Monday, April 30, 2012

Google Improves App Advertising With New Mobile App Extension

mobile app extension approvedGoogle is announcing some new search advertising features designed to help advertisers drive more app downloads, and to track those downloads. The first feature, an Ad Extension, seems aimed at companies who have both a standard Web presence and an app to promote. Should a company like GrubHub (which was part of the beta test) advertise for its website or its app? Hard to say, since people might be looking for either. So with the new Mobile App extension, advertisers can do both, adding a link to the iPhone or Android app below the regular search ad. Apparently, campaigns with the ad extension saw 6 percent higher clickthrough rates than those without it during the beta.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/nJmZ2YsMiTc/

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Evernote Web gets a new interface, Facebook sharing, and more

evernote web
Evernote, the popular multi-platform 'digital memory' app, has done some serious re-tooling of its Web interface. In addition to a more polished UI that more closely mirrors the look of Evernote on the desktop, the update brings features like notebook stacks and snippet view to the Web.

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.

Evernote Web gets a new interface, Facebook sharing, and more originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 10:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/29/evernote-web-gets-a-new-interface-facebook-sharing-and-more/

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ZTE Optik review (Sprint)

ZTE Optik

The ZTE Optik is a nice little surprise from Sprint. It's an unassuming but well-built and well-running 7-inch Honeycomb tablet that runs on Sprint's 3G network, and it is probably one of the better devices nobody has heard much about. With no gimmicks like a digital stylus or a foldable keyboard dock, it's easy to forget about the Optik. Hit the break to see why you shouldn't.

 


The Good

The Optik is really nicely built, the fit and finish on our unit was darn near perfect, and the parts used had a quality feel. It's also very nice to hold, partially because of the rubber grips. The screen is top-notch and better than most other 7-inch devices

The Bad

It has to be said -- there is no 4G on the Optik. It's also another new device already one major Android version behind, with no clear upgrade path. The battery life wasn't as good as expected.

Conclusion

Easily the best value for the price, the Optik is actually a nice 3G tablet. The screen is very nice, and it's a great consumption device. If you're not expecting any type of 4G service in your area, and in the market for a tablet with a data plan, it's definitely worth a look.

Inside this review

More info

read more



Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/8NgBLfZiWD8/story01.htm

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From the Editor's Desk: London calling, inside man and Nexus done right

From the Editor's Desk

It's another working weekend. Time for some quick hits:

  • If I wasn't over the Samsung Galaxy S3 fakes, leaks and fake leaks, I certainly am now. Alex and I will be at the event on Thursday. I can wait till then.
  • Speaking of heading overseas, I used MaxRoam in Barcelona this year and am using it again this week in the UK. 500MB for $13? (Which is more than even I can use in two days.) Sold.
  • And that's just the start of the travel. Coming up next week we've got the CTIA conference in New Orleans.
  • If you haven't seen Jean-Baptist Queru's latest Q&A on updates to Ice Cream Sandwich and how Sony's gotten updates out the door in about 5 months. That's due in no small part, JBQ says, to the amount of code that Sony's contributed back to the Android Open Source Project. Remember the early days of Sony Ericsson and the Xperia X10, which launched in the age of Eclair with Android 1.6 Donut, and finally got updated a year later. Things certainly have changed.
  • Something that hasn't changed? Carrier approval times. JBQ rightly points out that carriers often are the bottleneck in getting updates released, which does seem a little insane in the Nexus world. But neither is it new. If the carrier's selling the phone, it's going to go through (I'd assume) the same rigorous (read: slow) testing process as any other phone. Verizon's been, shall we say, fastidious, long before Android even existed. It's funny to see blogs set their hair on fire over this one.
  • I hesitate to even write about these sorts of Q&As. They're a rare glimpse into the inside workings of things and are best read in their entirety, straight from the source. It pains me to see blogs pick and choose the juicy parts for publication. ("OMG Verizon is sooooooo slow." Thanks for that insight.) It's pretty rare that we get a relatively unfiltered and unfettered look at how things work, with actual opinion from the folks who make the donuts instead of PR-speak and lawyered releases, and even more incredible that folks like JBQ stick around to answer questions. Let's not spoil it and waste the opportunity.
  • I'm pretty excited about Google once again selling devices. I'm still curious as to how it's going to handle the problems it ran into the first time — namely customer service, though it does have a dedicated page for orders and returns questions. But this is the way Nexus devices were meant to be sold and maintained (meaning updated). Forget the carrier. (And, yes. That means CDMA gets shut out again. Them's the breaks.) And if you didn't notice, note how Google's calling it a "Devices" store and not a "Phone" store. If that's not a flashing neon sign that tablets are coming, I don't know what is. (And I'm willing to bet it's going to go beyond tablets, as well.) The important part is that I should once again be able to say "You want updates the day they're pushed? Get a Nexus." — and do so without looking like an idiot.
  • The site redesign is coming along well. (Major props to our designers and coders, whose work you enjoy every day but whose names you never get to see.) We're still tweaking things, and as I've said before, this is only the beginning. If you've got feedback, leave it here.

TTFN. We'll see you from London this week, and NOLA the next.



Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/iX1PZ6qKiDI/story01.htm

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Mozilla Messaging reintegrates with Labs, unifies focus on Web-based communication

Mozilla Messaging, citing Mozilla's increased focus on Web-borne communications, will be reintegrating with Mozilla Labs.

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!

Mozilla Messaging reintegrates with Labs, unifies focus on Web-based communication originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/04/05/mozilla-messaging-reintegrates-with-labs-unifies-focus-on-web-b/

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Velocity Micro unveils three Ivy Bridge desktops, starting at $849

Velocity Micro unveils three Ivy Bridge desktops, starting at $849

From Acer and HP to Maingear, PC makers across the board are releasing Ivy Bridge desktops before the family of CPUs makes its much-anticipated debut on notebooks. Velocity Micro is following suit, with the announcement of three customizable PCs powered by Intel's third-generation Core processors. Starting at $849, the Vector Z70 comes standard with a 500GB, 7,200RPM hard drive, 4GB of RAM and a 2.6GHz Intel Pentium G620 CPU (upgradeable all the way to a Core i7 processor, clocked at 3.4GHz). The $999 Edge Z40 is a middle-of-the-road model, shipping with a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 GPU, a 2.8GHz Intel Core i5-23000 and 1TB of storage spinning at 7,200 RPM. On the premium side, the Raptor Z90 is a full-on gaming machine, with GeForce GTX 680 graphics and an Intel Core i7-3770 CPU, plus eight USB 3.0 and four USB 3.0 connections. All three systems are immediately available -- click through to the product pages for the complete configuration options.

Continue reading Velocity Micro unveils three Ivy Bridge desktops, starting at $849

Velocity Micro unveils three Ivy Bridge desktops, starting at $849 originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 13:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceVelocity Micro (Vector Z20), (Edge Z40), (Raptor Z90)  | Email this | Comments

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/30/velocity-micro-ivy-bridge-desktops/

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Google Voice Search learns Latin American Spanish, Indonesian, and Malaysian

google voice search
Google Voice Search has just introduced localizations for Latin America, Indonesia and Malaysia, enabling native language search for hundreds of millions of users.

Google's official blog post offers some interesting insights into the process of collecting and analyzing the speech data needed to expand support. Thousands of hours were spent gathering voice samples and choosing key regional accents to analyze, and International Program Manager Linne Ha is clearly very appreciative of the Google users who helped the company complete the expansion. Without an enthusiastic base of users to lend a hand, Google Voice Search's polyglot powers would have been nearly impossible to deliver.

Google Voice Search learns Latin American Spanish, Indonesian, and Malaysian originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/31/google-voice-search-learns-latin-american-spanish-indonesian-a/

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Windows 8 wallpaper available to download, Jupiter and Twin UI spotted

windows 8 wallpaper
With Windows 8 milestone 3 now up for grabs for select Microsoft Connect partners, it's inevitable that leaked bits and pieces will start popping up around the Web. In fact, the first "official" wallpaper image from the still-brewing OS is already making the rounds.

As you can see, it's got a similar feel to the good ol' Windows 7 default background, but features a more subdued smattering of cerulean hues. Those of you who want to use the Windows 8 wallpaper on your current desktop can download it from our file dump.

A few other details have been revealed, too. According to ZDNet's source, the Windows 8 Jupiter libraries and Twin UI are starting to take shape -- though all that's been located thus far are "[various files] scattered throughout the OS" and the aptly-named twinui.dll.

Windows 8 wallpaper available to download, Jupiter and Twin UI spotted originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/31/download-windows-8-wallpaper/

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Foursquare adds NFC to its BlackBerry app, hopes you'll touch base

Foursquare adds NFC to its BlackBerry app, hopes you'll touch base

Hot on the heels of a recent update for its Twitter app, BlackBerry users can now grab a refreshed version of everyone's favorite check-in network. While there's no news of the beleaguered phone manufacturer offering up free Butterfingers (yet), the geographical social app has cranked up the app's load speeds and also transplants its notifications to your BlackBerry inbox. It's all looking to be a pretty tasty NFC carrot to dangle in front of BlackBerry World attendees later this week in Orlando. If you're Florida-bound (and even if you're not), you can grab the update from the source below.

Foursquare adds NFC to its BlackBerry app, hopes you'll touch base originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Apr 2012 05:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceBlackBerry App World, Foursquare  | Email this | Comments

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/30/foursquare-adds-nfc-to-BB-app/

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Rocketfish's Sound Prism is triangu-lovely

Rocketfish's Sound Prism is triangu-lovely

Cunning design is a wonderful thing, and this triangular bundle of smarts is almost meta! Rocketfish's Sound Prism is exactly what it says it is, a three-sided speaker bar with a twist (metaphorically speaking.) Inventors, CRE8 Design studio, cooked up the clever idea of using the empty space created by a folded Apple Smart Cover. This fella neatly slips into the cubby-hole of the folded case, and attaches itself magnetically. It's Bluetooth, so can pair up with any compatible device, but won't look quite so snug as when used as nature -- or rather its creators -- intended. How much for a slice of the Pythagorean action? That'll be 80 rectangular dollars, sir.

Rocketfish's Sound Prism is triangu-lovely originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 29 Apr 2012 02:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Technabob  |  sourceRocketfish  | Email this | Comments

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/29/rocketfish-sound-prism/

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Evoluce Win&I brings Kinect gesture controls to Windows 7

evoluce win&i windows 7 gesture control kinect
We've been looking at some pretty cool Kinect and Windows interactions for a while now, but we were hoping that the release of an official SDK would lead to even more coolness. Evoluce has stepped up, and is now offering Win&I -- a full-featured gesture control system for Windows 7.

The company claims that a range of up to four meters is supported, which should be perfect for just about any home theater setting. In the video embedded after the break, you can see an Evoluce demonstrator flip through a photo album, pan through a map, rearrange application windows, browse the Web, and control media playback. Two versions of Win&I are offered -- the home version goes for about 20 Euros, the business version for 40.

Anyone else having fun pretending his stance is a little "Iron Man"? We're tempted to put a repulsor on that hand.

Continue reading Evoluce Win&I brings Kinect gesture controls to Windows 7

Evoluce Win&I brings Kinect gesture controls to Windows 7 originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/04/01/evoluce-winandi-controls-windows-7-with-a-kinect-sensor/

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Yahoo! Messenger now censors the links you share

Yahoo Messenger Big Brother censorshipWe've all thought it, but never dared think it could be true: what if Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL actively monitor our instant messenger chats? What if mentions of 'bomb' and 'underage' are tracked and sent to law enforcement agencies? What if chat providers don't agree with the things we say, or the links we share, and filter or censor the content of our transmitted messages?

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?

Continue reading Yahoo! Messenger now censors the links you share

Yahoo! Messenger now censors the links you share originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 05:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/30/yahoo-messenger-now-censors-links-raises-serious-privacy-issue/

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

NVIDIA unleashes GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, loads it with dual Kepler GPUs, charges $1k

ImageWould you look at that? NVIDIA hinted it would be coming today, and it looks like the tease is living up to the hype. The company stormed into the weekend at its Shanghai Game Festival by unleashing its latest offering, the GeForce GTX 690 -- and oh yeah, it's packing two 28nm Kepler GPUs! Trumping the recently released GTX 680 as the "worlds fastest graphics card," it's loaded with a whopping 3,072 Cuda cores. The outer frame is made from trivalent chromium-plated aluminum, while you'll find thixomolded magnesium alloy around the fan for vibration reduction and added cooling. Aiding in cooling even further, the unit also sports a dual vapor chamber and center-mounted fan. It'll cost you a spendy $1,000 to pick up one of these puppies come May 3rd, and you'll likely be tempted to double up -- two can run together in SLI as an effective quad-core card. With that said, NVIDIA claims that a single 690 runs 4dB quieter and handles about twice the framerate as a duo of GTX 680s in SLI -- impressive, but we'll reserve judgement until we see it for ourselves. Check out the press release after the break if you'd like more information in the meantime (...and yes, it runs Crysis -- 2 Ultra to be exact -- at 57.8fps, according to NVIDIA).

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading NVIDIA unleashes GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, loads it with dual Kepler GPUs, charges $1k

NVIDIA unleashes GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, loads it with dual Kepler GPUs, charges $1k originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 29 Apr 2012 00:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/29/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-690-dual-kepler-gpu-graphics-card-announced/

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Banshee music player now works in Windows, supports Amazon MP3 downloads

A few moments ago, version 2 of the Banshee music player for Linux was released, bringing with it a whole slew of new features, and the addition of an official -- but alpha-quality -- Windows build. The Mac OS X build of version 2 is due later today.

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)

Banshee music player now works in Windows, supports Amazon MP3 downloads originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 11:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/04/06/banshee-music-player-now-works-in-windows-supports-amazon-mp3-d/

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BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 screenshots leak

bbm 6
A leaked early version of RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Messenger 6 has been making the rounds since late February, but images of the new app are just now beginning to appear. Over at CrackBerry, the crew has shared a handful of images of BBM 6 in action. Unfortunately, you won't get a glimpse at a chat or file transfer -- only the profile screens (after the break) and what you see above. All that's really revealed so far is the option to set custom contact and chat colors and BlackBerry OS 6.1-style icons.

CrackBerry also warns against installing the leaked BBM 6 app. There's no guarantee this app hasn't been tampered with, and BlackBerry devices are becoming a more common target for cybercriminals.

Continue reading BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 screenshots leak

BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 screenshots leak originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/04/06/blackberry-messenger-6-0-screenshots-leak/

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Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.2 gets smarter, faster

auslogics defrag
Auslogics Disk Defrag has been part of my system maintenance toolkit for quite some time. With the release of version 3.2, it's now even better at tidying up and optimizing your system's hard disk drives. In addition to a cleaner, easier-to-use interface, Disk Defrag 3.2 offers improved single file and folder defragging, better processing of multiple disks, a simplified scheduling screen, and more informative tool tips. Auslogics has also fine-tuned the program's defragmentation and file consolidation algorithms.

For laptop users, there's a new option to lock the program if your system is running on battery power -- so scheduled operations don't kick in and drain your power source at an inopportune moment. If you happen to have an SSD installed in your PC, you can head to the Disk Defrag options and exclude it from scanning (many think that defragmenting an SSD is a very bad idea).

Auslogics Disk Defrag is a free download and works with most versions of Windows.

Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.2 gets smarter, faster originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/04/11/auslogics-disk-defrag-3-2-gets-smarter-faster/

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Evernote Web gets a new interface, Facebook sharing, and more

evernote web
Evernote, the popular multi-platform 'digital memory' app, has done some serious re-tooling of its Web interface. In addition to a more polished UI that more closely mirrors the look of Evernote on the desktop, the update brings features like notebook stacks and snippet view to the Web.

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.

Evernote Web gets a new interface, Facebook sharing, and more originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 10:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/29/evernote-web-gets-a-new-interface-facebook-sharing-and-more/

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Windows 8 wallpaper available to download, Jupiter and Twin UI spotted

windows 8 wallpaper
With Windows 8 milestone 3 now up for grabs for select Microsoft Connect partners, it's inevitable that leaked bits and pieces will start popping up around the Web. In fact, the first "official" wallpaper image from the still-brewing OS is already making the rounds.

As you can see, it's got a similar feel to the good ol' Windows 7 default background, but features a more subdued smattering of cerulean hues. Those of you who want to use the Windows 8 wallpaper on your current desktop can download it from our file dump.

A few other details have been revealed, too. According to ZDNet's source, the Windows 8 Jupiter libraries and Twin UI are starting to take shape -- though all that's been located thus far are "[various files] scattered throughout the OS" and the aptly-named twinui.dll.

Windows 8 wallpaper available to download, Jupiter and Twin UI spotted originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/03/31/download-windows-8-wallpaper/

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YouTube Live now streaming select partners in real time

Not content with limiting its dominance in streaming uploaded videos, YouTube is now ready to take on competitors like Justin.TV and Ustream. The new YouTube Live service is being rolled out to select YouTube partners and will enable real-time broadcasting. In its official announcement, Google states that "The goal is to provide thousands of partners with the capability to live stream from their channels in the months ahead."

You can check out live broadcasts at http://www.youtube.com/live, where you'll also find a schedule of upcoming episodes from beta partners like Revision3 and Destructoid. You're also able to subscribe to YouTube Live broadcasts -- which will ensure you're notified when a new episode is coming up.

YouTube Live now streaming select partners in real time originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 08:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/04/11/youtube-live-now-streaming-select-partners-in-realtime/

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Apple and Samsung set to meet May 21st, hug it out over 48 hours

Apple and Samsung set to meet May 21st, hug it out over 48 hours

These two brawlers were given until July to come together and mediate over their numerous globe-spanning patent lawsuits, but it appears neither side needs to wait that long. According to Foss Patents, May 21st and 22nd have been circled on the calendar of a certain San Francisco courthouse, where Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero will attempt to arbitrate in a calm, soothing voice for two days straight. Presenting himself as a confidant who sits outside of the main litigation being conducted in San Jose, Spero has already asked both parties to open up and provide "candid" statements about the strengths and weaknesses of their own cases, as a first step towards identifying areas of compromise. Fortunately, he still has a few weeks in which to devise further cunning plans.

Continue reading Apple and Samsung set to meet May 21st, hug it out over 48 hours

Apple and Samsung set to meet May 21st, hug it out over 48 hours originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 28 Apr 2012 19:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink The Verge  |  sourceFoss Patents  | Email this | Comments

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/28/apple-samsung-patent-mediation-court-date/

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[NSFW-L] Who needs Android? Well, somebody needs something here ...

Who Needs Android?

We have no words. If you're offended by coarse language, don't watch the video after the break. No complaining. You've been warned. Windows Phone, this guy's all yours.

Via @daniel_rubino

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/Q6diQkO6rks/story01.htm

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