Borders Has a New eBook Store, eReader and Apps

Recently, I told you how to grab plenty of eBooks from Amazon and read them in the free Kindle apps. I had also told you previously how to access thousands of free eBooks using FBReader. I’m not lying when I tell you that I have plenty of stuff to read. Despite that, I was pleased to see that the well known Borders book store was opening an online Borders eBook store. Can they compete with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Books-a-Million and maybe (in the future) Google?


Borders has a little eBook reader named the Kobo, for about $150. It will let you shop, order and read the eBooks over any Wifi connection. It’s very cute and weighs less than 8 ounces. It’s size makes it easy to bring along anywhere you go. The 6-inch display should make reading fairly comfortable.


This last Christmas, my daughter gave me a Borders gift card. At the time, I had no idea if I would ever use it. As soon as I found out that Borders went online, I went out and bought my Christmas present and started reading it in the free Kobo eReader app.

The eReader app isn’t complicated, it’s easy to use and it’s also available on several platforms: PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry and Android.

It’s not so cute, but it does allow you to shop, order and read all the eBooks in the Borders eBook store. Here you can see what it looks like on my Windows netbook (screen rotated by iRotate).


Will the Borders eBook store be a big hit? I can’t say for sure, but I’m enjoying it until my gift card runs out of money. I love to read :)

FamilyShield Blocks Phishing, Malware and Adult Websites

family-shield-icon A few weeks ago, a good friend of our family posted a question to me in Facebook.

How can I block adult content on my kid’s computer?

Fortunately, I already knew about several methods, but I wanted to give them something free and easy to use. I pointed them to the free OpenDNS service.

Why OpenDNS?

There’s no software to download and it’s always up to date with the latest information on what websites need to be blocked. It also works on Windows, Mac, Linux or almost any operating system.

To use the free OpenDNS Basic service, you will have to register an email address to be able to change the settings that control what types of web content you wish to block. However, OpenDNS is now offering   a new service, called FamilyShield, which doesn’t require registration and is even easier to set up.

What does FamilyShield block?

• Adult websites that are unsuitable for kids
• Proxy and anonymizer sites commonly used by savvy kids to bypass traditional Web filters
• Phishing sites that aim to trick you into handing over personal or financial information
• Some virus-spreading malware websites

How does FamilyShield work?

To tell you how it works, I’m going to use one of the 650+ free wallpapers from VladStudio.

Image: How the Internet Works by VladStudio:


When you are using FamilyShield or any other OpenDNS service, you are telling your PC to use OpenDNS as your default DNS server. Do you see the owl in the third frame of the picture? The DNS server (the owl) tells your computer the real address (IP address) of all the websites that your computer tries to access.

OpenDNS is a smart owl. If you ask it for the IP address of a website that contains something bad, OpenDNS won’t give you the address and you won’t be able to access the bad website. If you set up FamilyShield on your home network router, all the devices in your home are protected from the bad stuff out there.

Below, I’ll show you the typical FamilyShield setup for protecting your home.

1. Sign in with an email address or skip it by clicking the link labeled continue. They don’t require your email address.


2. Choose to set up FamilyShield on a single PC or on your home network (router).


3. If you choose router, you can find specific instructions for the most popular router models.


4. Below you can see the instructions for a Linksys router.


5. Once you have the router set up, you can test to see if FamilyShield is working by using the Test your new settingslink at the top of the instruction page.


That’s it. No software needed and your PC or your home network is protected. Your kids and you will be much safer using the FamilyShield from OpenDNS.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I can’t tell enough people about this awesome free service. If you are reading this, you should tell all of your friends. It’s not a replacement for knowing what your kids are doing on the PC, but it’s an easy way to help protect them.


Apple Mac Mini To Sell For Rs Rs. 44,900 in India

Apple has revealed the price of the latest Mac Mini for Indian customers and it will be priced at Rs 44,900 for the regular edition and Rs. 64,900 for the server edition.


The new Mac Mini from Apple comes with either a 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM. Storage space for the device could be either 320GB or 500GB SATA. It also has system memory of 2GB which can be expanded to 4GB.

Mac Mini also has 802.11n Wi-Fi support and a FireWire 800 port. The gadget also has a 8x Super Drive and comes with 4 USB 2.0 ports and a SD card slot.

Mac Mini will run on the latest Mac OS X Snow Leopard and come with a host of pre-installed software from the iLife suite.

Mac Mini will be available for purchase at Apple affiliated stores soon and will cost Rs. 44,900 for the regular version and Rs. 64,900 for the server edition.

Find Free Wifi Hotspots with WeFi

[Windows, Mobile and Mac]wifi-ico Since I have a netbook and occasionally take it on the road, I decided to try out WeFi. The WeFi application and web service promises to help you locate wifi hotspots and connect you to thousands of other WeFi users. Here’s what they say about the service:

WeFi is dedicated to helping you find, connect, and enjoy Wi-Fi anywhere around the world. We provide the tools that allow our community to map the global Wi-Fi network. Our dedicated community has already discovered over 60,000,000 access points around the world. Join us today and help us map the next million!

I downloaded the 8mb installation file and started the install process. I found that there are a few places that you might want take a closer look at during the install.

The first installation options default to installing a toolbar and new default search in your web browser. When I see options like these, I nearly always opt out. I hate toolbars and I’m happy with my search providers.


Just when I thought I was done with the junk programs they wanted me to install, one more option popped in. I can’t tell you how much I dislike added shopping applications like the Price Gong offer they served up.


After getting through the options above, the software starts installing and you’ll see a cute animation with the little WeFi creature running past store fronts. It’s a little too cute. At that point, I was wondering if this was a serious company delivering a real product.


One final setting popped up after the little running logo. I decided that I definitely did not want to allow WeFi to automatically connect me to networks. I like to look them over before I allow my netbook to connect to strange new hotspots.


The final step was to actually create an account with WeFi. They step you through the sign-up and only require an email address in addition to letting you choose your username and password. Once that’s out of the way, the main WeFi interface finally launches.


After playing with it for awhile, I decided that I liked the WeFi interface because it was very similar to most instant messenger clients. Below is a video showing you a little bit about how it works.

Link to video at Youtube

Download WeFi

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I didn’t like the offers for the toolbar, the change to default search and the shopping assistant. However, I did like the fact that WeFi does offer an easy way to discover new hotspots and get in touch with other WeFi users. I have mixed feelings about it at this time, but I won’t tell anyone to stay away from WeFi.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Buy A Mac and Get iPod Touch 8GB Free in Apple Back To School Offer

Looks like Apple is wooing students with a deal on the already discounted price they offer to them. Starting from May 25, 2010 through September 7, 2010 students will be able to buy a Mac OS based laptop and desktop and get a 2nd generation 8GB iPod Touch free.

Apple Back to School Offer

The deal is applicable to students who buy both the Mac and iPod with Apple education pricing between May 25th and September 7th. When they do this they will receive an online rebate of up-to $199, which is the price of the iPod Touch 2G 8GB version.

Students can also club this offer with other iPod classic, or iPod nano and shuffle devices to receive discounts. Full list of available iPod’s is given in the terms of conditions document on the Apple site.

Excited? Head over to the back to school campaign page on the official Apple site to learn more.

Mac Security Brags Busted at EICAR

David Harley, Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence at ESET Antivirus has presented a report at the EICAR conference held this month outlining virus security details of the Mac OS.

This coupled with positive feedback from his co-workers shows that Macs are even less secure than Windows PCs. They are of the opinion that,

While Mac users – with the exception of those making significant use of Windows on Macs – operate in an environment prowled by infinitely fewer predators, Microsoft and its more savvy customers are to some extent shielded by a more accurate assessment of the risks to which Windows users are exposed.

As evident from here, the only reason Mac viruses are not that popular is because the fraction of people using Mac is negligible as compared to Windows PC users. That leaves us with far less data to claim a virus free OS.

Another common misconception is that since Mac is based on BSD, it is safe. We must understand that every BSD fork will not have the security features of BSD by default. It can be easily overridden by the modifications made while creating this fork.

This combined with the absence of a proper antivirus on Mac leaves Mac users totally unaware of any running exploits.


The  European  Institute for  Computer  Anti-Virus  Research  (EICAR) has been founded in 1991 and is representing an independent and impartial platform for IT-Security experts in the field of science, research, development, implementation and management.

(Via: Enterprise Networking Planet)

Clementine Music Player – Amarok for Windows and Mac

music-player-oldies [Windows, Mac, Linux] If you know your way around the world of Linux, you’ve probably heard of Amarok, the music player for Linux operating systems. Now there’s Clementine, a version of Amarok for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Here’s a list of the features:

• Search and play your local music library
• Listen to internet radio from and SomaFM
• Load M3U and XSPF playlists
• Edit tags on MP3 and OGG files, organize your music
• Download missing album cover art from
• Cross-platform – works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
• Native desktop notifications on Linux (libnotify) and Mac OS X (Growl)
• Supports MPRIS on Linux, or remote control using the command-line

I tried out the Windows version of Clementine recently and I found that it’s a pretty good music player and library organizer. Here are a few screenshots for you to look over.





Although Amarok is well developed and pretty much bug-free, Clementine isn’t there yet. Most of the features seemed to work fine. However, the online radio player feature for playing never did work for me. That’s too bad because that was the only real reason I tried it out. I was not able to check out the SomaFM player since I don’t have an account with that service.

I will definitely keep an eye on this open source project. I’m sure they’ll get the bugs out of it eventually. In the mean time, I don’t have any use for it.

Download page for Clementine

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I always try to use open source software when it’s available and does a good job. Clementine shows a lot of promise, but it still has a long way to go to compete with the many older and more mature music players. I can’t recommend it at this time.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2/5 (Below Average)

New and Improved MacBook Model Leaked [Video and Pics]

South East Asia is turning out to be a goldmine for Apple rumor mongers. Engadget is reporting that the Vietnamese website Tinhte has managed to get their hands on a yet to be announced entry level MacBook.


The new MacBook features a ramped up hardware including 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics card with 256 MB DDR3 video memory, 2GB DDR3 RAM and 250 GB hard disk.


The MacBook acquired by Tinhte identifies itself as MacBook 7.1 and will be the first update to the MacBook product line since October 2009. As far as core hardware specs are concerned, this update puts the MacBook on par with entry level MacBook Pros. The new 13-inch MacBook will be a steal as long as you don’t mind the smaller screen and the lack of unibody design. Of course, I am assuming that Apple would stick to the current pricing of $999.

Steam Play Introduced by Valve – Play on PC or Mac with One License

As you already know, Steam has become available for Mac users around the world. With their Steam Play service, Valve has decided to give one license for both PC and Mac games. This means that if you own a PC version of a game that has a Mac version, you will be able to play it on your Mac without any additional fees!


To inaugurate this, Steam has put up two great Steamplay packages!

These packages are:-


The Steam Play Indie Pack is a collection of some of the best Indie games on Steam! These include the ever-adorable World of Goo and Machinarium as well as the cross-platform galactic strategy Galcon Fusion and the wonderful And Yet It Moves and Osmos. All these games for just $20!


The Telltale Steam Play Pack includes two episodic, hysterical adventure games. Tales from Monkey Island Complete Pack brings back memories of LucasArts’ hilarious games while Sam and Max: The Devil’s Playhouse is best described on its Steam page as an epic comedic saga. For $29.99 these two are steals!

Do tell us how you enjoyed these games on your Macbook!

Steam Officially Available for the Mac, Portal Available for Free

Yes folks, the day all you Mac fans were waiting for has arrived. Steam, Valve’s digital distribution platform is now officially available for the Mac.
After much speculation & teasing and a Beta phase, Steam was finally available today, about a month’s delay from the original intended release date. Although the launch titles are just 3 – namely Torchlight, Portal & Football Manager 2010 – Valve has maintained that they will add new games to the Mac gaming catalog every Wednesday.

And oh, in case you’re wondering, if you’ve already purchased the games for Windows, using Steam Play you can re-download the Mac versions of the games and continue playing your games using the Steam Cloud feature, which sync save games across multiple systems. In case you haven’t purchased any of those, do note that Portal is available for free till the 24th [ yay! ] and Torchlight is at 50% off. So what’re you waiting for ? Go get ’em!