Microsoft Interested In Buying Canonical

According to a leaked company memo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is reportedly interested in buying Canonical, the company behind the popular Linux Distro Ubuntu.

Canonical is responsible for bringing bringing Linux to the masses with its distro Ubuntu, whose main focus is on improved usability and stability. Since its introduction in 2004, Ubuntu has gone on to become the most popular Linux distro and has been increasing its user-base at the expense of Micosoft’s Windows Operating System.

According to a leaked memo, Microsoft considers Linux as the main competitor to its flag-ship product, Windows, and is concerned by the number of people who are turning away from Windows to Linux. Microsoft thinks that this is because of Ubuntu and wants to end it by acquiring Canonical. Here is the screenshot of the memo that we recieved:

Neither Microsoft nor Canonical has not made any official statement regarding this yet. But one thing that is for sure is that this is the Open-Source community’s worst nightmare and they will be furious.

Happy April Fools Day Folks!

90% Of Google Employees Prefer Bing

Google is no doubt one of the biggest search engines in the world, but the fact is that most of the Google employees prefer using Bing for the reliability and let me say better travel options it presents, considering that Google is busy shipping its employees in and out of Silicon Valley.

The survey which was conducted by an internal Google team was leaked out and send out to us, we are unfortunately unable to present the survey as it is under embargo and won’t go out until 1st April 2010, however, we decided to break the embargo to write this post.

74% of those who surveyed and answered thought that Bing added more color to their lives with the new backgrounds which they wished they had as a wallpaper. However, 65% of the people surveyed also said that they missed their flights because of the problems with Bing’s Flight timings, and they switched back to Google again.

Nevertheless, 90% of those who were planning a trip did use Bing in an attempt to appease Redmond and have some of those high flying executives to get free trips sponsored by Microsoft. However, all they got was Kayak and Expedia.

The 90% of Google employees who used Bing said that they would use it to download a new wallpaper everyday, however, when questioned about actually using Bing to search, the employees drew a blank and asked whether Bing could actually be used for search.

Many people were questioning why Bing’s market share was increasing, we now have our answer and it is the wallpapers.

Thanks for the tip Google Bot, we love April Fool’s too.

Disclaimer: Anything written in this post should be devoured with utmost care. April Fool’s does provide us with a good reason to provide inedible content to our readers ;-).

Microsoft Unveils Zune HD 64Gb

Today, Microsoft has officially confirmed the existence of Zune HD with 64Gb storage capacity. It was just yesterday we had reported that Microsoft will soon be announcing a 64Gb version of Zune HD. Microsoft has set the release date of the media player to April 12. Along with the announcement of Zune HD 64Gb, Microsoft also reduced the price of 16Gb and 32Gb Zune HD by 20 USD$.

zunehd

Yesterday Microsoft had also announced that they will soon be releasing a new firmware update for Zune HD. The new firmware update brings with it native XviD codec support, Smart DJ application and few other features. The price of Zune HD 64Gb edition will be 349.99 USD$. The competitor of Zune HD 64Gb – iPod Touch 64Gb – costs 399.99 USD$.

Linux Mint 8 Helena Announces the Release of Xfce Version

Linux Mint developers are proud to announce the release of the Xfce version of Linux Mint 8. This latest release features the lightweight Xfce desktop environment and has most of the nautilus features in built.
mint-helena
Based largely on Xubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, the Latest Release from Mint team has been built upon Xubuntu. This ensures it has all the features present in Xubuntu and maybe more.

  • The Software Manager has been redesigned. This new software manager allows for displaying more content. Moreover, the package cache is updates automatically and the package size and installation status is also shown in this new Software Manager.
  • The earlier Upload application mintUpload  has been divided into a File Uploader and an Upload Manager. The upload manager allows different transfer protocols like FTP, SFTP etc.
  • Firefox has the stylish add-on inbuilt.
  • The Mint tools branding has been removed to make this tool available and usable across other distros.
  • Mint is using its own repository for Community Edition packages.

You can check the Linux Mint 8 Helena Xfce release notes for a complete changelog.

Linux Mint 8 Helena Xfce supports both torrent and http download.  The download link can be found on this official announcement page.

HTC Desire Up For Pre-Order At Vodafone UK

HTC Desire, the powerful smartphone which was announced last month at Mobile World Congress is up for pre-order in the UK. This handset was expected to release on the airwaves of T-Mobile UK at the end of this month, but it was delayed by one week due to some unknown reason. This handset is currently available for pre-order at Vodafone UK.

htc desire vodafone

“If a phone’s not really yours till you’ve got it how you like it, the HTC Desire is for you. It’s got Android inside, giving you the power to customise up to seven home screens. And whatever you’re doing on your phone – from apps to the web – you’ll be wowed by the Desire’s speed. Your contacts are simpler too. Link the people in your address book to their Facebook, Twitter and email accounts. Then sit back and let their updates, mails, texts and more come to you – all in one place. A massive 3.7″ touchscreen lets you see everything clearly – and the clever trackpad makes getting around the Desire (and the web) incredibly easy,” Vodafone UK states.

HTC Desire is a powerful device since it has a 1 Ghz processor. This handset is based on the Android 2.1 operating system. It has a 3.7 inch AMOLED touchscreen display with 480 x 800 pixel resolution, Wi-Fi, 5 megapixel camera with auto focus and flash, 3G connectivity, microSD memory card slot, Bluetooth 2.1, HTC Sense,  GPS, Digital compass,  1400 mAh Battery and so on.

If you pre-order this handset today itself, then it will be delivered to you by April 13. You can get this handset for free with a 2 years contract of £30 monthly plan which includes 600 minutes and unlimited texts. Head over to this page, if you are planning to pre-order this handset now itself.

Microsoft Finally Fixes Internet Explorer Zero-Day Flaw – Patches 9 Other Vulnerabilities Along With It

As expected, Microsoft has released an out-of-band update to fix critical vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer. This cumulative update includes as many as ten patches, including one for the critical Iepeers.dll vulnerability discussed earlier.

The afore mentioned vulnerability is currently being widely exploited by hackers to infect systems through drive-by downloads. In other words if you system is unpatched, simply visiting a compromised website is sufficient to get infected.

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This is the second time this year that Microsoft has been forced to issue an out-of-band update. Earlier in January, it had issued an unscheduled update to fix a vulnerability, which was exploited in Operation Aurora. Microsoft Security Response group manager Jerry Bryant said, “Releasing the update early provides Internet Explorer 6 and 7 customers protection against the active attacks and provides users of all versions of Internet Explorer protection against nine other vulnerabilities”.

As mentioned earlier, this update applies to all versions of Internet Explorer. Most of the patches issues are critical or important. This patch does not however, fix the vulnerability that was exploited in the recent Pwn2Own competition to compromise a fully patched Windows 7 system.

Users who have disabled automatic update can download the appropriate files from here.

AI War and Its Expansion for 50% Off on Steam

There is something to be said about this labor of love. Christopher Park founded Arcen Games and went on to make AI War: Fleet Command which is one of the most unique space-strategy games out there. It is a space-based 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) strategy game which is mostly RTS (Real Time Strategy) with elements of a TBS (Turn Based Strategy). As a grand game that takes away the pressure of micromanagement from the players and focuses on the underlying strategy instead. So instead of working with each and every one of the 90,000 units that this game is reported to support at a single time, you will work like the admiral you are flanking, debilitating and using guerilla tactics against your enemy.

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This entire week, the game will be up for sale on Steam for $9.99!

AI War: Fleet Command was a hit. So Arcen Games decided to push ahead with an expansion! AI Wars: The Zenith Remnant added a huge number of features to an already awesome game with Core ships, ancient alien artifacts and moody Dyson Spheres. Being a game full of consequences and no competitive multiplayer (you fight the AI and only the AI, hence the name) this massive expansion pack is also on sale on Steam for $4.99 this week!

If you are still not convinced, check this trailer from Gametrailers for AI War: Fleet Command!

Webby Wednesday: Create HTML Forms, Visitor Chat Widget, Shared calendars and Fill PDF Forms Online

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

Faary: Create Simple HTML Forms

If you have a blog or website, you will need HTML forms for different purposes. May be a contact form or a simple sign up form which you want to use in your product sign up pages. Faary lets you create simple HTML contact forms without writing any code or using any plugin.

To get started, visit Faary and enter the parameters you want to include in the form in the left column. Make sure to separate each item in a new line and include a “*” before the items which you want as required.

faary-create-contact-forms

Once the form is ready, click on “Generate” and the site will preview the contact form in the browser. You can then download the required HTML and CSS for the contact form as a zip file. The site is completely free to use and there are no registrations or signups involved.

Plupper: Live Visitor Chat Widget for Your Blog or Website

If you want to live chat with your site visitors, Plupper will be useful. You can embed a small code in your website’s source and visitors coming to these pages can start chatting with you on your preferred IM client. This includes Google Talk, Pidgin, Ichat, Trillian, Miranda, Meebo to name a few.

plupper-chatback-widget

The free account at Plupper imposes no limitation on the amount of conversations you can have with your visitors or clients. However, if you want something full featured, see the pricing plans of Plupper and decide the plan which suits your budget.

Meetifyr: Create Online Shared Calendars

Want to plan a meeting or an event with a group of people? Meetifyr lets you create shared calendars and add available dates to it, so that you and your friends can plan an event with ease.

create-online-calendars

Using the tool is simple, just head over to Meetifyr and create a calendar. Add your name and the dates when you are free and when you are done, the site gives you a unique URL of the calendar (see example). You can then share the URL of the calendar with your friends and they can also add their available dates. In the end, you can compare all the available dates and plan the meeting accordingly. The tool is not as versatile and feature rich as Google Calendar, but it’s an easy way to plan meetings with anyone.

FillAnyPDF: Upload and Fill PDF Forms Online

FillanyPDF lets you upload PDF forms so that other people can fill it any add their signatures. You can invite a group of people to fill data in the form and then track the results

fill-pdf-forms-online

The site lets you send forms to users via email or embed the entire form in your website. The good thing about FillAnyPDF is that users need not register to fill out forms.

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!

LG GT540 Now Available For Pre-Order In UK

The Android powered LG GT540 is now available for pre-order in the UK. This is the second Android-based handset manufactured by LG. This handset was announced in January during the CES 2010. This device is currently listed on Play.com and it is expected to be delivered at the end of April.

lg gt540

LG GT540 comes with a 3.0 inch touchscreen display with 320 x 480 pixel resolution, 3 megapixel camera with autofocus, VGA video recording, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, GPRS/EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, 3G Connectivity, Stereo FM radio with RDS, audio and video player, social networking integration with live updates and so on.

This device is available in 3 different colors – Black, White and Pink. This handset will start shipping from April 30. It comes with a price tag of £199.99. This is an unlocked device and it can used with any wireless operator. If you want to pre-order this device, head over to this page.

LG GW620 Officially Launched In India For Rs.16,490

LG recently launched the Android powered GW620 in India. This smartphone comes with an amazing slide-out QWERTY keypad. This handset is LG’s first Android powered smartphone targeted at the budget-conscious consumers in India.

lg gw620

Sudhin Mathur, Business Head, Mobile communications said, LG’s first Android phone, LG GW620, was developed keeping in mind the ever growing demands from consumers to have a phone on which they can multi-task, with the new Android phone users can surf the internet, do business on the go, seek directions, enjoy audio-video entertainment, play games, take pictures and a lot more. The launch further reiterates LG’s commitment to push boundaries in mobile phone innovation and design. We are sure that with LG’s accumulated technology leadership in mobile phone industry and our consistent strategy to support every existing operating system, LG will provide better choices and benefits to our consumers.

This handset is based on Android 1.5 operating system. It comes with a slide-out QWERTY keypad, 3 inch touchscreen display with 320 x 480 pixel resolution, 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, face detection & image stabilizer, 150 MB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, QVGA video recording, audio and video player, Stereo FM radio, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, USB, Bluetooth, 3G connectivity, Java, up to 600 hours stand-by time, up to 8 hours talktime, 1500 mAh battery and much more.

This device is available in three colors – Black, Gray and Blue. This handset comes with a price tag of Rs.16,490.

Know your technology head on