-up and offer the at a comparative discount that even Best Buy could not come up with.

Amazon will be stocking around 250000 iPad which will go on sale on April 12th, after Apple has fulfilled their current pre-orders. This move comes as a surprise since Apple themselves are competing with Amazon’s Kindle, which is being widely used to read e-Books.

The join statement by Apple’s Steve Jobs and Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos will go live today April 1st. At first, we though that this was an April Fool’s joke, but we now have confirmed news that this will happen.

Amazon will be selling the iPad for around $399 which a markdown of $100 on the actual Apple price, there is no news on why Apple would want to have Amazon sell the iPad at such a rate considering that the iPad is currently only available through the Apple store.

Apple also has plans to tie up with Walmart who are the biggest retailers in US to offer the iPad for $350 or so, however, those plans are under wrap and may be revealed in late May or June.

Rest assured we will keep you up-to-date on these rumors which are part of our April Fool’s pranks. Have fun.

Know your technology head on