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iPhone game devs give us their thoughts on the iPad

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageWith yesterday’s announcement from Apple of its much hyped "latest creation" — the iPad — and the news that already existing iPhone applications (that means games too, folks) will be playable on the device, we started wondering how the developers of the world felt about this shiny new piece of gadgetry. So we asked a handful of our favorites — Canabalt’s Adam "Atomic" Saltsman, Pocket God’s Dave Castelnuovo, and PopCap’s Andrew Stein, just to namedrop a few — to give us their reactions.

"It’s hard to say anything concrete without actually playing with the thing personally, but I’m optimistic about it continuing to open up video games to even more ‘normal’ people," Saltsman told us. "I’m hopeful that having a big multitouch space will help mediate the whole ‘fat fingers on a tiny screen’ problem." PopCap’s Andrew Stein agreed, telling us "We’ll certainly look at the unique capabilities of the iPad and work hard to utilize those in instances where they can make our games even more fun."

Republic of Fun prez Mike Rasmussen sees things a bit differently, noting the opportunity in the upped horsepower of the device. "From a pure gaming perspective, I’m excited about the additional resolution and horsepower, and really interested to start understanding the 3D performance of the A4 [chip]." But even the most successful app developer on the market — Pocket God creator Dave Castelnuovo — seems a bit reticent of the iPad, telling us he sees "a lot of potential with the device," but his company is going to "wait to see what kind of acceptance the tablet will have" before moving forward with development.

But that’s not all! See the full reactions from a variety of iPhone game developers after the break.

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Apple iPhone 4s

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageAfter iPhone 4, the iPhone 4s is the most amazing release from Apple.  The iPhone 4s has such awesome features that can amaze its lovers. Like its precursor, the iPhone 4s has lovely design and improved features. When iPhone 4 was released, people were attracted towards it because of its unique and fabulous design than the whole iPhone series. On the same lines, the iPhone 4s is crafted. The chassis and body shape is almost the same but the iPhone 4s is a little heftier (140 grams) than iPhone 4 (137 grams). Dimensions and compactness of both the phones are also same.

The most amazing and attractive things about iPhone 4s are its software and hardware configurations. Let us first discuss about its software. The iPhone 4s contains “Siri.” You might be wondering about the word “Siri”? It is software that has indeed increased the value of iOS 5 operating system and iPhone 4s. For Siri, your voice is a command. Just speak and give your iPhone 4s an order to make a call, open a particular application, send the message, save the contact, schedule the meeting etc. Don’t think Siri as an ordinary voice command application, as in ordinary phones. It is something more than that. Talk to Siri as you would to a person. For example, “Remind me to pick up my wallet, before I leave for the meeting.” Siri will intelligently find the information that you need and give you the answer. Siri not only understands what you are saying. But it also understands what you mean and what you want. It is a very intelligent application of iPhone 4s that makes you feel that you are having a conversation with one of your friends.

The iPhone 4s contains the most advanced operating system, the iOS 5. It is a fact that the love of people with iPhone is due to its impressive features. And all the features of any machinery are embedded in its operating system. So, iOS is indeed the necessary cause of iPhone’s uniqueness and popularity. The new iOS 5 gives an elegant an instinctive user-interface, multi-touch feature with capacitive display, compatibility to more than 500,000 apps on iPhone app store and it is having more than 200 new features. The display of iPhone 4s is protected by scratch resistant glass with oleophobic coating. iPhone 4s contains iCloud. It is an application that can manage your contacts, photos, music, documents, videos and much more stuff. The iCloud has more versatility than “People Hub” being used HTC smartphoens.

Now, something about the hardware. The iPhone 4s is powered by the most powerful processor in the iPhone series i-e dual Core A-5 processor. Apple iPad 2 has the same processor. iPhone 4 has a simple 1 GHz Cortex-A8 processor. The A-5 has made iPhone 4s very speedy. You just need to tap a specific application and phone opens it in a real time. Also the multi-tasking is very good. You can play game and listen to the music at the same time. This new processor is power-saver and it gives iPhone 4s an excellent timing.

The iPhone 4s has 8 MP camera which is far better than the 5 MP camera of iPhone 4. The camera is provided with LED flash and touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection and HDR features. The camera gives excellent photo shoot and 1080p HD video recording. The camera does not care about whether you capture photo in low or high light and it also does not care about the motion of the thing to be captured and the number of people. It captures the world as it should be captured. The iPhone 4s has a secondary VGA camera. It also gives a good picture quality and helps you a lot in video calling or video conferencing.

The iPhone 4s does not contain any memory card slot but it has internal memory storage of 16 to 64 GB and 512 MB RAM. These two things are exactly in accordance with the iPhone 4.

Two other extraordinary features of iPhone 4s are Airplay and Airprint. With Airplay, you can connet your iPhone 4s wirelessly with your HDTV and speakers via Apple TV. You play the game on your iPhone 4s and what you are seeing in the phone screen is appearing on the big screen of TV. With Airprint, you can connect your iPhone 4s wirelessly with any printer and print your e-mails, photos, documents etc.

These were the few things that can easily differentiate iPhone 4s from other phones of its series and actually these are things that make iPhone unique and interesting.
 

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Nokia’s Last Stand – Nokia WP7 Phones

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageWP7 is the savior of the choked and outdated Nokia Symbian system. Here is how Microsoft tends to get Nokia for benefits on both sides.

Nokia is sinking floe in the summer sun. Sometime back it was already exhausting market share from Android which has exceeded even Apple, and faith in its Ssymbian^3 system. With Android eating away Nokia shares in Europe and Nokia blundering in China it is only a matter of time before the flow either sticks to a bigger iceberg or melts. Hence Microsoft is the pillar of support here for Nokia to lean on. Both parties can benefit greatly from this method with Microsoft gaining shares and Nokia polishing up its OS, reviving its once attractive UI and services. This all becomes even more possible for Nokia as it enters a greener pasture called WP7 recently a “Mango” update to WP7.

Moreover Microsoft’s would bestow upon Nokia developer software and moreover strengthen each other for the previously two-horse race of Android and Apple.

What makes Nokia-WP7 phones appealing are their low price ranges, originality of OS with good support for music, office and personalization. Moreover Microsoft has seen to it to start equipping carriers with their devices and that move is appreciated by quite a number of customers who are waiting for the end of their contracts and getting subsidized WP7 phones instead for a variety of reasons.

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Apple’s Potential of Gaming with iPad2 and iTV Duo

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageNot it’s not Game Center! In fact it is the combination of iTV and iPad 2 that brings about a gaming platform that is not for from the Xbox or PS concept of premium big screen gaming.  Apple iTV was previously known to connect with the iPad 2 air TV shows, stream movies and provide corporate on-the-air services. Let’s take Real Racing the high-end game racing simulator game available for iDevices for a test drive. Now imagine playing real racing on HD TV. Firemint, the company that owns the game has announced that Real Racing 2 HD will support wireless gaming using Apple’s AirPlay feature that is also available on iOS 5.

For you out there thinking this AirPlay mirroring then it is to let you know that the game will be utilizing the full power of AirPlay and can only use the iPad 2 as a controller. This is because iPad 2 is capable of supporting heavier graphics computing power. For Real Racing 2 the iPad is the console controller with race data such as laps, position, map, and so on are displayed whereas the TV is the play. The iPad 1 may support the game play but not in dual screen mode.

Of course Apple will never be for the likes of Xbox 360 offering full-featured gaming features and services. But trust me no one will be buying an iPad 2 iTV combo for gaming. It is those who already have it that will be happy with it.

Apart from everything else there are two more things that are of my personal concern. Will the installation of iOS 5 allow this sort of gaming from the iPhone?

Does each app have to be updated in order to be compatible with this new ‘iGaming’ because this system would be really obstructive in smooth gaming!

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Microsoft Statement Supporting Marriage Equality

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageThe following statement was posted on the Microsoft blog by Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft, on behalf of the company.

Today, Microsoft is joining other Northwest employers Concur, Group Health, Nike, RealNetworks and Vulcan Inc. in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. We believe that passing this bill would be good for our business and good for the state’s economy. I wanted to take a few moments to explain why.

At Microsoft, we pride ourselves on our products and services, our brand, and our global reach. But unquestionably, our employees are our greatest asset.

To be successful, it’s critical that we have a workforce that is as diverse as our customers. Every day, the national and global economies are becoming more diverse. The lifeblood of a business is its ability to understand and connect with its customers. We’re no exception. Now more than ever, the most effective workforce is a diverse workforce.

While some of our employees literally grew up around the corner, others have come from every state and almost 150 countries around the world. They reflect virtually every background in the country and on the planet. They bring their creativity to work, and they put it to good use in developing new products and serving our customers. There simply is no substitute for their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, skills and experiences.

Inclusiveness is therefore a fundamental part of our values, and is integral to the company’s business success.

This means it’s important to go beyond simply forbidding discrimination; we strive to actively promote diversity, equality and inclusion in our workplace. In 1993, Microsoft became the first Fortune 500 company to provide same-sex domestic partnership benefits. For almost two decades, we’ve benefited from this support and the resulting contributions of our LGBT employees.

In addition to corporate policies supporting diversity and equality, we strive to engage in a thoughtful manner in public discussions on issues that have a significant impact on our employees and our business. For example, Microsoft supported legislation in Washington State prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as legislation expanding domestic partnership rights.

Our support today for Senate Bill 6239 and HB 2516, Washington’s marriage equality legislation, builds upon our previous work in this area.

As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington’s employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits and their families. Employers in the technology sector face an unprecedented national and global competition for top talent. Despite progress made in recent years with domestic partnership rights, same-sex couples in Washington still hold a different status from their neighbors. Marriage equality in Washington would put employers here on an equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. This in turn will help us continue to compete for talent.

While Microsoft’s support for marriage equality is motivated by respect for our employees, we also respect the views of those who may not agree with our position. For example, we have many highly valued and highly successful employees who hold a wide range of views on this and many other issues. We’re not asking anyone to change their views to conform to the company’s position.

We also recognize that marriage has meaning as both a civil and a religious institution. Like the marriage equality bill passed last year in New York State with bipartisan and business support, this bill preserves religious freedom in Washington’s churches while ending discrimination in Washington law.

Like the New York bill, we believe Washington’s legislation should be passed into law. It will make our state and our economy stronger. 

 

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Google to protest SOPA and PIPA on homepage tomorrow

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageThe Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) have driven the Internet into a frenzy, with numerous Silicon Valley companies objecting the entertainment industry backed bill. Earlier this week, Wikipedia, Reddit and numerous other companies announced blackouts scheduled for Wednesday in protest of both SOPA and PIPA.

Google too plans to make its opposition clear, however the company won’t be blacking out its website. Instead it will raise awareness using the Google search homepage. ”Like many businesses, entrepreneurs, and Web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue Web sites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” a Google representative said. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. homepage.” When asked how these protest links would be displayed, Google told CNET it will not replace the company’s logo, but it will post a link on its homepage that leads to more information. Google’s homepage is the most visited web page in the world and the company’s actions will definitely draw plenty of attention.

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Apple opens iPhone 4S preorders in 22 more countries

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageApple is will be launching the iPhone 4S in 22 more countries by the end of the month – and pre-orders are now available.

Apple engineered the iPhone 4S to be a “world phone,” enabling the company to manufacture one device that can be used with GSM carriers using micro-SIM cards worldwide. Now, Apple is starting to reap some of the fruit of that decision: the company will be rolling out the iPhone 4S in 22 additional countries by the end of the month, and pre-orders are now available in online stores for the new markets. Depending on the country, Apple is listing availability time for purchases from one to two weeks.

The new countries getting the iPhone 4S are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland; Apple announced it planned to launch the iPhone 4S in those markets by the end of October when it formally introduced the device. In addition to the United States, the iPhone 4S is already on sale in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom, so the 22 new markets bring the number of countries with the iPhone 4S to 29.

The rollout represents Apple’s quickest international introduction for an iPhone, and promises to quickly buoy sales for the device. Apple moved more than four million iPhone 4S units in the device’s first three days of availability; adding significant international markets to the mix will no doubt keep Apple’s iPhone 4S sales at heady levels through the end of the year—which is probably the source of some of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent outright optimism about Apple’s year-end finances.

“I’m confident that we will set an all-time record for iPhone this quarter,” said Cook during Apple’s fourth-quarter conference call with analysts.

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BSNL Aakash tablet’s

Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageNew Delhi: BSNL has launched three tablets including two 7 inch resistive screen based tabs with Android 2.3 operating system while the third tablet comes with an 8 inch capacitive touchscreen.
Made by Noida based company – Pantel, the tablets will be sold with discounted data plans from BSNL. The three tablets are priced at Rs 3,250, Rs 10,999 and Rs 13,500.
The cheapest model is Panta Tpad IS 701r which is priced at Rs 3,250. Notably, Aakash is priced at just Rs 2500. However, Tpad has better specification than the Datawind’s low cost tablet.

Panta Tpad is a WiFi only tablet with Android 2.3 operating system, it has a 1 GHz processor (ARM11 IMAP210) clubbed with 256 MB RAM. The tablet also offers HDMI port through which it can be connected to a TV. Its 7 inch resistive touch screen comes with 800×600 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio.
The tablet has a 3000 mAh battery and 2 GB internal memory which can be expanded through micro SD card. The tablet also has a VGA front facing camera for video calling. While Panta Tpad IS 701r has the BSNL branding, the other two tablets images do not have.
The second tablet is named ‘Panta Tpad_ws704c’. It has the same specification as its cheapest cousin (701r) but offers added 3G connectivity which supports both CDMA/EVDO and GSM, inbuilt A-GPS, Accelerometer and Bluetooth. It also comes with a 2 megapixel rear camera and also has bigger 512 MB RAM for faster performance.
The costliest amongst the three is the Tpad WS802C which has an 8 inch capacitive screen. It comes with a faster 1.2 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM. The internal memory is also bigger at 4 GB. Rest of the features like GPS, camera and Bluetooth are same as the 704C

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Facebook vs. Google: The battle for the future of the Web

Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageFORTUNE — Paul Adams is one of Silicon Valley’s most wanted. He’s an intellectually minded product designer with square-framed glasses, a thick Irish accent, and a cult following of passionate techies. As one of Google’s lead social researchers, he helped dream up the big idea behind the company’s new social network, Google+: those flexible circles that let you group friends easily under monikers like "real friends" or "college buddies." He never got to help bring his concept to consumers, though. In a master talent grab last December, Facebook lured him 10 miles east to Palo Alto to help design social advertisements. On his blog, Adams explained, "Google values technology, not social science."
In the long history of tech rivalries, rarely has there been a battle as competitive as the raging war between the web’s wonder twins. They will stop at nothing to win over whip-smart folks like Adams, amass eyeballs, and land ad dollars. There’s no public trash talking à la the Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) vs. HP (HPQ, Fortune 500) smackdown, nor are the battle lines drawn as clearly as they were when Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) took on Netscape, but the stakes are immense. These companies are fighting to see which of them will determine the future of the web — and the outcome will affect the way we get information, communicate, and buy and sell.
Facebook and Google: Head-to-Head – Click on the picture for more.
In one corner is Facebook, the reigning champion of the social web, trying to cement its position as the owner of everyone’s online identity. In the other is Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), the company that organized the world’s information and showed us how to find it, fighting to remain relevant as the Internet of hyperlinks gives way to an Internet of people.
Although Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and its CEO since April, was born just 11 years before Mark Zuckerberg, his counterpart at Facebook, the two belong to different Internet generations with different worldviews. In Page’s web, everything starts with a search. You search for news or for a pair of shoes or to keep up with your favorite celebrity. If you want to learn about a medical condition or decide which television to buy, you search. In that world, Google’s algorithms, honed over more than a decade, respond almost perfectly. But in recent years the web has tilted gradually, and perhaps inexorably, toward Zuckerberg’s world. There, rather than search for a news article, you wait for your friends to tell you what to read. They tell you what movies they enjoyed, what brands they like, and where to eat sushi.
Facebook is squarely at the center of this new universe, and much of what people do online these days starts there. But Facebook’s masterstroke has been to spread itself across the web and allow others to tap your network of friends. As a result, thousands of websites and apps have essentially become satellites that orbit around Facebook. You can now go to Yelp to find out what your Facebook friends say about the new coffeehouse down the street, visit Spotify to let them pick music playlists for you, or play Zynga games with them. To make matters worse for Page, much of this social activity can’t be seen by Google’s web-trolling algorithms, so every day they (and by extension, Google) become a little bit less accurate and relevant.
This shift to a more social web changes everything for businesses and consumers alike. Among the first industries to be rocked: advertising. Google may capture 41% of today’s $31 billion U.S. online advertising market, including the lion’s share of the search-ad market. But growth in search advertising is slowing, and advertisers are putting more of their limited dollars into Facebook, with its 800 million users, many of whom spend more time on Facebook than on any other site. (See chart at the bottom of the page) Facebook’s display-ad revenue is expected to grow 81% this year, while Google’s display-ad dollars will rise an estimated 34%. Google and Facebook would have you believe there is room for each to drive forward with unlimited success, but don’t be fooled. As Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan explains, "It’s highly unlikely that either Google or Facebook could grow by the billions that investors expect in the display market without engaging directly and stealing market share from the other."
Like Bill Gates a decade or so earlier, Page is seeing his company’s grip on the tech world loosening. So he’s fighting back with a mammoth effort to grab a piece of the social web. His first substantial act as Google’s new CEO was to amp up the considerable financial and engineering mojo the company had aimed at Facebook’s turf by releasing Google+. It’s not Google’s first social initiative, but it’s the one that folks aren’t laughing at, and Google says 40 million people have signed up in only four months. Across town Zuckerberg knows Google+ is the first credible threat Facebook has faced since it sailed past MySpace to become the world’s No. 1 social network. (For Facebook there are more than bragging rights at stake: Anything that tarnishes its halo could impact its long-awaited initial public offering with a valuation that is expected to top $80 billion.) Not surprisingly, shortly after Google+ made its debut, Zuckerberg flipped on a pink neon sign at headquarters with the word lockdown, signaling that employees were on notice to work around the clock on, among other things, replicating some of the most praised Google+ features.
But defensive moves are not Zuckerberg’s style, and in September, at the company’s F8 developers event, he unleashed a sea of new features that alter the current service radically. And it’s expected the company will launch an ad network eventually that will harness all those social actions to help advertisers target consumers better across the web. Smartly deployed, it could further threaten Google’s position as the king of online advertising.
So while most of us spend our days casually toggling back and forth between our Gmail accounts and our Facebook newsfeeds, down in the heart of the San Francisco Peninsula it’s war. Zuckerberg served free food this summer to willing workers on the weekends. Page is pushing his team to add features to Google+ at a furious pace: more than 100 in the first 90 days. The decisions that are being made right now — product launches, advertising plays — will determine which company prevails.
Google
Larry Page was not pleased. It was a weekend day last spring, and Page, 38, was playing around with an early prototype of Google+ on his Android phone. He found it too cumbersome to post photos he had just taken. He called Vic Gundotra, Google’s social czar, to complain. Gundotra tried to push back, explaining why the Google+ team decided on the approach it had taken. Page insisted that photos be uploaded with one click. At Google, what Page asks for, he gets. Gundotra ordered his team to rebuild the photo-uploading feature, and Page now gushes about the technology. "It is a totally magical experience," he said recently, as he described how easy it is to post photos from Android to Google+.
In many ways, Google+ is Larry Page’s social network. Early work on Google+ predated Page’s ascent to the top post, but he has been intimately involved with the project from the start. In the initial months, Page dropped by every Friday at 11 a.m. for the group’s weekly product reviews. To keep close tabs, Page moved his office and much of the executive suite to the building where the Google+ team was sequestered. He blessed the project with massive resources, making it one of the largest engineering endeavors Google has undertaken in its 13-year history, and he elevated Gundotra to the post of senior vice president, reporting directly to him. Page also tied a portion of the bonuses of thousands of Googlers to how well the company did in social.
Google+ is also the first test of Page’s plan to transform Google into the nimbler, more accountable company it once was, and in the process avoid the Innovators’ Dilemma, the paralysis that grips so many successful companies. In the Google+ project, the company’s freewheeling and sometimes chaotic approach to innovation was cast aside — replaced with a more top-down style. Allowing a thousand flowers to bloom may still be important at Google, says Sergey Brin, the other co-founder, but "once they do bloom, you want to put together a coherent bouquet."
Maybe some discipline is what Google’s social ambitions needed. Google’s previous attacks on Facebook’s turf were an embarrassment. Orkut, Google’s first social network, was born alongside Facebook in 2004 but is largely irrelevant outside of Brazil. Open Social, a Google-led effort in 2007 to rally MySpace and other social networks into an alliance to balance the clout of Facebook, flopped. Two years later Google introduced Wave, only to kill it after a few months, and Buzz, a 2010 attempt to shoehorn Gmail users into a social network, quickly turned into Google’s biggest social faux pas: Buzz exposed people’s Gmail contacts to others, triggering a Federal Trade Commission investigation that forced Google to revamp its privacy policies and accept government monitoring for 20 years.
The Buzz fiasco was a wake-up call at Google. Some of its most high-profile engineers started making the case that the social web posed a vital threat to Google. As the web was being rebuilt around people — and, in particular, around Facebook’s graph of human relationships — Google could end up on the sidelines, its relevance eroding by the day. The message rattled Google’s top brass, and an ambitious project — called Emerald Sea — not only to create a credible rival to Facebook but also to transform Google’s existing products around social media, quickly took shape. (Gundotra picked the name Emerald Sea to suggest both new horizons and stormy waters.)
After more than a year of gestation, Google finally introduced Google+ in June. The result? A social network that cloned much of what people like about Facebook and eliminated much of what they hate about Facebook. You’ll find familiar home and profile pages, tabs for photos and games, and of course the endless updates from friends. Google’s +1 button works much like Facebook’s Like. But where Facebook is perpetually accused of running roughshod over people’s privacy preferences, Google+ made it very easy to decide who can see what users post on the site. Facebook lacked a good way to separate workmates from classmates from real friends, so Google+ was built around Circles, an intuitive way to group people in buckets. Facebook takes 30% of the revenue that app developers like Zynga make on its platform, so Google+ said it would take only 5% for now. Since the launch, Google has rolled out more than 100 new features, and Page says there is much more to come. In Silicon Valley, where everyone had given up on the idea that Google could compete with Facebook, Google+ caught everyone — including Facebook loyalists — by surprise. "Google+ was impressive," says Joe Green, one of Zuckerberg’s Harvard roommates and the founder of Causes, an application built to run on Facebook.
Facebook
Until recently, the most popular person on Google+, with 598,000 followers and counting, was Mark Zuckerberg. But he has yet to make a public post, and indeed he’d prefer not to discuss Google+ at all. When pressed at a July event, he called it only a "validation as to how the next five years are going to play out." (Translation: Uh, they’re copying us.)
However, inside the Palo Alto office where more than 750 engineers regularly pass by the small glass conference room in which Zuckerberg, 27, holds court, Facebook employees put in some serious overtime during the summer lockdown. This had happened only once before in recent years at Facebook: After word leaked that Google was starting work on a "Facebook killer" in summer 2010, Zuckerberg called on engineers to work nights and weekends for 60 days to revamp key social features like photos, groups, and events. Just as it did then, the cafeteria opened up on evenings and weekends this summer, and children dropped in for dinners and good-night hugs before their parents logged back on for late nights. By September, Facebook had released a slew of new features like better grouping tools to mirror those Google+ circles. Says one member of the product and engineering team: "[Google] can throw all the money in the world, including hundreds of people, at this. So people were, like, This is serious, and we should take it seriously."
That anxiety wasn’t simply channeled into building a better product. In May, Facebook secretly hired public relations firm Burson-Marsteller to plant anti-Google stories in papers and blogs, a ham-fisted move that backfired when journalists discovered Facebook was Burson’s client. The company defended its concerns about Google’s privacy violations but took the flak for bad judgment.
The irony, of course, is that Facebook and Google both are in a constant struggle to respect users’ privacy while mining as much personal information as possible for the companies’ advertisers. All that social information we plug into Facebook when we "like" a pair of shoes on Zappos or update our status about future wedding plans helps the company serve us up ads for things we’re more likely to want. This has made Facebook into the go-to advertising platform for big marketers hoping to do brand advertising at scale on the web. As a result, even though Facebook’s revenue is minuscule compared with Google’s, it is growing at a much faster rate. It is expected to surge to $4.3 billion this year, or more than double the $2 billion it had last year, according to eMarketer. In contrast, analysts predict that Google’s revenue will grow just 30%, to $38 billion.
Zuckerberg is obsessed with figuring out how to amass more data by getting more people to spend more time sharing more things with their Facebook friends. At the F8 event in September, he unveiled something called a timeline to replace Facebook’s aging profile pages. "Imagine expressing the story of your life," Zuckerberg explained. To demonstrate, he popped up his own Facebook timeline, where a vertical line scrolled backward through his personal history, curating all the posts he’d ever made on the site to bring to the surface the most important items and encouraging him to add posts and photos going all the way back to the May 14, 1984, post: Born, Dobbs Ferry, New York. In effect, Zuckerberg plans to coax us into making Facebook our living digital scrapbooks. Imagine the hours users may log uploading photos and labeling events from the lost decades B.F. (Before Facebook).
But the boldest move at F8 was not Zuckerberg’s flashy redesign but rather deeper social integration with other services like Netflix (NFLX) and Spotify. To register for Spotify, newcomers must now use their Facebook credentials. The upside is that you can find and listen to your friends’ playlists on Spotify or on Facebook directly. The downside is your musical tastes are revealed to the world (i.e., Sean Parker is listening to Florence + the Machine). This new stream of social data could prove invaluable over time. Until now, although many web publishers offered users the option to publish their actions — articles they read, shoes they buy — on Facebook, most people took a pass. In the new model, sharing becomes opt-out rather than opt-in, and Facebook could become the sudden recipient of a good deal more information about what we do online. Eventually, the company could use the data to sell even more targeted ads both on and off the site. If Google’s AdWords and AdSense are the de facto tools for helping advertisers reach large numbers of people who know what they’re looking for, social ads will be the tool for helping people discover new things.
The war
One day in late October, tech blogs started buzzing about the latest bit of news on the social web: Zuckerberg had lost his place as the most followed Google+ user. Who edged him out? None other than Larry Page. Trivial, perhaps, but it’s hard not to think that the news lit up smiles across the Googleplex. Neither Google nor Facebook likes to talk about competing with each other (and neither company would make their CEOs available for this story), but battles are raging on multiple fronts, and both sides celebrate even the smallest victory.
Nowhere is keeping score easier than in the battle for talent, where every engineer or executive who defects from one company or the other is easily tabulated. On that front the battle has been a lopsided affair. Look through the ranks of Facebook, from upper management to lowly interns, and you’ll bump into ex-Googlers like Adams, the social researcher, at every turn. Four of Facebook’s 11 top executives hail from Google, including COO Sheryl Sandberg and David Fischer, the advertising and operations chief.
These numbers, however, don’t tell the full story of a battle that began as far back as 2007 and has only intensified since. Facebook’s weapons of choice? Its cachet as the hottest Valley company — and its potential to mint millionaires when it finally goes public. Google has fought back with money, lots of it. In some cases Google offered top engineers or execs more than $10 million in equity and cash if they stayed, said an executive directly involved in the talent wars. Word spread quickly, and many Googlers did what rational people would do: They got an offer from Facebook just so they could get a big raise at Google. "It created an un-Googley environment," says a senior manager who left Google recently. "They like to be merit-based." So in January, Google tried a different approach: It lavished a giant 10% raise on its entire workforce. It also shifted a large chunk of employee bonuses into base pay. As a result, many people saw their paychecks increase by 15% or even 20%.
But if Google is playing defense on the talent war, it is clearly playing offense in the battle for eyeballs. Its most powerful weapon is its status as the dominant Internet company. In September, for example, when it opened up Google+ to everyone, following a 90-day trial period, it unleashed the kind of promotion that even the biggest brands would envy: A large blue arrow on its homepage pointed the tens of millions who visit it daily to a Google+ tab. Traffic on the site spiked immediately. In addition to Google.com, Google plans to promote Google+, day in and day out, to the hundreds of millions of people who use services like Gmail, Maps, and YouTube; and to weave it into millions of Android handsets. Says Dick Costolo, the chief executive of Twitter: "There is no doubt they are going to be able to pull in massive numbers of users."
Naturally, it’s Google’s power to pull in those users that worries Facebook the most. For years executives there have said that they are confident they can beat Google on a level playing field. But they fear that, like Microsoft in an earlier era, Google will use its power to peddle Google+, and not always fairly. Some tactics, like promotions on Google.com, are effective and uncontroversial. Others, like Google’s ability to use its search engine to promote Google+ ahead of other social services, could prove more problematic. Google has not yet done so with Google+, but it has done just that with other services, like its maps, prompting rivals to cry foul. Google may think twice before engaging in such tactics, as it is already under a government antitrust investigation. Yet with mobile as the next battleground, Google may also find ways to build many Google+ features right into Android phones and tablets, making it harder for rivals to compete.
That last point is not lost on Zuckerberg. It has prompted him to seek closer ties with Google’s biggest rival in mobile: Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500). The two companies have held multiple rounds of discussions, according to people with knowledge of the talks. But they have yet to find a compelling way to collaborate, perhaps because their courtship got off to a rocky start. Last year Facebook rebuffed Apple’s attempt to connect Ping, a new social network built around iTunes, with Facebook, purportedly for technical reasons. It was a rare public rebuke for Apple, and Steve Jobs personally called some reporters to voice his displeasure. That Apple chose to bake Twitter, not Facebook, into the most recent version of its mobile operating system has not helped. Still, the two companies continue to talk, knowing full well that an alliance could help them fend off a common enemy.
We know what you’re probably thinking: If this is a war, who’s going to win? The answer is not straightforward. Google has two goals with social media: One is to slow the momentum of Facebook; the other is to use data from Google+ to improve things like search, maps, and ads. Both Gundotra and Page say the latter goal is the more important one. "We can make search better," Gundotra says. "We can make YouTube and Gmail better. We can make our ads more relevant." He later adds: "Google+ will touch every aspect of Google."
To meet its goals, Google doesn’t need to best Facebook, but it needs to become a credible No. 2. Think Avis to Facebook’s Hertz. That’s a ways off. "At this point, it’s more like Thrifty Car Rental," says Danny Sullivan, the editor of Search Engine Land. To get there, Google needs to drink even more of the social Kool-Aid than it has. Consider this: In October a tech blog reported that several top Google officials, including Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman, had not even set up their own accounts on Google+. A few days later Schmidt’s account quietly appeared on the site. Google also needs something else: a value proposition that is different from Facebook’s and that compels users to switch in large numbers — or at least to be active on both sites. At this point, it is not clear how many of the 40 million people with Google+ accounts actually use the site. Google won’t say. And when asked why anyone should switch to Google+, executives there say again and again that online sharing is broken (tell that to Facebook’s 800 million members) and that with Circles, Google+ users can share as they do in the real world (never mind that Facebook has matched that capability).
For Facebook, the early successes of Google+ mean Zuckerberg can no longer afford to screw up. In the past, Facebook’s frequent product missteps and privacy snafus were by and large forgiven or forgotten. From now on, Google+ will stand at the ready, more than happy to welcome any disgruntled Facebook users — not to mention their friends. In other words, as he soldiers on, Zuckerberg must now keep an eye on Page and his troops. Yes, Zuckerberg may feel good about Facebook’s gaping lead in users and about having poached dozens of Google’s prized brainiacs. But Page has had no problem replenishing Google’s ranks. In the most recent quarter, Google added nearly 2,600 employees. That’s almost as many people as work at Facebook, and they have a clear mandate: to turn Google into a superpower of the social web.

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8 Great Games That Feature Mac-to-PC Multiplayer

Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageWe know you love annihilating your loved ones and friends (through video games of course). But just because one of you favors Mac over a PC doesn’t mean you should miss out on the epic battles that are waiting  for you.

There are an increasing number of games that feature cross-platform multiplayer, which means that you can use your Mac to play your friends who use a Mac or PC.  Below is a list of some of the best that cross-platform multiplayer has to offer.

    Published by Aspyr Media, Sid Meier’s Civilization V is a turn-based strategy title that lets players conquer surrounding territories with the hopes of becoming the ultimate and superior empire. Though the cross-platform multiplayer is currently on hiatus until the latest patch hits Macs in early February, Civ V is still a top-tier game that allows you to defeat your friends on both Mac and PC.

    Madballs in Babo: Invasion, which features up to 16 players in multiplayer, challenges you to make your way through a 3D environment, decimating your friends along the way. Madballs is published by Playbrains and is available on both Mac and PC through Steam.

    Published by Nimbly Games, Altitude is a unique, side-scrolling aerial combat title.  You’ll fly through obstacles in the sky while shooting down your enemies, and can play with your friends on Mac or PC using Steam.
    Killing Floor is a co-op survival horror FPS set in the devastated cities and countryside of England after a series of cloning experiments for the military goes horribly wrong.  The title, published by Tripwire Interactive, allows up to 6 players to battle through hordes of flesh-craving zombies and is available through Steam on PC and Mac.
    Guerrilla Bob, published by Angry Mob Games,  is a one-of-a-kind, fast-paced shooter with a cartoon art style that allows players to fight and loot enemies for weapon upgrades and power ups. Available on a variety of platforms (Mac, PC, iPhone, Android), friends can play together via a local Wi-Fi connection.

As founders of the Steam gaming platform, Valve Software naturally has made many of their games available for cross-platform gaming, too. Some of their titles include:

    Portal 2, which allows you to play as a robot in a futuristic environment, has players solving puzzles cooperatively to move through portals in this action-adventure title. Portal 2 is particularly unique in that the cross-platform multiplayer  is available for Macs, PCs and the PS3.
    Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, are survivor thriller first person shooter titles that challenge players to band together to fight off a zombie outbreak. L4D and L4D2 can be played on Mac, PC and Xbox, though the game is only cross-platform on Mac and PC.
    Team Fortress 2 is a free-to-play, team-based title in which teams battle it out against each other by customizing and upgrading their characters. Team Fortress 2 multiplayer is available for Mac and PC through Steam.

BONUS!

Mac lovers and PC lovers alike can look forward to the new year with some impressive titles set to be released this year with the availability of cross-platform multiplayer.

    Valve Software is set to release Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sometime in 2012, though the date is still not officially released. Like the original Counter-Strike, CS:GO is a team-based shooter that has been revamped with new characters, levels and graphics. While the beta version was only open to PC players, Counter-Strike’s website states that a full Mac release will be available during the launch of the game.
    Those of you that are already addicted to Blizzard’s behemoth MMO World of Warcraft should already know that Mac and PC can play in harmony through Blizzard’s battle.net. The 4th WOW expansion, Mists of Pandaria, is rumored to be released summer 2012.
    Another long-awaited game that is releasing this year is Diablo III, also brought to you by Blizzard. This dark fantasy RPG has been a long time coming with a large fan-base already in place. While no official release date has been posted, Diablo’s website does give word that Mac and PC versions will be released simultaneously with the ability for cross-platform multiplayer using Blizzard’s battle.net.

So get your friends online and start gaming without the worry of being left behind just because they have a different computer platform.
 

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Apple iPhone 3GS Review

Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageApple More Worried About, The Revenue Generator “iPhone 5″, Than iTv or iPad
Apple iPhone 3GS is claimed to be the most powerful phone by Apple Inc. It contains almost all the functionalities that a good cell phone should have.

The first thing to notice about it is the working speed. Apple iPhone 3GS is very quick in processing and launch application very quickly as compared to other cell phone. Due to its fast speed it is quite good at processing games. Also it has enough good picture quality that one loves to play games on it.

The iPhone has 3 Mega Pixel camera that not only shot a very good quality still picture due to auto focus function in camera but also very good quality video to capture the memorable moments of yours. Nearlyyes half inch in depth, 2.4 inches width and 4.5 inches height the Apple iPhone 3GS weighs only 4.8 ounce, thus making it a slim and light weight as compared to the features and qualities of the iPhone.

The Apple iPhone 3GS has two options in the memory size; either you will have a 16GB or a 32GB memory. Depending on ones use one can opt for the best memory size. The iPhone has a 4.5 inch large display with multi touch function with 163 ppi and resolution of 480×320 pixels. The screen is also made using oleophobic coating to avoid the fingerprints on screen after using touch screen with fingers.

The set is equipped with Wifi 802.11 and Bluetooth 2.1 and EDR Wireless technology thus providing large connectivity options to the users. Apple iPhone 3GS has powerful Lithium ion battery with up to 12 hours of talk time using 2G services and 5 hours talk time if the 3G services are used. And can hold play video of 10 hours thus making it a very long life battery.

Currently the iPhone is available in Black and White colors only. Having a very good and sophisticated look the Apple iPhone 3GS is available in the market at very good prices.

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Wikipedia, Google protest Internet bills

Posted by on Apr 4, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

imageWikipedia went dark, Google blotted out its logo and other popular websites planned protests on Wednesday to voice concern over legislation in the US Congress intended to crack down on online piracy.
Wikipedia shut down the English version of its online encyclopedia for 24 hours to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate version, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Google placed a black redaction box over the logo on its much-visited US home page to draw attention to the bills, while social news site reddit and the popular Cheezburger humor network planned to shut down later in the day. The draft legislation has won the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce.
But it has come under fire from digital rights and free speech organizations for allegedly paving the way for US authorities to shut down websites accused of online piracy, including foreign sites, without due process.
“For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history,” Wikipedia said in a message posted at midnight (0500 GMT) on its darkened website.
“Right now, the US Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.” The founders of Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo! and other Internet giants said in an open letter last month the legislation would give the US government censorship powers “similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.”
“We oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” a Google spokesman said Tuesday. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page,” the spokesman for the Internet search giant said. Reddit said it will shut down for 12 hours — from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (1300 GMT to 0100 GMT) — to protest the legislation.
“We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to reddit and the Internet as we know it,” reddit said.
“The freedom, innovation, and economic opportunity that the Internet enables is in jeopardy.” Ben Huh, the founder of Cheezburger network, said on his Twitter feed that his 58 sites, which include icanhascheezburger.com, FAIL Blog and The Daily What, will observe a blackout on Wednesday. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced the plans to shut down the site in a message on his Twitter feed. “Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday!” Wales said.
“This is going to be wow. I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!” he said. Volunteer-staffed Wikipedia turned 11 years old on January 15 and boasts more than 20 million articles in 282 languages. The White House expressed concern about the anti-online piracy bills in a statement over the weekend.
“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” it said.
“Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small,” the White House said. News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch, who backs the US legislation, accused the “blogosphere” of “terrorizing many senators and congressmen who previously committed” to supporting it. “Nonsense argument about danger to Internet.
How about Google, others blocking porn, hate speech, etc? Internet hurt?” he wrote on the popular micro-blogging website.

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