Talk about underhand tactics in getting customers and the first thing that comes to mind is sneaky advertisements. For long we have seen competitors aggressively advertise products degrading their competition, but Apple seems to be buying into the competition directly.
If you perform a Google Search for "Dell Streak" (link) on Google UK Search, you will see some familiar advertisements from Dell promoting their products along with an advertisement from the carrier, however, at the bottom of the advertisement pile lies an advertisement purchased by Apple which promotes the iPad (see screenshot above).
Oh Boy, this is definitely something I did not expect from Apple who are arrogant confident enough to believe that every product they make is perfect. Did the Dell Streak make them so scared that they had to advertise their own product on a competitors keywords? What do you think?
Earlier this week, several users iTunes accounts were hacked to make app purchases. The hack turned out to be by a rogue developer who purchased his own apps from other users account to push it up the top rated apps section. If you thought that it was an isolated case, you are wrong since more users are now complaining of unwarranted purchases through their iTunes account.
According to Ars Technica, a reader contacted them saying that fraudulent app purchases were made through his account to the tune of $168.89. However, only apps from a single developer WiiSHii Network were purchased. The apps in question are travel guides for Chinese cities.
Due to the fraudulent purchases the apps from WiiSHii Network are now gaining numbers in the travel category. Now the question here is how the hackers in question got hold of the passwords for users account, and if their passwords were so easy to guess, why didn’t Apple trigger an alert when a single user was purchasing the same apps over and over again?
So is this a case where any developers can go and access iTunes accounts for users who download their apps and make frivolous purchases. Why isn’t Apple acknowledging a problem at their end and continuing to blame users for having easy guessable passwords?
Even you iTunes account could be hacked, to ensure that nothing is wrong or no weird purchases have been made, open iTunes and Click on the "Account" link under the Quick Links section in the right hand side. You will be prompted to enter your password, do the needful and hit enter. In your account page, first check your purchase history, if you see some weird transactions, report the problem to Apple. Make sure to change your iTunes password even if you don’t see any problems with your account.
YouTube recently announced support for 4096p videos (4096 x 3072) which would allow users to upload huge videos to the site. However, it looks like someone had already tried upload a 4K video before YouTube officially announced it.
The video which apparently has a 4K resolution was uploaded on June 20, 2010 and based on the comments on the thread it was pretty taxing on some users systems. However, when I played the video today, it played pretty well and I could watch the video in its original resolution of 4K pixels with little or no buffering.
Also I did not see much difference between 1080p and 4096p resolution even though my laptop supports a resolution of up to 1680 x 1050. The video might play a bit slow if you choose the Original option because it is a 4096p video. Check out the 4096p video on YouTube below.
More videos in 4096p can be found on the same playlist here.
YouTube is really pushing it. It started providing 1080p videos a few months ago in December 2009 and today, a post on the YouTube blog talked about support for 4096p videos. To help you have an idea, that is the size of a 25 feet screen.
The video resolution of 4K or 4096p is 4096 x 3072 and it is giant in size. According to the blog post on YouTube, the IMAX movies projects their movies using two 2K projectors. The current highest resolution (1080p) video on YouTube is 1K.
However, the idea of such a video support is questionable. To start with, who on earth other than lucky granny has that kind of an internet connection. Those videos will buffer endlessly at many countries and clearly, YouTube and Google does not care. This is a clear move to make people want for the 1 Gb/s connection Google has in store, and sure as hell, I am already falling for it. Too bad, I am not in the US.
The YouTube blog writes on this saying,
We always want videos on YouTube to be available in the highest quality possible, as creators intend. In December of last year, we announced support for 1080p, or full HD. At 1096 x 3072 pixels, 4K is nearly four times the size of 1080p. To view any video in a source resolution greater than 1080p, select “Original” in the video quality pulldown menu.
Microsoft is planning to patch 4 Critical bugs in various OS as part of their "Patch Tuesday" on July 13, 2010. The critical bugs affect Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Office 2003 and Outlook 2002 through Outlook 2007.
Most of the patches will fix critical remote code execution in the above listed software and are recommended updates. The critical fixes will be available through Windows Update and may require system restarts.
The Windows 7 patch is for systems running 64 bit version. You can view the entire security bulletin and affected software and vulnerability by visiting this link.
The Chinese government did not approve of this and threatened to oust Google to which Google stopped redirecting users and began sending users to a new landing page. Now after all these months the time has come when Google has to renew its license in China and it might be tough if not impossible.
However, Eric Schmidt is confident that the Chinese government will renew its operating license and continue to allow Google to operate its search and other businesses there.
Addressing a topic that has been hanging over the company for monthsâ€”the fate of its business in China, he said the company now expects to have its operating license from the Chinese government renewed, allowing it to continue to offer search services to Chinese users.
It is not clear if Google will be offering search through the Chinese domain and whether they will start censoring the results as it used to do earlier after their license is renewed.
Gmail is one of the best webmail solutions available today, and it has been adding tons of features through Gmail Labs and other means. However, one of the most wanted thing missing in Gmail was Rich Text or HTML Signatures which would allowed users to add HTML text or images to their email signatures.
If you have been missing that feature, here is something to cheer about. Gmail has officially announced that users will be able to add Rich Text/HTML Signatures to their outgoing messages. To change your Gmail signature to use Rich Text, just visit the settings page and scroll down till you see the Signature option.
You can use the Rich text editor to insert images, hyperlinks, quotes and also format it to your liking. Once you have set your new signature just save your settings and the signature will be appended to your outgoing emails. You can also set different signatures for different accounts you have set up with Gmail.
This is exactly what the RIAA has been praying for years and today, it has finally come true. ThePirateBay, the most stubborn and still going strong torrent and file sharing website has finally been hacked by a group of Argentinian hackers.
The hackers attempted SQL injection vulnerabilities and have claimed access to the user database and admin panel. The compromised user data includes passwords, usernames, IPs and email addresses. However, the group has claimed that it intends no harm to ThePirateBay. It made this attack as a proof-of-concept only. This goes only as far as proving that there are exploitable vulnerabilities.
As any other website, as any other system or mechanism, www.thepiratebay.org has robust parts and soft spots. We beleive that the people behind this comunity always acted with the local laws on their side, and so have we. The community caused problems to huge companies and corporations which turned into threats between this companies and them. What we have done, we did not do it with anger, or for commercial value. As always, we saw the change, the moment and decided to take it. The protocol or procedure done to achieve this wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
The page following the link above also shows a video highlighting the hack process.
However, members on ThePirateBay need not worry. Ch RussÃ³ has assured that the information gathered from the hack will not be leaked to any authority by any chance.
The vulnerable component has been removed from ThePirateBay now and it is back to security. However, the homepage currently shows this message:
Update 1: In a totally unrelated event, Demonoid.com is performing a hardware upgrade now which is confusing people even more.
Zoho the creators of the online productivity suite have just announced that Zoho Calendar has moved out of beta stage. Zoho Calendar is packed with features and also supports third-party calendars such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook.
The new features in Zoho Calendar include:
Support for multiple calendars and integration with other Zoho Apps
Calendar sharing feature supports multiple access levels, from viewing free/busy times to creating and editing events
Calendar subscriptions provide bi-directional support with Google Calendar and other third-party calendars
Calendar embedding options with templates support is added for public calendars
Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist said: "Several Zoho Apps need calendaring functionality. We wanted to create a calendar that is one of the best in the market first, and then integrate that with other Zoho Apps. We believe we created a solid application now. We’ve added a number of integration points to Zoho Calendar, so users with multiple online calendars can gain a single, unified view of their overall schedule with Zoho Calendar".
Zoho Calendar packs in a lot of interesting features which allow users to Import calendar, embed them on other websites and also synchronize them with Microsoft Outlook and more. Zoho Calendar also supports natural languages, which means that you can simply type "Lunch meeting today at 2PM" and it will create an event for you in your calendar. Here is a list of all the features included in Zoho Calendar.
Multiple Calendars Users can create and manage multiple calendars that are automatically color coded
Share calendar Users can share their calendars with other users, granting them different levels of access, including the ability to view free/busy times, view calendar events with details, and create and edit events.
Subscribe to calendar Users can subscribe to calendars from other Zoho applications as well as third-party calendars, including Google Calendar. As a result, events on those calendars will display in Zoho Calendar. Subscription (iCal) support is bi-directional, so users may display Zoho Calendar events in third-party calendars. Zoho Calendar also has built-in holiday calendars for 30 countries which users can subscribe to.
Import calendar Users can import calendars from specific URLs such as sports or entertainment calendars. By copying and pasting the URL for the calendar file into Zoho Calendar, the associated events will display in Zoho Calendar.
Embed calendar Users can embed their calendar in multiple sites. Zoho Calendar includes several, customizable templates that let a user display a modified version of his or her calendar on a website or blog.
Agendaview In addition to day, week, work week, and month views, Zoho Calendar offers users an agenda view which lists all events for the current quarter. Users can also scroll through past and future quarters.
Plugin for Microsoft Office The Zoho Calendar Plugin for Microsoft Office establishes bi-directional synchronization of events in multiple Microsoft Outlook calendars and in Zoho Calendar.
Mobile Access Zoho Calendar is optimized for all standard mobile browsers.
Natural Language Processing Zoho Calendar allows users to create events by typing in natural language. The Calendar is smart in processing the text and adding the event automatically. Ex: Typing an event like Dinner tomorrow at 7pm’ will add an event in your calendar automatically.
Users can sign up for a free account with Zoho Calendar by visiting this link.
Bing has support for advanced queries just like Google but no one uses them because they are just lying there, unseen and unheard of! The Bing blog has recently posted a guide on searching through Bing like a pro and the options and as it turns out, the available queries are sure to turn some heads in the geek world.
A complete list of operators is available at this page on msdn. However, we have picked a few examples. Before I go into this, I would like to point out that Bing search supports combining these operators as well. However, you need to learn about their precedence at this page before that.
The ‘contains’ Operator
The ‘contains’ operator can be used to search for a particular file-type inside a web page. This can be helpful while pulling off and checking the existence of pdf documents from poorly done web pages that make it hard to find URLs in between too much of text.
Usage: “IEEE 802.11b” contains:pdf
This will return all pages with the tag IEEE 802.11b and a link to a pdf document in them.
The ‘near’ Operator
The near operator works like a proximity sensor for words and searches for a particular word within range of another word. This one is my favorite so far.
Usage: “michael jackson” near:5 moonwalk
This will search for the word moonwalk appearing within five words before or after the words “Michael Jackson”.
The ‘ip’ Operator
This searches for websites hosted on a particular IP address. It can be helpful to search for an IP address prefix as well.
This will search for all websites hosted on that IP. Try out the query above. There is a surprise in store for you!
The ‘loc’ Operator
This returns pages from a particular country.
Usage: ipl loc:in
Return pages related to the IPL from India.
Try it out and give us some feedback. Do you find Bing operators at par with Google?