Saturday, December 31, 2011
The five new views provide fresh and interesting ways to explore your favorite Blogger blogs. The Mosaic view, for example, creates a wall of thumbnails -- click one, and it zooms to fill the screen; click it again and it minimizes. Flipcard is similar to Mosaic, but not quite as eclectic. Sidebar, Timeslide and Snapshot round off the new views, with each one obviously targeted at different types of content, from photo blogs, to text-only philosophy blogs, and everything in between.
For now, you have to visit a Blogger blog and add /view to the URL to enable the new Dynamic Views. If you own a Blogger blog, you can disable the new views -- and really, why weren't they disabled by default?
If feedback is positive -- which we're sure it will be -- these Dynamic Views will soon be enabled by default. You'll also be able to edit the views in much the same way as current Blogger templates.
Well, it looks like our fears may actually have some basis in reality: Yahoo Messenger strips FilesTube links from instant messages. It doesn't tell either party that a URL has been removed from chat -- it just deletes it. Poof. FilesTube, in case you were wondering, is one of the largest file hosting meta search engines on the Web -- it indexes RapidShare, Megaupload, Mediafire, and many other 'cyberlocker' services.
It's fairly obvious why FilesTube links are being removed -- the Censor General at Yahoo is probably one of those perplexed primates who think all uses of BitTorrent are illegal -- but this situation poses a far more important question: is Yahoo censoring messages on the client side, or the server side. Does the messenger client itself maintain a list of 'blacklisted' words -- and if so, why are we not told that FilesTube links are banned? What other words and terms does Yahoo protect us from?
Update: An important thing to note is that Apple applied for this patent long before Android's Face Unlock debuted a few months back. The paperwork was first submitted on June 29th, 2010 -- it's just now being disclosed to the public.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Historically, Android is usually open-sourced via the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) a few days or weeks after the code is finalized. While this departure from the norm won't affect OEMs like HTC and Motorola that have access to internal builds of Android, small-time developers will likely have to wait months before rolling their own distributions.
As to why Google is holding back Honeycomb, its reasons are actually rather rational. Honeycomb, while originally intended to run on all mobile form factors, is only ready for deployment on tablets. "To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs," says Andy Rubin, the head of Google's Android group. "We didn't want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut."
In other words, Google wants to prevent OEMs and homebrew developers like Cyanogen from rolling their own smartphone versions of Honeycomb -- it doesn't want to see the same bitter-tasting tabletified bastardization that occurred with Android 2.1 and 2.2 last year.
If you don't have Android 2.3 -- or don't want to root your phone to install the leaked Music app -- take a look through our gallery, and then read on for our initial hands-on impressions.
We've got our doubts about the authenticity of the image. In addition to showing several of the built-in games which already ship with Windows, Opera is listed -- and a competing browser seems like an odd inclusion this early on. Of course, with the browser ballot still in place in the EU for quite some time, Microsoft would probably need to include rivals like Opera and Firefox to stay out of trouble. We're also not sure why Clickgamer is shown beneath Angry Birds instead of Rovio -- the game's actual publisher.
It's still early, of course, so it's entirely possible that the Windows App Store image is genuine but merely using placeholder images and text for now. Anyone else thinking Windows Marketplace might be a more logical name? You know, to keep things consistent with Windows Phone and keep Apple's legal eagles at bay.
Back when supercars were just a mere figment of one’s imagination, the way to get around was to hop on a train and wait out the trip. Airplanes and cars traveling on high developed roadways have knocked traveling on a train down a few pegs, but that may be about to change. Chinese train manufacturer, CSR Corp Ltd., has launched a super speedy train whose top speed has clocked in at 500 km/h or 310 mph!
The train consists of six cars that are made of plastic materials "reinforced with carbon fiber" and was designed to look like an ancient sword. It delivers a total of 22,800 kilowatts of power, or about 30,575 HP! This project is part of China’s trillion dollar effort to build 8,078 miles of high-speed rail network by 2012, and about 12,427 miles by 2020.
CSR isn’t the only one developing these high speed machines either. Identical projects include the development of a maglev train by Southwest Jiaotong University, the Tokyo to Osaka bullet train planned for 2045, and the proposed 269 mph maglev train from Anaheim to Las Vegas.
We are actually surprised that these high speed trains are even leaving the drawing board at all. These ongoing projects were almost forced to a halt when former Railways Ministry chief, Liu Zhijun, was canned after cashing in on $122 million. This was then followed with collision back in July between two high-speed trains in Wenzhou. This incident ended up killing at least 40 people and injuring another 210. With China using low-quality materials to build the tracks, and subsequently, the trains having a higher chance of derailing, causing the top speed to be dropped from 218 mph to 186 mph, it seemed as though the railway system in China was on its way out the door.
These new high speed trains have proven, however, that the railway system is very much alive, and gaining speed.
Auto-saving is now enabled as well, and you can select multiple items by holding down the Cmd or Ctrl key on your Mac or Windows keyboard. If you've got items stored in your notebooks that you want to share with friends or co-workers, Evernote has improved that process, too. You can quickly post an item to Facebook, share it via email, or generate a Web sharing link to paste into an IM conversation or status update.
Head over to the Evernote Web login page to try out the new interface.
Toyota was once the unquestioned lead sled dog when it comes to the Consumer Reports "Recommended" list, but the automaker and the consumer advocacy group have had a bit of a falling out over the past couple years. In 2010, the publication removed the Recommended ratings of many models as a result of Toyota's unintended acceleration controversy. In January Ford nearly overtook Toyota in overall Recommended ratings.
We're on the verge of a new year, and it appears that the Toyota is getting back on CR's good side. Bloomberg reports that the February issue of CR reveals that the 2012 Camry has scored the coveted tag. The non-profit lauded the Camry for its improved interior and fuel economy, along with an upgraded ride. The four-cylinder Camry averaged 27 miles per gallon during CR testing, tying the Hyundai Sonata for most efficient in the mid-size segment.
We're quite certain that the 2012 Camry would have sold like gangbusters whether or not it was Recommended by Consumer Reports. But at the same time, CR subscribers seem to really like their Toyota models, so it certainly helps to have a thumbs-up from the powerful publication.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Messaging subsidiary was formed in 2008 to focus on Thunderbird, but given Mozilla Labs' current focus on identity and contact management, it now makes sense for the groups to be merged. Thunderbird will be unaffected by the change -- some URLs might change, but that's it -- and presumably Messaging's F1 and Raindrop will thrive in the Labs playground.
What this means for the end user -- for the hundreds of millions of Firefox users -- is that the next big additions will be communication- and messaging-oriented. Contacts and F1 will be almost certainly be baked into Firefox 5 or 6, both of which will be released this year -- and, who knows, there might be something else even more exciting up Mozilla Labs' sleeve!
Friday, December 30, 2011
If you’ve ever watched a Wimbledon final you’ll know how tense a game of tennis can get. Certain finals are so close that one netted drop shot or botched overhead slam can lead to a shift of momentum which ultimately determines the difference between a player lifting the coveted trophy or finishing the tournament as runner-up.
The latest trailer for Grand Slam Tennis 2 brilliantly recreates the electrifying atmosphere of a Wimbledon final using in-game character models, animations, sound effects and of course the historied stadium itself.
The game is made by the same team as Fight Night Champion so we can expect the same attention to detail, astonishingly realistic graphics and innovative controls which made this excellent boxing simulation so engaging.
Grand Slam Tennis 2 features all four Grand Slam championships; faithfully recreated to give gamers a feel of what it’s like to compete in some of the sporting calendar’s most popular events.
The game will be released on February 10th in Europe and February 14th in the US for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Head over here for our previous coverage of Grand Slam Tennis 2.
Over the summer, we posted on a project being undertaken by students at the Tennessee Technical Center-Nashville and Nashville State Community College: prepare a 400-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8 from an Infiniti QX56 for seafaring duty in a 20-foot Chris-Craft.
The engine's transformation is nearly complete, but it seems the boat needs a great deal more work. The pleasure craft, which dates from 1962, has already has three other marinized engines from car manufacturers, a Lincoln and two Chrysler Hemi powerplants. The gents at Freeport Boat Outlet in Freeport, Maine are overseeing the wooden hull restoration and have said that 85 percent of the mahogany will need replacing.
When it's finally finished, the QX lump with water-cooled manifolds and a closed cooling system will be mated with a ZF/Hurth marine transmission and tested back at Infiniti HQ. Assuming all goes well, the hull will get an SUV's worth of Infiniti luxuries and be married to its engine. In the meantime, the name of the boat is being put to the public, so have a read of the press release after the jump for all the details. Then, come summer, keep an eye out for a very slick watercraft plying Tennessee's lakes.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Pretty much every time Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson opens his mouth these days, someone takes offense, which does make it hard to tell whether Clarkson is actually offensive.
The latest complaints have come after the Top Gear Christmas special, in which Clarkson and his posse go to India on a "trade mission." According to The Telegraph, the BBC has received 23 complaints about the show, in which Clarkson is charged with making insensitive remarks about Indian clothing, trains, food and history.
Clarkson's "funny" bits on the show included dropping his pants in front of Indian dignitaries and outfitting a Jaguar XJS with a toilet seat and then driving around Indian slums, according to the report. Clarkson reportedly described the Jag as "perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots."
While we haven't seen the episode, we do know that the XJS has a reputation for crapping out with some frequency. Before you fire up the torrents, check out the episode trailer after the jump.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Editorial: How FAA-certified gadgets could improve air travel and eliminate the Terrible 10,000 Feet
This is the loudest part of the flight -- engines throttled up, flaps and gear hanging in the breeze and scared kids doing their best to drown all that out with screams and shouts. It's exactly when you most want to use your portable music player, and exactly when you aren't allowed. We've been told that this is for safety reasons, to prevent interference from the myriad devices carried by a cabin full of passengers, but that's never quite felt satisfactory to me. (Why is it okay to use those very same devices over 10,000 feet? Why can pilots use iPads but I can't?)
So many questions, but I'm not here to second-guess the people whose jobs it is to keep me safe as I schlep myself, my roller bag and my personal item across the country yet again. I'm here to propose a very simple solution: a certification program in which manufacturers submit devices for testing and the FAA charges a (possibly hefty) fee for their approval. It could not only improve the lives of frequent travellers like myself, but could also stand to provide millions in funding to the FAA, funds that could be put toward its unfortunately named NextGen air traffic control system. Win win? Read on and decide for yourself.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
[Thanks, Erik]Permalink | | Email this | Comments
If you're in the U.S., you can now score local savings at participating merchants by checking in with Latitude. Google will also be offering "status deals," which users can unlock by visiting a particular merchant on a regular basis. Mashable notes three status levels: regular, VIP, and guru -- though partners can apparently customize those titles if they choose.
Right now deals are available from merchants like American Eagle Outfitters, Arby's, Finish Line, Macy's, Quiznos, and RadioShack.
The most notable new feature is support for the Amazon MP3 store -- you can buy and download music from within Banshee -- but unfortunately it's only available in the Linux build at the moment (OS X and Windows support are planned, however). There have also been some significant improvements to artist, album, and queue interactions -- and yes, you can finally right click a track, album or artist and select 'play after' to insert it into the queue.
Beyond actual playback, the user interface has been tidied up -- it now looks a whole lot smarter -- and the Ubuntu One Music Store and SoundMenu extensions have been made official. For a complete list of changes, additions and bug fixes, check the change log.
When Windows support initially appeared in February, we found it rough around the edges and fraught with stability issues. With version 2, Banshee for Windows is still a bit unstable, but it's shaping up to be a good alternative to Winamp, iTunes, or whatever other music library manager you use. It's almost as attractive as its GNOMEish brother, too!
Download Banshee 2 for Linux and Windows (Mac OS X coming soon)
Say… are you free for some ‘game playing’ tonight? Around about 20:00 South African? Perhaps over PlayStation Network?
If you are, then we would enjoy your company while playing a few rounds of Uncharted 3 multiplayer, and maybe some co-op missions! If you’re keen to play, simply add Ofiler and Numphie to your PlayStation Network friends lists and we’ll party up in the game at 20:00 tonight!
If you’re new to El33tonline, feel free to leave your PSN ID in the comments below, and if you think we don’t yet have you on our PS3 friends list, you can also provide us with your nick so we can add you.
Are you going to join in tonight? Let us know and we’ll see you later!