Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

I thought about doing something creative today for Halloween, but then stumbled across this time lapse video of hand carved pumpkin by Google employees. They have already worked for 8 hours on half a dozen pumpkins each weighing as much as 1300 pounds. Looking at this I decided to let go of my own creativity and just posting their video :). Happy Halloween.

If you are interested in watching the making of Halloween Doodle you can watch the video on the bottom.

Asus Transformer Prime Launching Nov 9th

Asus made headlines with its first Android Honeycomb tablet, Asus Transformer launched in April 2011. In the times when the only hot selling tablet was Apple's iPad, Asus sold close to 500,000 tablets in just 2 months. I know that figure is nothing compared to 1 million iPad's sold in a day by Apple, but a big feat for Asus when no other company could even come close to the number of tablets they sold. Asus is now coming back with the successor of Transformer, Asus Transformer Prime.

According to Asus, Transformer Prime will be launching on Nov 9th. It will ship with a quad-core NVIDIA chip, 10-inch display, mini-HDMI port, a 14.5-hour battery, an SD card slot. Asus has been tight lipped on the  sticker price of Transformer Prime, however looking at the trend I would guess it would be $499 or less.

Are you in the market shopping for a tablet? If so might as well wait until Nov 9th to see what Asus Transformer Prime has to offer.

Over 1 Billion messages sent everyday by WhatsApp users

WhatsApp is a cross platform messaging application available on Android, Apple, Nokia, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile. Users can share messages as well media through WhatsApp. Users can also create groups in WhatsApp.

Today they crossed a huge milestone of delivering more then 1 Billion messages per day. As per WhatsApp "The mobile messaging market is moving, choices around platforms and their pricing and how they provide an amazing customer experience are the hot topics at hand. As a leader in the messaging space and with our network now handling over one billion messages a day, we see that the power is with the consumer."

WhatsApp is a fairly easy to use application as you do not need to add contacts separately in WhatsApp. It automatically finds users based on the numbers in your contact list. WhatsApp is surely giving RIM's popular BBM run for its money.

Source: BGR

Hail a Cab in London with your Android or Apple Smartphone

Hailing a cab in London is never easy. You could be stranded on the side of the road for hours waiting for a cab. Three enterprising cabbies backed by the founder of Skype will be officially launching "Hailo" for Android and Apple tomorrow.

Smartphone users can call for nearby taxis with the tap of a button on their smartphone. So far 2,000 out of 23,000 cab drivers in London have joined Hailo. Passengers will be able to track via the GPS how far the cab is and also pay using credit or debit card right from their smartphone.

Hailo was born out of a meeting between taxi drivers Russell Hall, Gary Jackson and Terry Runham, and internet entrepreneurs Ron Zeghibe, Caspar Woolley and Jay Bregman in a café off London's Tottenham Court Road.

Hailo currently has a team of 20 engineers and hopes to sign up more cab drivers in the coming months.

Do you stay in London or visiting London anytime soon? Be sure to try out Hailo and give your feedback.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Should Apple Hire more people in the USA?

For the past few years Apple has the tendency to employ large number of workers in China. Apple's iPhones and iPads are currently manufactured in China and now they are trying to switch some of the manufacturing jobs to Brazil.

There have been several debates on news networks like CNN regarding Apple's outsourcing with high unemployment rates in the U.S. Jim Hoffa of International Brotherhood of Teamsters President said on CNN "Instead of investing here, everything they do is in China...I think the president should challenge the patriotism of these American corporations.".

Piers Morgan of CNN also said "More people were working for Apple in China than in America. You must stop our jobs from leaving this country. We must start manufacturing our goods."

Apple's response is documented in the recently published Biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. According to the Biography when Jobs met with President Barack Obama he told him to make U.S more friendly to manufacturing.

"The meeting actually lasted forty-five minutes, and Jobs did not hold back. 'You're headed for a one-term presidency,' Jobs told Obama at the outset. To prevent that, he said, the administration needed to be a lot more business-friendly. He described how easy it was to build a factory in China, and said that it was almost impossible to do so these days in America, largely because of regulations and unnecessary costs."

With Apple's profits already skyrocketing and plenty of options available in the US to source and manufacture do you think Apple should reconsider outsourcing?

Home Automation and Security


  • Ever thought you could turn on/off regular lights and fans with a regular remote control?
  • Wondered how you could spy on your Dog while you are at work?
  • Imagine, one click to turn out the lights on movie night without getting up from the couch, one click from your bed to dim the bedroom lamp without moving an inch, one click to turn out the dim in the dining room lamp over a romantic dinner and more!
  • Imagine professional, studio quality sound in any room of the house. Whether you're doing laundry in the basement, cleaning house, entertaining guests in the living room, watching a movie in the den or dining on the backyard patio, you get state-of-the-art audio and total control from any room!
  • Imagine waking up each morning to your bedroom lights gently fading on, a fresh pot of coffee ready and your favorite radio station coming on. It's time to say "enough" to that annoying alarm buzz, rushing to make coffee and hiding your eyes while you adjust to the bright morning light.
All of these and more is possible using X10 gadgets. X10 has really good gadgets at reasonable prices. Most of their products are easy to setup and would not require any special skills as they do work with your existing fixtures. Even though their website isn't the best out there I certainly feel their products are great for the price.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Redbox DVD rental prices going up

The $1 a day rental is no longer $1. Redbox recently announced that the daily rental fees are going up from $1 to $1.20. According to Redbox the fee hike is primarily due to the higher debit card fees which went in effect on October 1st.

Redbox said in a statement on its website. “This is the first time in eight years Redbox has raised our daily DVD rental price.” Redbox will continue to charge $1 for the first day of each DVD rental during a promotional period from October 31st through November 30th, though additional days will be charged at the new rate of $1.20 per night. Rates for Blu-ray ($1.50 per day) rentals and video game rentals ($2 per day) are not affected by this change.

I wonder if 20c hike in daily rental would mean lost customers for Redbox?!?

Source: Redbox FAQ

Apple Investigating iPhone 4S Battery Drain

According to Guardian report Apple is currently investigating problems with battery life on Apple's newest device iPhone 4S. Lot of users are blaming Siri for poor battery performance, however Apple doesn't think Siri is to be blame.

Apple says corrupt contacts details or background services might be causing battery drain. According to the report Apple engineers are directly contacting iPhone 4S owners and asking them to install monitoring tools on their phone to diagnose the problem.

One owner who was contacted by Apple told the Guardian: "My battery life was extremely poor - 10% drop in standby every hour. I noticed that the usage figure was roughly half that of standby, even when the phone was not being used, so I assumed something was crashing or running in the background. I switched off all the new features including Siri and location services, but it was still really poor. I also tried setting up a clean phone with no apps but it is still really poor.

"I then got a call from a senior Apple engineer who said he had read my post and was 'reaching out' to users for data and admitted this was an issue (and that they aren't close to finding a fix!) and asked lots of questions about my usage and then asked if he could install the file below and that he would call back the day after to retrieve the info. I extracted the file from my Mac after a sync and emailed it to him. He was incredibly helpful and apologetic in the typical Apple way!"

Are you having battery issues on your new iPhone 4S? If so you can chip in on the Apple Support Board and hope for an Apple Engineer to call you.

Source: Guardian Report

Call Forwarding to International Number

If you are a globe trotter chances are that either you are using your US cell phone in international roaming, or if you have a local number in the country you are visiting you are looking for a way to forward your US number to your local number.

Without a doubt using US cell phone while roaming international is way more expensive then forwarding your number to a local phone if you have one. However, call forwarding isn't exactly cheap either.

You can now forward your US cell phone number to any international number for rates starting at 1.0c per minute. For example forwarding your calls to any number in India including cell phones only costs 1.7c a minute.

All you need to do is sign up for a free account at Rebtel. Once you have verified your US cell phone number you will need to add a contact with the number you are trying to forward to. For example if you are trying to forward your US number to a number in India you would add a contact for your number in India. Once you do this Rebtel will give you a unique local number associated with your International number.

When you are ready to leave the country you simply need to forward your US cell to the unique Rebtel number you got in the previous step. This will forward all your calls while out of country to your international number for only 1.7c per minute.

Happy Forwarding!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Microsoft's Productivity Future Vision Concept

Long Awaited Google TV 2.0 Update Announced

After months of speculation Google has finally unveiled the much anticipated update to Google TV. One of the major feature missing in Google TV was the ability to access Android Market and download Apps. With this update Google TV owners will now be able to download custom apps for their TVs and set-top box.

Other areas of focus with this update will be:
  1. A Simple Interface with customizable home screen.
  2. Make it easy to find something worth watching. You can now search for movies whether it is Netflix, Youtube, or Amazon.
  3. Improvised YouTube experience with YouTube specifically built for Google TV.
According to The Official Google TV blog "software update will be coming to Sony devices starting early next week and Logitech devices soon thereafter. We look forward in the coming months to announcing new software updates as well as new devices on new chipsets from multiple hardware partners."

Source: Google TV Blog

BlackBerry Playbook, Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Research in Motion has been struggling ever since they launched their tablet, Playbook. Recently they also announced a delay to their much anticipated OS upgrade. This week they announced a limited time special offer for their business customers. Buy 2 get 1 free.

Reports suggests BlackBerry only shipped 500,000 Playbooks compared to Apple selling about $40 million of their tablets, iPad. RIM's latest effort to bolster sales along with giving 1 free tablet with the purchase of 2 tablets they will also give away a premium accessory; leather sleeve, charging pod, or a HDMI cable with the purchase.

With BB Playbook still lacking features like native email support I am not sure if this buy 2 get 1 free deal is enough to lure business customers.

What do you think about this deal? Yay or Nay?

Source: Blackberry

Google Offers Expanding

After a unsuccessful bid to buy Groupon for $6 Billion, Google launched its own rival site called Google Offers.  Google Offers currently serves 19 cities across US and has plans to expand to at least another 23 cities in the near future.

Google Offers recently signed up 14 new deal providers as their partner. This partnership will help Google offer  more products and services in additional markets. Lately Google has been moving aggressively in the group deals space.

There are many companies like Groupon and LivingSocial already established in this arena and other players like Facebook and Yelp after months of development dropped the idea of offering similar services. However, as of now Google still seems to be in the race.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Microsoft was the inspiration behind iPad's creation

Apple's iPad is a result of unnecessary boasting of a tablet in making by Microsoft's employee. In Steve Jobs's authorized biography by Walter Isaacson he mentions a dinner Steve was having with Microsoft Employee "This dinner was like the tenth time he talked to me about it, and I was so sick of it that I came home and said, F**k this, let's show him what a tablet can really be,". 

His anger drove him to create Apple's first 7 inch tablet, iPad. So far combined total of 40 million iPads have been sold worldwide. I wonder what explanation does this unnamed employee give to Bill Gates.

BlackBerry Porsche

Today, Porsche Design and Research In Motion announced the elite new Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry®. Designed by Porsche Design, in collaboration with RIM, the luxury brand's first smartphone delivers engineered luxury and performance.

The Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry is instantly identifiable as a Porsche Design product. The exclusive material choices for this unique smartphone include a forged stainless steel frame, hand-wrapped leather back cover, sculpted QWERTY keyboard, and crystal clear touch display. This customized Porsche Design P'9981 comes with an exclusive Porsche Design UI and a bespoke Wikitude World Browser augmented reality app experience. It also includes premium, exclusive PINs that help easily identify another P'9981 smartphone user.

The P'9981 will sport a 1.2Ghz processor, HD video recording capabilities, BB OS 7, and inbuilt NFC module among other things.

Reports suggest they will sell for $2000 and will be limited in quantity. Do you have that kinda money to spend on a phone? It surely will give you an elite status if you own one of these beauties.

Source: Blackberry

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More troubles for RIM

Research in Motion's senior VP for Blackberry Playbook wrote on his blog yesterday that the software update to its tablet has been delayed until Feb 2012. BB Tablet users had hoped to see the update come through in October/November and this news is going to be disappointing for them.

This is a major issue for RIM as Apple and Android are rolling out iOS5 and Ice Cream Sandwich to their tablets much before RIM's OS 2.0. BlackBerry PlayBook lacks native e-mail, calendar, and messaging. In order for users to send out e-mails from the device, they need to have a BlackBerry smartphone connected to the tablet. PlayBook OS 2.0 is an integral component in RIM's strategy if it wants to even come close to establishing a foothold in the tablet space, since it will bring native e-mail, calendar, and contact apps to the device.

In his blog, David also mentioned that they have decided to defer the inclusion of BBM in their next Playbook OS release. If you are in the market to buy a playbook keep in mind you will still need a Blackberry phone in order to access emails and BBM on your tablet.

It makes me wonder if RIM will be able to retain the few thousand (less then 500,000) customers who have already bought the Playbook.

Source: CNET

Social Car Sharing Service

Facebook has reconnected far-flung friends and family, and LinkedIn gives people a way to stay in touch with professional contacts. A start-up in the bay area, Getaround hopes to convince car owners in the bay area to rent their vehicle when not in use to locals and visitors on hourly basis.

The idea was made possible by California’s new auto-insurance laws, which went into effect in January. Car owners may now rent out their vehicles without concern that an accident claim might affect their personal insurance policies. Under the new laws, vehicle and driver are fully covered by the policies of a car-sharing service during a rental.

As posted on GetAround's website "Cars are driven only 8% of the time, while potential drivers walk past block after block of underutilized cars. We are here to connect the dots... to help people get around."

Currently you can find a Telsa for $75 per hour and  a BMW Z3 for $6 per hour. Are you ready to rent out your personal car to recover your monthly installment payment?

Source: NYTime and Getaround

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Television might be Apple's next big product

Steve Job's biography revealed the last thing he was working on was a full blown Apple TV. Author Walter Isaacson writes that Jobs told him he'd finally figured out a way to make a TV practical. He said it would wirelessly synch with other Apple devices. "It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," he told Isaacson. "I finally cracked it."

Apple has made a product called Apple TV, a set-top Web-streaming box that competes with rival Google TV and independent offerings like Roku and Boxee. But compared to hits like the iPhone and iPad, it has largely underperformed, leading Jobs last year to acknowledge that Apple TV has "never been a huge hit."

In September, Apple slashed its price from $299 to $99, but even that hasn't made the service a household name.

Analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities issued a report titled "A Full-Blown Apple TV Is On The Way.". The report talks about $100 Billion opportunity for Apple in the smart TV market.

Source: CNN

EBay + Craigslist = Zaarly

A new start-up called Zaarly enables people to ask for anything from people nearby. It is like a local market place for people to buy and sell products and services. Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, recently joined Zaarly as an independent Board member. It has raised $14.1 million in Series A financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sands Capital Ventures.

Unlike Craigslist where people typically post items they want to sell, on Zaarly's buyers post what they want to buy and at what price. Then people can come to Zaarly's website or mobile app and offer the service or product and make a case why the buyer should buy from him or her.

As posted on Zaarly's website "Zaarly enables people to ask for anything from people nearby. A simple idea; but when it takes root in a community, the impact is profound. Buyers decide what they want and the price they want to pay and someone from the community makes it happen, creating a job and keeping money local. Zaarly helps anyone invest directly into their local economy.

Sure, we’re a tech company, but what we’re building helps people change their community. These are big ideas requiring enormous talent, borderline fanaticism and maybe a small dose of insanity. We've got an amazing team with the right mix. Let's do this."

Since launching in May, Zaarly now has more than 100,000 users. They are going after a market which is in between eBay and Craigslist.

Have you bought or sold anything through Zaarly's?

Netflix Beats Q3 Expectations, Outlook Disappoints

Netflix reported strong Q3 earnings, however the Outlook for the company is disappointing. Netflix shares are down 35% today as the company lost more then 800,000 subscribers in Q3. It also expects its DVD business to decline sharply in the 4th Quarter.

As reported by Zack's equity firm "Netflix reported third quarter 2011 diluted earnings of $1.16 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 96 cents per share and increasing 65.7% from the prior-year quarter. Earnings surpassed management’s guidance range of 72 cents to $1.07.

Total revenue of $821.8 million not only increased 48.6% from the year-ago quarter, but also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $813.0 million. The total revenue was in the higher end of management’s guidance range of $799.5 million to $828.5 million.

Despite the company beating the estimates on both top-line and bottom-line, shares plummeted 27.8% to $85.75 in after-hours trading as subscriber exodus was more than the company’s projections. Additionally, acknowledgement of a weak upcoming fourth quarter 2011 weighed down the stock."

Source: Zacks Equity Firm

Monday, October 24, 2011

Siri on iPhone = Iris on Android

I am sure by now every single Homo Sapien is friends with Siri. However little is known about it's younger sister Iris. Iris, inspired by Siri showed up in Android Market few days back.

Iris makes your phone talk on topics ranging from Einstein to Mozart. As described in the Market "Gone are the days when you "Google searched" for information. Just "ask" iris. She will talk to you on any topic. Ranging from Philosophy, Culture, History, science to general conversation."

I wonder what Steve Jobs would have thought about this "grand theft".

Google Launching their own Music Store

Google Music is currently in Beta and only available by invitation to subscribers in USA. You can store up to 25,000 songs on Google's Music cloud. You can access your music library from any computer or Android phone for free. As reported on WSJ, Google is now also building a Music-Store which will allow users to purchase songs for a nominal fee which could be around 99c a song. It is rumored to launch in next 2 weeks.

It is also reported that Google's Music Store will be closely integrated with their social networking site Google+. Google Music users will be able to recommend songs to their Google+ circles who in turn will be able to listen to the song for free once before having the option to purchase it.

With so many players already in the market; Amazon Music Store, Spotify, Apple iCloud how likely or unlikely are you to use Google Music?

Check back for detailed review of major digital music stores.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Google buying Yahoo!?

The Wall Street Journal, reports that the search engine giant Google is in talks with at least two private equity firms to help them finance a deal to buy Yahoo. It seems like the talks are in very early stages, so don't expect their marriage anytime soon.

Yahoo's board recently sacked CEO Carol Bartz and Yahoo! for sale rumors have been floating for a while. Any deal tying two of the biggest Internet companies would be sure to attract antitrust scrutiny. Yahoo hasn't been able to increase revenue even as the Internet ad market grows by more than 20% annually.

Source: WSJ

Google Voice returns to iOS app store

Couple of days ago Google pulled out their Google Voice application from Apple's app store. Later it was confirmed by Google that the app was pulled out intentionally stating that "our last update of this week had a bug that caused the app to crash at sign in. We removed it so it did not affect additional users until the fix gets published.”

Today GV has made a comeback in App Store with an update that fixes sign-in error.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Siri's beerest friend Beeri

I could not resist to post this funny video. Folks at Redpepper invented Beeri. With the help of Siri you can now have Beeri pour beer for you.

Source: RedPepper

Use of Mobile Phones don't increase chances of Cancer, latest study suggests

The BMJ (British Medical Journal), in their latest Nationwide Cohort study in Denmark concluded that use of mobile phones has no increased risks of tumors of the central nervous systems.

As reported on CNN back in May "Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.".

This debate has been ongoing for several years and different studies have different conclusions. National Cancer Institute doesn't think there is any consistent link between cell phone usage and brain cancer.

Cell phone technology and Cell phone usage has been rapidly changing in today's world, so it would need more research to draw any conclusion.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Cell phones can cause Brain cancer?

Source: BMJ

Steve Jobs vowed to destroy Android, called the platform a ‘stolen product’

In a new revelation from Steve Jobs authorized biography by Walter Isaacson, the Associated Press reports that Steve was furious over launch of first HTC Android phone. He thought phone appeared to copy many features from the iPhone.

Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft."

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said, according to Isaacson’s book. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

According to the book even when Eric Schmidt met with Steve Jobs to settle the issue Mr. Jobs was in no mood of Settlement. "I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I don't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want." The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.

Source: AP

Thursday, October 20, 2011

First free "Thank You" App Available from BlackBerry

As posted a few days ago Rim has kept its promise and delivered first free app that's part of their "$100" free gift.

First up is Pro:
"Thank you for choosing and supporting BlackBerry®. In appreciation, Pro is free of charge for a limited time (a $19.99 USD value), compliments of BlackBerry. 2.0 speaks txt (SMS) and email messages aloud so you can concentrate on the road. Eliminate temptation to drive distracted-let read txts (texts) and respond by voice with Pro. 2.0 Pro lets you chat by sending text responses by voice and use voice commands like: repeat message, or call back sender. Drive safe listening to messages without texting while driving or reading emails in car. Drive – respond by voice, hands-free. stops texting while driving (TWD)."

You can download the app and get more information in BlackBerry App World.

Source: BalckBerry Rocks

Groupon Seeks Valuation at $12 Billion

Learn_personalizeThe Daily Deal Site, Groupon, is seeking to sell shares in an offering that would value the company at close to $12 billion, several people with knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.

Such a valuation, which is being weighed as the company prepares for an investor road show next week to pitch its initial public offering, would be a steep comedown from earlier expectations that an I.P.O. of the Internet darling could value the company as much as $25 billion to $30 billion.

But shaky stock markets in recent months have prompted the company’s bankers to revise their calculations. Enthusiasm for Groupon has also been tempered amid sharp questions over its business model and accounting.

The stock offering, likely to take place next month, is expected to be less than 10 percent of the valuation and could be as small as $500 million, the people with knowledge of the situation said. The valuation is estimated to be more than $10 billion and will be significantly higher if markets improve.

Source: NYTimes

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Netflix Updated to Support HoneyComb Tablets


Today, Netflix launched a new application in the Android Market to support Android 3.x (Honeycomb) tablets.This new app also extends Android support to Canada and Latin America for the first time. Now Netflix members in US, Canada and Latin America can enjoy Netflix on both their Android smartphones and tablets.

Netflix members can download this free app from the Android Market . Enjoy!

Source: Netflix Blog

Google unveils Ice Cream Sandwich

Google took wraps off it latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich yesterday at an event in Hong Kong. Samsung Galaxy Nexus is going to be the first phone to sport Ice Cream Sandwich OS (Android 4.0). Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0 is aimed to bridge the gap between Android Phone OS (Gingerbread) and Android Tablet OS (Honeycomb).

Some of the feature additions in Ice Cream Sandwich are:

  • Face Unlock - With Face Unlock you can now unlock your phone with a smile and no complicated passwords are required to unlock your phone.
  • Android Beam - With NFC enabled phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus you can simply transfer files, photos, music, etc by holding phones close to each other.
  • Enhanced Voice typing - Watch text appear instantaneously as you speak with voice input
  • Google+ - Even though Google+ is currently available to download with Ice Cream Sandwich it is going to be built in with better integration.
  • Camera - Improved camera interface with the ability to take panoramic pictures. 

Asus Transformer 2 Teaser Video

Asus Transformer 1 was a game changer for Google's Honeycomb tablet.

Asus just released a teaser for its upcoming Asus Transformer 2.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple Misses Big on Earnings, Revenue; Shares Tumble

Apple which usually tops the forecast in a rare show missed on earnings in 4th quarter ending 25th September. Apple shares tumbled 7% after hours on the surprise miss.

The company sold 17.07 million iPhones during the quarter; Wall Street had expected something in the 18 million to 20 million range, given that 20.3 million were sold in the third quarter.

Apple to Briefly Shut US Stores to Honor Steve Jobs

Apple plans to shutter U.S. retail stores for several hours Wednesday so employees can take part in a company-wide celebration of co-founder Steve Jobs' life, a person familiar with the celebration said.

Steve Jobs

Store employees in United States will use that time to view a live broadcast of the event, which is being held at an outdoor amphitheater at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
The celebration — which will be held from 10 a.m. PDT to 11:30 a.m. PDT — will follow a private memorial service for the late tech visionary at Stanford University, expected to be attended by Silicon Valley luminaries, politicians and celebrities.

Source: CNBC

Dropbox Confirms $250 Million Investment

Dropbox - Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.

Dropbox, the online storage company, confirmed on Tuesday that it had raised $250 million in its latest fund-raising round, an investment that values the company at $4 billion, according to people close to the company.

The round was led by venture capital firm Index Ventures and featured several new investors, including Goldman Sachs, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, RIT Capital Partners and Valiant Capital Partners. Two previous venture capital investors, Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners, also participated.

 Dropbox, a four-year-old company founded by two former Massachusetts Institute of Technology students, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, said it would use the money for acquisitions, partnerships and growth.

Do you use Dropbox? Watch out for a review of Dropbox in coming days.

Source: NYTimes and Dropbox

Monday, October 17, 2011

RIM offers $100 After Blackberry Outage

Identify BlackBerry PlayBook tablet app or game versions

Last week, the RIM network was laid low by the biggest outage in company history – a three-day blackout that left hundreds of thousands of BlackBerry users around the globe without access to e-mail or the Web. RIM initially blamed the problem on a hardware glitch, and the subsequent failure of a backup system, although some pundits have speculated that RIM reps still don't have a firm grip on what really brought the network crashing down.

At any rate, RIM has spent the past few days on what one blog called an "apology parade," using video messages and blog posts to reach out to disgruntled customers. The latest step: a bundle of "premium" apps, worth $100, made available to all BlackBerry users via the App World store. In a statement, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said the offer would open on Wednesday, and extend for a period of four weeks.
"We are grateful to our loyal BlackBerry customers for their patience,” Lazaridis said. "We have apologized to our customers and we will work tirelessly to restore their confidence. We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to help prevent something like this from happening again." Among the free apps being offered by RIM are the popular games Bejeweled and Sims 3and the personal assistant app Vlingo Plus. Additional apps will soon follow, RIM says.
These are grim days for RIM, which has seen its shares in the smartphone market erode steadily (to say nothing of the widely panned PlayBook, RIM's entry in the tablet wars). Earlier this year, the company announced it would slash approximately 2,000 jobs worldwide, or about 10.5 percent of its workforce. "The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company," reps wrote at the time.

Source: Csmonitor

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great site to compare Mortgage/Credit Card rates

Looking to buy a new house, or refinance your current mortgage? Google Advisor is a great site to compare mortgage prices and also has a easy to use mortgage calculator. 

Source: Google Advisor

Free email with your domain name

4 million choose Google

Google Apps offers 10 free email accounts with each domain you own. Each email account has the same storage as Gmail. It is ideal solution for a small company with less then 10 employees or a start up company. Here is the link for more information.

If you need any help setting up Google Apps you can contact me by Email.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Death of Google Buzz

As posted on Google's Blog in the coming weeks they will be shutting down their Buzz service to focus on Google+. That comes as no surprise as buzz was dying a slow death.

Source: Official Google Blog:

Google Voice FInally getting MMS Support

Great news for Google Voice users. MMS support is finally trickling down to Google Voice users. MMS has been one of the constant request from Goog;e Voice users.

As posted on Google Voice Blog "Today, we're happy to announce that we've made the first step in our efforts to bring this feature to our users. Google Voice users are now able to receive pictures and other multimedia messages from Sprint subscribers. The multimedia attachments will display on their mobile forwarding phone and in their email inbox when they enable text to email forwarding in their Google Voice settings. We are also planning on making them display in the Google Voice inbox."

If this is something you have been waiting for then you wait is over!

Source: Google Voice Blog.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Google's revenue up 33 percent for Q3 2011


Google reported record revenues for the 3rd quarter. Google, which for the first time topped $9 billion in revenue in Q2, once again set another company record as it delivered a strong third quarter with $9.72 billion in revenue, a 33 percent increase over the $7.29 billion reported in Q3 2010.

The company has $46.2 billion in cash on hand.

The company noted that it now has more than 40 million users for its Google+ social networking service.

Larry Page said on the call that there are now more than 190 million Android devices activated to date.

Google's stock prices were up 6% in after hours trading.

Source: SearchEngineWatch

Free Fax to Email Service

VoxOx Home

If you are like me who needs to occasionally send and receive faxes, but would not like to invest in a phone line and a fax machine then Voxox is the ideal solution. Voxox provides a free US phone number where you can receive all inbound faxes for free. Every time you receive a fax Voxox will send you an email with the attached fax in PDF format. You can also download their free software if you would like to send faxes. However sending faxes is not free, but quite cheap with rates starting at 0.01c per minute.

Happy Faxing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

At Long Last, Facebook Releases an iPad App


It has been the equivalent of waiting for Bigfoot. Bloggers had seen it. Developers said they had worked on it. Facebook denied its existence. Everyone else just wanted to know if it was real.

It’s the Facebook application for the iPad, which is finally out in the wild for everyone to prod, pinch and interact with.

After months of speculation and false alarms, Facebook said Monday that its official iPad application was available as a free download from the Apple App Store.

The app will likely benefit Apple and Facebook. Although the iPad is the biggest-selling tablet on the market, some consumers are not convinced they need it and opt for less expensive tablets. Seeing a slick Facebook app could convince people to choose an iPad over competitors, as there is no Facebook app specifically tailored for tablets running Google’s Android software.

Source: NYTimes

iOS 5 now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Apple on Wednesday made good on its promise to push out the release build of iOS 5 to consumers around the world. The new software is available for download immediately, and iTunes 10.5 is required in order to install the update. Owners of Apple’s iPhone 4 (GSM and CDMA), iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and third and fourth-generation iPod touch handhelds have access to the new build, while owners of earlier devices will not be able to install the update. iOS 5 includes more than 200 new features such as a revamped notifications system, iMessage, built-in Twitter integration, Newsstand and more. Apple also released two new apps alongside iOS 5 on Wednesday: Find My Friends, which can be downloaded by visiting on your iOS device, and AirPort Utility.

Source: BGR

BlackBerry Outage Affects Millions for the Third Day (Including USA)

BlackBerry Bold 9900

After having initially said the issues were resolved following one day of service interruptions, millions of BlackBerry users across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and even some areas in South America still find themselves without access to the Wen or messaging services for the third consecutive day.

There are also reports of outages in USA today. Is your BB having issues today?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SlingPlayer App optimized for Android Honeycomb tablets

Sling Media announces availability of Slingplayer for Android Tablets

Sling Media, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), today announced the availability of SlingPlayer™ for tablets running versions 3.0 or later of the Android™ operating system. Available for purchase on the Android Market, the application lets Slingbox® owners extend their living room TV experience to their tablets and takes advantage of the higher performance, screen resolutions and video quality the latest Android devices can deliver. New to this release of SlingPlayer is a revamped program guide that makes it easy to browse content choices while continuing to watch TV. Familiar custom on-screen remote controls closely mimic the same experience the user has from the couch at home.

You can grab the app from the Market for the familiar price of $30.

Source: Sling Media

Monday, October 10, 2011

CyanogenMod 7.1 Is Released

The most popular mod on Android recently released a new stable version. The changelog is pretty massive, of course, with fixes and tweaks galore. But chief among them is that you'll be first on your block to be rockin' Android 2.3.7. You can read the entire changelog here: CyanogenMod 7.1 Change log

Netflix abandons plans to spin off ‘Qwikster’ DVD business

Netflix on Monday announced that it will abandon its plan to spin off the company’s DVD rentals-by-mail service. Netflix's CEO posted this on his blog "This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster."

Do you think this move will save the company from losing any additional market share? They have already lost about 30% market share since they announced the spin off last month

Free roaming, high broadband speeds in new telecom policy in India

The new telecom policy will bring cheer to consumers with the government on Monday proposing to remove roaming charges for subscribers within the country, exponentially increasing broadband availability and speed and allowing for mobile numbers to be ported to any part of the country.

According to the draft of the new telecom policy unveiled by communications minister Kapil Sibal, roaming charges will be done away with and users will be allowed to port their mobile numbers, keeping the same number, even while switching service areas.

The distinction between local and STD calls would vanish, as the policy aims at a 'one-nation-one-licence' regime.

Source: Times of India

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hotmail App Comes to Android

Microsoft has finally released an official Hotmail App for Android and the native Hotmail app will also be launched for the iOS 5 running Apple devices.
Along with the launch, on its blog, Microsoft has shared its plans to combat spam and provide ample of tools for the users to block out spam. The company aims to revamp Hotmail interface and this new version would reflect on all the mobile versions.
The app supports multiple Hotmail accounts and allows viewing all sub-folders and adding / viewing attachments of the emails received.
The official app black background based interface and depends on push mail mechanism to fetch emails. The app also allows keeping calendar and contacts in sync with the Android mobile phone. Hotmail account owners can view even their sub-folders and even send photos to other contacts using the Hotmail app.
Officially, it is now available for download from the Android Market. Microsoft plans to release native Hotmail app for Apple iPhone, iPod touch and iPad once the iOS 5 is released for public.