WD Launches 2.5 inch 750GB Scorpio Blue Hard Disk

Western Digital today unveiled their 750Gb hard disks for the 2.5inch form factor. The Western Digital Scorpio Blue 750GB hard drive consists of 2 platters, and is 9.5mm thick. Due to its slim design, the hard disk can be used in most of the notebooks out there in the market. The hard drive has 8MB of cache and also features WD’s WhisperDrive and ShockGuard technology.

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“WD continues to lead the market with capacity points that enable consumers and business professionals to store large quantities of data and rich media content. Our leading power efficiency, achieved without compromise to performance, is another example of the added features and value that our customers have come to expect from WD.” – said Jim Morris, WD’s senior vice president and general manager of Storage Products.

The hard disk uses the Advanced Format Technology which maximizes the storage space of the disk. The new format provides 7-12% more storage space compared to other formats. The new format might be beneficial for people using the latest operating system but Windows XP users will see a performance hit. The performance dip while reading content from the hard disk is very low. However, the write speeds of the hard disk under Windows XP is expected to be around 10% lower than usual. It looks like its high time people who still use Windows XP, shift to Windows 7.

The MSRP of WD Scorpio Blue is 149 USD$. The hard drives have a 3 year limited warranty.

China Didn’t Block Google, Google Did It Themselves!

Google-Search-ChinaGoogle Search has been inaccessible to most users in mainland China for several hours. Google has now confirmed that Google Search is indeed being censored by the great firewall of China. However, this is not due to any policy change by Chinese authorities. Rather, Google inadvertently blocked itself.

According to BBC, in the past 24 hours Google started adding the string “gs_rfai” to the search URL globally. Unfortunately ‘rfai’ is also an acronym for Radio Free Asia, which has been present in China’s blacklist for a long time. As a result, all Google Search queries were erroneously blocked by China’s firewall.

Google is currently working to resolve this issue and Chinese users should be able to access Google Search soon. However, the million-dollar question is, How long before the Chinese government bans Google, for real?

HTC Legend Up For Pre-Order At Vodafone UK

HTC Legend, the powerful smartphone which was announced last month at Mobile World Congress is up for pre-order in the UK. This handset will be available on the airwaves of Vodafone UK. If you pre-order this handset today itself, then it will be delivered to you by April 6.

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“With up to seven home screens, there’s plenty of room to get things how you like them. And inside, there’s Android. It’s great for everything from apps to the web. Your contacts are simpler too. Link your contacts 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. All this, plus Adobe Flash – so the web on your phone looks like the web on your PC. It’s also pre-loaded with a Vodafone 360 home screen, giving you access to your favourite web sites, contacts, apps and games – all at the touch of a button,” Vodafone UK states.

HTC Legend is a powerful handset which runs on the Android 2.1 operating system and a 600 MHz processor. The phone looks completely stylish and it is made up of a single block of aluminum. It has a 5 megapixel camera, 3.2 inch AMOLED touchscreen display with 320 x 480 pixel resolution, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, Audio and Video player, 3.5 mm audio jack, Micro-USB connectivity, built-in GPS receiver, Optical trackball, Proximity sensor and light sensor, 1300 mAH battery and much more.

You can get this handset for free with a 2 years contract of £25 monthly plan which includes 300 minutes and unlimited texts. Head over to this page, if you are planning to pre-order this handset now itself.

Apple iPhone HD – Rumored Specifications and Launch Date

Ah, Apple and its utterly hyped product launches. It is a vicious cycle that never seems to end. Even before the hype surrounding iPad could settle down, people are already getting psyched about Apple’s next big thing – the next-gen iPhone.

According to Engadget, the new iPhone will be christened iPhone HD and may be launched on June 22. Among other things, the next-gen iPhone is expected to introduce the heavily requested multi-tasking feature. Check out our older posts for a roundup of expected improvements in iPhone OS 4.

John Gruber has also let it slip that the new device will be powered by an A4-family CPU system-on-a-chip and feature a 960×640 double-resolution display. It is also expected to include a front-facing camera, which indicates that it will support video calls and possibly voice conferencing.

Apple is also believed to be working on the first ever CDMA version of iPhone which will possibly be sold by Verizon. For more on that check out Wall Street Journal‘s coverage.

New Kubuntu Logo Design Revealed, “K” still missing

Yesterday when we reported about the new plymouth theme for Kubuntu, we mentioned that the Kubuntu logo is still being developed and that the logo used in the plymouth theme will be replaced by the new theme once it is finished.

In the Kubuntu meeting yesterday night, the Kubuntu Council has approved the design for the new Kubuntu logo. The logo clearly follows the design of the new Ubuntu logo and has the same font. Here is the new Kubuntu logo:

As you can see very clearly, the logo is unfinished. This is because the new font that came with the new Ubuntu branding is still not complete and is still missing many letters including “K” yet.

Meanwhile another Kubuntu member, David Wonderly, has touched-up the official design and added the Kubuntu-Blue color and some glow-effect to come up with a wonderful design.

The new Kubuntu logo is expected to be shipped with the second beta which is scheduled to be released on 8th April.

What do you think about the new design? Do you like it? Let us know through the comment.

HTC Smart Now Available In India For Rs.9990

HTC Corporation and Indian telecom operator, Bharti Airtel joined hands to launch the budget smartphone, HTC Smart in India. We were already expecting this handset to launch at the end of this month and finally the device is up for sale in India. HTC Smart is the first smartphone powered by Brew OS.

htc smart

“HTC has always focused on setting the stage for new mobile experiences and the HTC Smart is clear different from touch phone and the result of customer feedback from all over the world for an easier-to-use, affordable smartphone. We’re excited to launch the HTC Smart with Airtel in India first and Qualcomm, a company known for its innovations. HTC Smart offers easy-to-use widgets, browsing and connectivity at an affordable price. The integration of HTC Sense brings an unparalleled smartphone experience for people looking to do more on their phone,said Peter Chou, Chief Executive Officer, HTC Corporation.

As the undisputed leader in the Indian telecom industry, Airtel is committed to constantly delighting its customers and offering innovations to enrich their experience. With the HTC Smart, Airtel customers will be the first in the world to experience a revolutionary Smartphone that is not only affordable but is also 3G-readysaid Sanjay Kapoor, CEO-India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel.

HTC Smart comes with a 2.8 inches TFT touchscreen display, Sense UI, 3.15 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, USB, GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth, 3G Connectivity, 16 GB expandable memory, 256MB RAM, 256MB ROM, audio and video player, stereo FM radio with RDS, 3.5 mm audio jack, 1100 mAh battery, upto 450 hours stand-by time and 7 hours talk-time.

This handset comes with a price tag of Rs.9,990. You can get this handset from Airtel retail outlets and at all the authorized HTC resellers.

Draw and Write on Google Maps With ScribbleMaps

Have you ever tried explaining someone how to reach a particular place in your city? Maybe, one of your friends will visit the town where you live and you want to give him a rough idea on the places that are worth visiting.

Google Maps is one of the best tools in such situations, but paired with Scribblemaps, it’s even better. The site let’s you draw directions and add text in any Google Map, and you can add arrows, shapes and other markers. This helps in adding more information to the map, and once it’s ready, you can save the map for later viewing.

Using Scribblemaps is quite simple, just head over to the homepage and zoom into a location in Google maps. Then use the menu bar to add text, arrows, shapes and directions.

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Once you have added all the directions and markers, save the map, and you will be provided a unique ID of your customized map.

save-map-with-directions

Next, you have to choose a password so that you can edit the map at a later time.

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Hit “Save” and you are done. You will be shown a link to your customized Google map, which can then be shared via email or other social networking sites (see example). You can also embed the customized map in your blog or website. Thanks Himangshu.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Scribblemaps is easy to use, adds value and is free from advertisements. No registrations or signups are required to use the service. It’s a perfect tool to add custom text and directions in a Google map.

Techie Buzz rating: 5/5 (perfect).

Sony PS3 Will Feel the GeoHot Heat; GeoHot Threatens to Release Custom Firmware with Other OS Support

We are all familiar with the genius hacker George Hotz (GeoHot)  for successfully hacking the Sony PS3 three years after its release  and the Apple iPhone jailbreaking. To counter his efforts, Sony has recently announced the latest firmware upgrade for its PlayStation 3. This firmware upgrade has removed the Other OS support which allowed us to install another OS on the gaming console.

Now, this upgrade from Sony has upset many people, especially George Hotz. GeoHot has written in a blog post saying,

I never intended to touch [custom firmware], but if that’s how you want to play…

GeoHot has threatened to release a custom firmware which will enable the support for the Other OS feature. This is a direct threat to Sony and should get it seriously worried. As we all know, GeoHot has it in himself to make this happen and he will if he says so. He has done it in an earlier instance already.

Another important question that GeoHot has raised is that Sony is changing the advertised features on offer with PS3. This may not be legally wrong but it is ethically. The Other OS feature was what made many people buy this powerful piece of hardware. Running  PS3s in clusters gave them near-supercomputer powers for various purposes.

He puts an argument that if a possible exploit is found in iPhone’s Safari browser, the solution does not lie in removing browser support for iPhone! At least, we can have something to learn from Internet Explorer. They can spend a lifetime releasing patches.

(Via: ars technica)

All Quake Games – 50% Off on Steam!

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There are first person shooters, and then there’s Quake. This game shattered lives as much as it shattered the barriers of gameplay. This spawn of evil enslaved gamers and took away their time and lives before the World of Warcraft’s virtual daddy was even born. It brought together the phrases shoot em upand whole new level gamingin the same sentence and if there was a truer sentence, I have yet to read it. Now, Valve has opened up its vaults and is offering the entire Quake series from the original right up to Quake III Team Arena at the mind-boggling price of $14.99. If you consider yourself a fanatic, this is your time to exhibit your fanaticism.

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Quake: Haven’t I told you enough about this already? Off you go to buy it! Also, Steam is selling Quake’s Mission Packs one and two for $2.49 apiece. You should buy those as well.

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Quake II: Landing on an alien surface, you find that your crew of hundreds was reduced to a handful. Sounds familiar? Well, it was not clichéd back then so you will stop cringing and start playing. The Ground Zero and The Reckoning Mission Packs are also available in this package.

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Quake III Arena: My tryst with the Quake series began with this game. It definitely did siphon off afternoons and evenings and nights and sometimes, the early dawns of my life. I do remember that at the highest difficulty level, Xaero was a cheater. Team Arena added five different factions that you could play as. However, Red vs. Blue was all I ever knew and all I ever want to know!

Buy the Quake complete package on Steam for $14.99.

Did The Great Firewall of China Close Its Gates? Google Search Appears To Be Completely Blocked

Google-Search-Blocked-China Earlier in the day, we reported that certain Google Mobile services were being blocked in China. However, according to latest reports, it now appears that China is blocking Google Search completely.

Google’s official ‘Evil Meter‘ still indicates that there are no issues with Google Search in China. However, that would possibly change in the coming hours. Google is yet to offer any statement, but it is investigating the issue.

It is possible that this is just a technical glitch and the Chinese government hasn’t yet blocked Google Search. However, something like this was always on the cards, ever since Google started offering uncensored search results in China.

The tussle between Google and the Chinese government was triggered by highly sophisticated hacking attempts on Google and several other companies. In an explosive blog post, Google had threatened to quit China and promised to serve uncensored search results. Google followed through on their threats last week.

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