Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Sony DVD Handycam

One thing I don’t like about my Handycam is that you cannot edit scenes directly on the dvd you are recording on. This means that you need to finalize your dvd and then edit it with a software such as ImageMixer, later on; which to be honest is a bit stupid.

I am now downloading an update for Imagemixer, which I think will allow me to directly edit on the recording disc. Update coming soon.

Update: It did not work. I still have to finalize the dvds and only then will I be able to copy the files on my computer. Supposedly I could do it before finalization of the dvds but Imagemixer kept crashing.

Google Chrome vs. everyone else

The web is literally full of articles on Google’s new browser Chrome. The web community has greeted the new browser as a new benchmark that other browsers have to reach in order to keep up in the browser game. 

To be honest, I have not seen dramatic speed improvements while browsing with Chrome, as posted on various sites on the web. This is in comparison, not with IE, nor with Firefox, but with Opera. And it is to me very surprising that many of the comparison articles have not listed Opera as one of the competing browsers. 

Down to the details of Chrome now. The interface is very simple and clean. The Chrome window does not even have a top border (i.e. a windows border). The buttons are very few and the theme of the browser rather blueish; in a relaxing tone. 

On the top-right side of the broswer there is a button called “Other bookmarks”, where you can find all of your bookmarks (e.g. whatever you have imported for example from IE or Firefox; the only two options offered while importing data from other browsers). 

Above the “Other bookmarks” button there is one for tweaking the various settings of Chrome, as well as a button for performing various tasks on the current open page. Overall a very simple approach to interface design; after all this has been one of the aims of the Google team. 

What remains to be seen now is whether the multiple processes that Chrome fires in the background (one for each page opened), are more memory efficient than the collective memory usage of a single process in other browsers.  

More on Google Chrome in a few posts (while using the browser). 😉

iPhone 3G unlocked?

From CNET: “Despite the best efforts of Apple and AT&T, it appears that the latest version of the iPhone has been unlocked via the same method as used on the original iPhone.

A Brazilian blog, TechGuru, posted the first report of it. Gizmodo checked it out, and said the method involves using a special SIM card adapter. It tricks the phone into thinking it’s on an approved network.

“This method forges the International Mobile Subscriber Identity, making the phone believe it’s working in the network in which it’s supposed to work,” Gizmodo writes.”

Maybe it is a bit too early to be true, but then again we wouldn’t be surprised if it has alread been unlocked. There is already a huge industry behind the unlocked version of the iPhone.

Palm Treo 800w

Palm has released a new Treo model, 800w. The device is loaded with Wi-Fi (802.11b/g, 802.1x (EAP-PEAP, EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS), built-in GPS, Bluetooth, 2.0 megapixel camera, a micro USB port and it runs on Windows Mobile.

The phone is available on Sprint‘s network for now, with no dates for a European realease being announced yet.

iPhone 3G – available this coming Friday, 11th July

The new iPhone 3G will be available this coming Friday at 8 a.m. According to Apple‘s website (US) it will be available from Apple’s retail stores, as well as from AT&T outlets; Apple’s partner in the iPhone era.

If you click on the Apple site’s country settings now, you can also see that the iPhone will be available on the same day in another 20 countries, including Canada, Australia, Italy, UK and Norway to name a few.

It only remains to be seen now how long the queues will be on Thursday evening, outside the Apple and AT&T stores and how fast the phone will be unlocked and reach other countries where it is not officially on sale. 🙂

Opera 9.51- beautifully engineered

Maxthon is long gone (well from today). It started acting up and being slow (even though I haven’t installed any plug-ins lately or anything like that). So I decided to switch to Opera 9.51, which is the latest version of the Opera web browser.

One word describes it best; fast! Way faster than Maxthon. And in addition to its speed, it looks good with a revamped interface (the shiny black bar at the top does the trick).

Even though I haven’t used it for more than 2 hours, I can see some added features such as the speed-dial for websites, the widgets and the Page Info utility.

Final verdict? I will be using Opera in the coming months (unless some other browser has something better to offer…hhhmm Firefox 3 maybe) and drop everything else for now.

Wubi = Windows + Ubuntu

Here is the description from the Wubi website: “Wubi is an officially supported Ubuntu installer for Windows users that can bring you to the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other Windows application, in a simple and safe way. Are you curious about Linux and Ubuntu? Trying them out has never been easier!”

It took me just a few minutes to install Ubuntu on my computer, after downloading the desktop edition of the operating system and placing it in the same folder as the Wubi installer (this is the alternative method of installing the OS if you don’t want Wubi to download it for you).

I dedicated 5 GB of space for the installation (more choices are available), no partition was needed and best of all…I have access to Windows files through the Ubuntu installation.

Slick, fast, no errors, no partition messing, and safe!

FLV Player 2.0.24

This is a pretty decent Flash video player, that has been refined from its previous versions in a positive way. The user can zoom in to twice the original video size, as well as to full screen.

We also like the slick interface of the player, as well as the drag-and-drop functionality added. This means that you can now easily drag and drop a flv file onto the player’s window and the file will automatically start playing.

Skype 4.0 beta

Skype have released a new version of their software, Skype 4.0 beta. The software has an updated interface than in previous versions and features full-screen video chat streams among other things.

Early reports say that the software may crash your computer (it is a beta afterall), however, this seems like a positive change from Skype and we like it a lot.

Powerline networking

I recently wanted to add to my network a device (media player) that had no wireless capabilities and the only way I could do this was through an ethernet cable. However, this device would be sitting in my living room, so you can imagine that having a long, blue ethernet cable running through the house was not the best option.

Homeplug by Sitecom saved the day though! In two very simple steps you can add any ethernet enabled device on your local network. The device communicates with the netwrok by using the electrical circuit of your house.

Adding the Homeplug means that you can share data and services between the connected devices on your  network, in a very fast, reliable and easy-to-install way.

Adobe releases AIR

From Adobe: “Adobe AIR offers an exciting new way to engage customers with innovative, branded desktop applications, without requiring changes to existing technology, people, or processes.”

We have downloaded it already and will give a shot to some of the already available apps. Hope it doesn’t let us down. (Looks too good to let us down).  

Palm Centro on AT&T

After Sprint, AT&T hops on the Centro smartphone bandwagon. The phone is now available for $99.99 on AT&T’s EDGE network. The price tag comes after a mail-in rebate and a two year service contract.

Centro

Centro allows the user to make calls (of course), send text messages and IM messages, check his email and browse the web. Not bad for a lightweight device like Centro. Maybe this turns out to be another best-seller for Palm (and will hopefully help the company revive).

HD DVD is dead

Toshiba‘s HD DVD is officially dead. From BBC News: “Toshiba’s announcement that it is to stop production of HD DVD players leaves the way clear for Blu-ray to become the industry standard.”

Livestation beta – free tv

Livestation is a free application, in beta phase, that allows you to receive a number of news channels (for now mostly European). The list of channels currenlty includes BBC News 24, BBC World, Euronews, France 24 and Sky News among others.

You can register at the website with no cost and become a beta user. The setup of the application is sraightforward and fast. You can then enjoy the news channels in rather good quality (broadband connection is required).  

What I liked mostly about the application is the menu bar at the bottom, showing the program guide for the channel (whenever this is available) and the soft switching between the channels; i.e. the channel’s audio dies out nicely and in a soft manner until the next channel loads.

Overall the application seems nicely packaged, has no complex bells and whistles, has tidy menus and above all it looks well made. 

According to Livestation’s website more channels will be added soon, giving a much wider choice to the viewer.