Green Man Gaming Signs Deal with Sony for SecuROM DRM

The independent PC digital distributor  Green Man Gaming has signed a deal with Sony DADC to include its SecuROM DRM in the distributor’s games. For the UK-based retailer, this deal is a sweet opening ceremony gift about 19 days before their release day.

Green Man Gaming

Digital Rights Management, though shunned by many of the gaming community, is a necessary evil for the protection of intellectual and digital property and the first barrier against piracy. Capcom, Take2 Interactive, Ubisoft and EA all use SecuROM. Online retailers such as GamersGate, Steam and Impulse use (or have used) SecuROM on some of their titles although the client for most of these digital distributors acts as a sort of DRM on its own.

Paul Sulyok, CEO of Green Man Gaming, said,

This partnership dramatically accelerates our initial offer to include the majority of AAA PC titles that are currently available. We are looking forward to working with SecuROM and bringing PC gaming to a wider audience through Green Man Gaming and our retail partners.

greenman_home

While the site is not going to be up for a few more weeks, we will try to find as much info on this new digital distributor as possible. Stay tuned for more!

Google Mobile Services in China Moved to Partially Blocked Category

We had earlier covered Google’s decisions on China and the outcomes of this event. Now, Google has started serving partially blocked mobile content in China.  A detailed availability of different services from Google is available at this page. This follows the Google decision to redirect visitors of the Google China homepage to the uncensored Google Hong Kong domain of google.com.hk.

Google has not made itself completely unavailable in China. Some of the services are still available at different levels, marked as having no issues, partially blocked, blocked or information available. The decision to serve mobile content as “partially blocked” was made on the 28th of March at the official update page.

Alan Davidson, director of U.S. public policy for Google  responded on this redirection saying,

We have already seen intermittent censorship of certain search queries on both  Google.com.hk and  Google.com.

Google is struggling hard to maintain its position, authority and integrity after leaving China. Moving out of such a huge market with an  enormous  potential upsets many key people but Google has the guts to raise a voice against a bully.

China, on the other hand is still clinging to comments like,

Google has violated the written promise it made when entering the Chinese market by stopping filtering its searching service and making thinly veiled accusation against China.

Though, one thing is for sure. The Chinese will miss Google services like hell.

Samsung Wave Gets Pricing And Release Date

Samsung Wave, the Bada OS powered smartphone, which was launched last month at Mobile World Congress finally gets release date and pricing details. This handset is currently listed on Play.com and Amazon.de and the release date is expected to be around May 14. The price mentioned at Amazon.de is much higher as compared to the price listed at Play.com.

samsung wave

For those who are unfamiliar with the specs of this device, let me once again tell you that this handset comes with a 3.3 inch WVGA Super AMOLED display, 1Ghz application processor, TouchWiz 3.0 UI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with HD Video recording, support for Divx, Xvid, WMV and MP4 video files, virtual 5.1 surround sound, Stereo FM radio with RDS, 32GB expandable memory, Samsung Apps store and much more.

The price of this device mentioned at Play.com is £339.99 (approx. €380) while the price mentioned at Amazon.de is €429. According to Play.com, this handset will go on sale from May 14. Are you excited about the first Bada powered smartphone? Please let us know your views in the comments.

Motorola Milestone Now Available In India For Rs.32,990

Motorola recently launched the Android powered Motorola Milestone in India. This handset is distributed as Motorola DROID in the US. It has a slide-out QWERTY keypad, 5 megapixel camera, 32 GB expandable memory and so on.

motorola milestone

“Milestone is a smartphone without compromise, delivering a wiser, richer web and messaging experience. As an Android 2.1 device, it does what other smartphones don’t. It was designed to enhance consumer experiences, and its full screen web browsing experience, ability to juggle between multiple applications, and suite of Google applications deliver,” Motorola India’s country head for mobile devices Faisal Siddiqui said.

This powerful smartphone has a 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with 480 x 854 pixel resolution, 600Mhz Cortex A8 Processor, Android 2.1 operating system, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, dual-LED flash and Geo-tagging, GPRS/EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G connectivity, A-GPS, 32GB expandable memory, 1400 mAh battery and much more.

This device comes with a free lifetime voice-guided navigation of more than 400 cities in India. This handset is available is available in India at select retails with a price tag of Rs.32,990.

Zune HD v4.5 Firmware Update Coming Soon

Engadget reports that a new firmware update for Zune HD will be out soon. The new firmware update will be numbered v4.5. The update will provide expanded MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile support which includes Xvid and AVI codec support as well. There is also a new application called Smart DJ. The Smart DJ application is Microsoft’s alternative to iPod Genius feature. The Smart DJ application will let users create an instant playlist mix whenever they want. If the user has a Zune Pass subscription, music from Zune Marketplace will also be added to your playlist.

zune-hd

The press release from Microsoft also stated that users can browse and stream music from Zune Marketplace directly to their TV using the Zune HD A/V dock. When connected via Wi-Fi, it can be used to stream content from Zune’s marketplace and thus it becomes an alternative to popular apps like Pandora or Slacker Radio on the iTouch platform. What this firmware update does not bring is DivX codec support. Microsoft also did not comment about Mac support for Zune HD. There was no word about the international launch of Zune HD as well. It does not look like either of these things will happen in the near future.

It is also believed that Microsoft will soon be launching a 64Gb version of Zune HD.

Cravendale Jug Tells You Whether The Milk Is Fresh Or Not

There is nothing like having a glass of fresh milk in the morning. But many times instead of fresh milk, you are served a glass of milk which has turned sour. The guys at Cravendalestainless milk jug Research and Development have created a special magicjug which alerts its users when the milk poured in the jug is sour. The jug has a small LCD screen on its exterior which tells the user about the state of the milk. The jug also has an alarm system which alerts the user when the milk has turned sour. The jug contains a unique PH sensor at its base which measures the acidity of the milk. The result is then displayed on the LCD screen of the jug.

Cravendale has launched a commitment to British consumers that we will protect them against sour milk and ensure fresh milk every day. Our milk stays fresh for up to 21 days unopened so the milk jug takes our mission one step further! Our unique milk jug takes the guess work out of determining when your milk has soured which we believe should help reduce dairy wastage. said Sam Dolan, Cravendale Brand Manager

The folks at Cravendale say that by using this magicjug people can save up to 100,000 tones of milk wastage. Read more about this magicjug from Cravendale here.

The Safest Search Engine on the Web

I would like to nominate WOT-SurfCanyon as the safest search site on the web. This might be debatable, because there are a few dedicated search engines for children. However, kid-safe searches will not show you search results that any curious adult will want to see.

I define safe searching for adults, as being able to see everything, and yet be protected against sites that deliver malware, trojans and spyware. If you follow my definition, the WOT-SurfCanyon site is a search service that you may want to use.

Here’s a look at some search results for the most dangerous item you can search for, screensavers.

surfcanyon-wot-search

Please notice that there is a little green circle next to each search result. This is due to the WOT (Web of Trust) service that SurfCanyon is partnered with. If those circles are yellow or red, the search result is either risky or dangerous for different reasons.

There are two options at the top of the search results page which exclude certain results by default. Un-checking the check-boxes will allow you to see those results.

surfcanyon-exclusions

SurfCanyon also includes an icon next to each search result. The SurfCanyon icon looks like a little target with a blue arrow in the bulls-eye.

surfcanyon-bullseye

Clicking on the SurfCanyon bulls-eye will show you recommended search results based on the result you’ve chosen. This is a very nice feature, but I have not found it as useful as the WOT icon. Clicking on the WOT icon will give you more details about the website behind that search result.

I recently wrote about the WOT addon for Firefox, IE and Chrome browsers. It provides this safe search feature, but it does require that you use the addon. If you don’t want to install an addon to your web browser, the WOT-SurfCanyon search is exactly what you need to stay safe.

Sometime soon, I’ll tell you how to set SurfCanyon-WOT as your default search engine in Firefox, IE, Chrome and Opera. Until then, search safely!

Nokia Offers Free 12 Months Extended Warranty in India

Nokia-Free-Extended-Warranty-India

Nokia has announced that it will be offering 12 months of extended warranty with every Nokia E-series and N-series handset. This offer is valid in India til April 13th and can be availed from any Nokia Priority dealer.

From the official website:

Now, all new Nokia E-Series and Nokia N-Series devices come to you with Free Nokia Care Protect – an extended warranty for 12 months worth Rs. 1,414 absolutely free. Hurry, the offer is valid only from March 13 to April 13, 2010.

Nokia Care Protect offers you:

Peace of mind:
After your Nokia Limited Warranty expires, you can receive repair and support for an additional 12 months – from set-up to help with new features to repair options.

No hidden or additional fees:
Nokia Care Protect covers all your support and repair needs.

In other words, you will be receiving 24 months of warranty instead of the usual 12 months. If you are planning to buy a Nokia device, don’t waste time and order it before this offer expires. Extended warranty on electronic goods always comes in handy.

Airtel Introduces Fastest Broadband In India At 50 Mbps in Delhi and Gurgaon

Airtel has led yet another breakthrough in the Indian broadband market by introducing a 50 Mbps broadband connection in Delhi and Gurgaon. The new plan will have a tariff plan of Rs 8999 and will allow users to download up-to 200 GB of data.

Airtel Broadband

Airtel is introducing two basic plans in the high-speed broadband market, which includes a 50 Mbps and 30 Mbps broadband connection. The plan is a bit costly for home users, but can definitely add some cheer for business owners who often lack high speed connections.

The new broadband plans are powered by Airtel’s Carrier Ethernet Network, the service will be initially available in select few premium locations in Delhi and Gurgaon, with phased roll-out in cities of Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

The two new plans which are being introduced include:

A. 50 MBPS – @ Rs. 8999 per month, experience 50 Mbps broadband speed with free data transfer up-to 200 GB and additional free value added services (VAS) like Parallel Ringing, Website Builder (Basic), PC Secure (Anti-Virus software), Online Storage, Unlimited Gaming on Games on Demand

B. 30 MBPS – @ Rs. 7999 per month, experience 30 Mbps broadband speed with free data transfer up-to 200GB and additional free VAS like Parallel Ringing, Website Builder (Basic), PC Secure (Anti-Virus software), Online Storage, Unlimited Gaming on Games on Demand.

Announcing the launch, K. Srinivas, Joint President-Telemedia Services, Bharti Airtel, said:

Airtel, with this step, brings in a world class experience for its broadband customers. We are delighted to introduce 50 Mbps speed – the fastest, wired broadband service on next generation VDSL2 technology. This ultra-fast broadband connection will allow customers, the convenience to download songs in seconds and full length feature films in less than three minutes.

This is definitely good news for Indian users and would definitely lead to more cheaper broadband connections for homes in the future. Right now many Internet users in India still use dial-up connections or low-speed broadband connection to access the internet. Hopefully this introduction should change things in future.

More info on this can be found at the Official press release from Airtel.

Google Adds File Transfer to Orkut and iGoogle Chat, Arriving Soon on GMail Google Chat

Sending files to friends just got easier with chat on iGoogle and Orkut. Google has added a nifty feature in Google Chat on iGoogle and Orkut which allows users to send files to friends, just like in the GTalk chat client.
orkut-file-tansfer
As seen in this image from the Orkut Blog, to use this feature, all you need to do to send a file is go to Actions -> Send a File and select the file. Similarly, to receive a file, confirm the reception and there you go.

Earlier, there were only two options to send files while chatting. One, was to use the GTalk chat client and secondly, we could email the file. This method of file transfer allows for a much close integration with the native Google chat.

The post on the official Orkut blog has given confirmed reports that this feature will appear on GMail soon.  It is a surprise to see this basic feature appear only after advanced features like video chat. Though, as the saying goes, better late than never.

Know your technology head on