Monday, February 28, 2011

Final Firefox 4 beta released, add-ons still languishing

Mozilla, proving just how mind-numbingly torturous public beta testing can be, has just released the final beta of Firefox 4, beta 12. If you're already running Firefox 4 beta, head to Help > About Firefox to update; or download it directly.

Other than increased stability and performance when viewing Flash content, and some tweaks to hardware acceleration, beta 12 simply represents one last bug-stomping push towards the Release Candidate. The RC, incidentally, is due in the next few days.

With only a handful of bugs remaining, it is now almost time for Mozilla to pass its new browser over to the next standard bearers: the add-on developers. Most big-name add-ons now support Firefox 4, which is a relief -- but at the same time, very few add-ons are utilizing all of FF4's new UI elements. We struggled to find more than 20 add-ons designed specifically for Firefox 4, which is odd, considering there are "millions of beta testers." Still, with the final release of Firefox 4 around the corner, things can only improve.

Finally: it may please you to hear that, in beta 12, link tooltips are yet again displayed in the bottom left corner, rather than in the address bar! If you fancy some fun Saturday afternoon reading, there's an epic thread on Bugzilla that chronicles their return to the bottom of the window -- be warned, however: open source contributers sure are a feisty bunch...

[Thanks to Silver Wave for the tip!]

Final Firefox 4 beta released, add-ons still languishing originally appeared on Download Squad on Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/02/26/final-firefox-4-beta-released-add-ons-still-languishing/

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Picasa Web Albums now store unlimited small images and videos

picasa web free photo video storageRecently, some users of Google's Picasa Web service noticed something odd. Like Gmail, Picasa Web tells you how much of your total available storage you're using. Something appeared to be wrong, however -- users were reporting having more free space than they previously had. It's common for Google to silently bump our upper storage limits, but how were these users showing the same number of photos and far less of their storage used?

Turns out it's a change in Picasa Web policy, and a darn nice one at that: images under 800 pixels and video clips under 15 minutes no longer count against your storage limit.

That's certainly great news for anyone who uses Picasa Web to store images for blogging -- 800px is plenty wide for most layouts. It also makes Picasa Web a great place to upload and share all the lower-resolution photos you snap on your Android phone.

As for the 15 minute videos (which arguably take up more more drive space than an 800px photo)? Google has a voracious appetite for video, and might just be hoping that Picasa Web users will help it maintain its dominant position in terms of serving videos on the Web.

Picasa Web Albums now store unlimited small images and videos originally appeared on Download Squad on Sat, 26 Feb 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/02/26/picasa-web-albums-store-unlimited-images-and-videos-cloud/

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Tarzan Ball is a tricky hook-and-pull physics game

tarzanball
So, you're a ball. A Tarzan Ball, to be precise. You've earned the nickname thanks to your astonishing ability to shoot out a lengthy 'vine' (I hope it's a vine) at objects, and then pull yourself towards those objects.

That's a handy ability to have, especially since you've got no legs, no arms, and no other means of transportation. In Tarzan Ball, the rope is everything. But you don't just swing around the screen aimlessly - that wouldn't be much of a game now, would it?

Instead, your goal in life is to collect "targets". Each level has one of these "targets" hidden away somewhere on the screen, usually behind some kind of barrier. Once you navigate close enough to the target, you can shoot your rope at it and just reel it in. That's when you pass the level.

You can't die in this game, but it can still be very frustrating. It's actually one of the tougher games I've posted recently. Still, if you enjoy physics games, this one is quite nicely made.

[This is actually the sequel to IQ Ball, which we covered last year! -Ed]

Tarzan Ball is a tricky hook-and-pull physics game originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 21 Feb 2011 18:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/02/21/tarzan-ball-is-a-tricky-hook-and-pull-physics-game/

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What to Expect From Apple?s iPad 2.0 Event

Apple has been unusually indiscreet about what it plans to unveil this week: the next iPad.
In invitations e-mailed to press last week, Apple attached an image of a calendar page peeled back to reveal the corner of an iPad. We get the picture.
But what about the next iPad, and what else can we realistically expect [...]

Source: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/02/ipad-2-event/

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Motorola's Sanjay Jha hints at a 7-inch tablet before the end of the year, foresees tablet prices dropping

Motorola's CEO Sanjay Jha had hinted once before that there would be a family of Motorola tablets, but speaking at Morgan Stanley's Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today, he promised that those other Moto tablets would hit before the end of the year. Naturally, Jha wasn't talking specifics, but we're betting that next tablet is a 7-incher -- he mentioned that 7-inch form factor a number of times and said that size was more "fun" and "portable." Similar to what he said on the Moto earnings call, he implied that the 10-inch size was more for professionals. Jha also spent a bit of time talking about pricing, and stated that he expects the price on the Xoom and other tablets to come down in price in the second half of the year, especially as component prices decrease. So, how's the Xoom doing at that $599 starting price? Well, it's only been a couple of days, but he assured the interviewer that "sales have started relatively well."

Motorola's Sanjay Jha hints at a 7-inch tablet before the end of the year, foresees tablet prices dropping originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 13:48:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/28/motorolas-sanjay-jha-hints-at-a-7-inch-tablet-hitting-before-th/

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Storm Clouds: Gmail Failure Reinforces Danger Of Becoming Too Cloud-Dependent

Surely by now you've heard of the problems people have been having with their Gmail accounts. E-mails have been deleted, accounts have been disabled, and while Google has been hard at work trying to make everything right, it's just another example of why moving your entire life to the cloud may not always be the best idea.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/CK1dcdEibjg/

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Where's My Apple Wristwatch?

You can't buy one of Apple's coolest gadgets: an Apple Design Award. They hand these out every year at the Worldwide Developers Conference, honoring...

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Source: http://feeds.pcworld.com/click.phdo?i=f025bcf8c3c3ad070e69660409d0d986

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YouCeleb Lets You Look Like a Star For Cheap

Do you secretly wish you could look like a celebrity but don't have the entourage, breakfast cereal in your name, or cash flow to make it possible? Well, thanks to YouCeleb, an e-commerce site launching today, now you can look and feel like a celebrity. (A sober one, of course.) The startup offers daily deals and discounts on designer fashion that celebrities wear after the cameras stop rolling. Here's how it works: The YouCeleb team identifies paparazzi photos of a celebrity, determines what they're wearing, and then works with the relevant celebrity and brand to provide you with deals on those particular clothes and accessories. Operating under a group buy model similar to Groupon's, YouCeleb offers a daily deal on a certain item and then sets a minimum number of items that must be sold. If you're interested in the item, you fill out your payment information, but you don't pay anything until that minimum is met.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/ZQ8fxxix9As/

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Plant Whisperer Hack Makes Your Flowers Speak

If your plants suffer from an early death, this little hack might be of use.

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Source: http://feeds.pcworld.com/click.phdo?i=40108109450caf072d54dc8d674540ff

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Google Image Search now lets you filter vector-only results

google
Google Image Search just got a bit fancier: You can now filter search results to only include SVG files.

SVG files, which stand for Scalable Vector Graphics, are files you can easily edit and change without loss of definition. If you've been following our Corel tutorials, they might have given you some ideas about the power of vector graphics.

Being able to use Google to find such files gives designers a great head-start: Need to use a cat in your artwork? Just find a vector one which looks about right, and modify it for your needs! Anything can be edited - the cat's pose, its proportion, colors, etc.

Searching for these files is very simple: Just tack filetype:svg on to the end of your search, like cat filetype:svg, or go to the sidebar and click Images > SVG files.

Being able to find SVGs so easily also poses a bit of a copyright issue however. Anyone posting SVG files publicly should certainly put in a bit more of an effort to make their terms of use very clear, and anyone using them should heed those terms. Play nice folks!

Google Image Search now lets you filter vector-only results originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 14 Feb 2011 04:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/02/14/google-image-search-now-lets-you-filter-vector-only-results/

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ASUS Eee Pad MeMO and MeMic hands-on (video)

Though we played with ASUS' Android-powered Eee Pad MeMO back at CES, the company spilled a couple new secrets here at CeBIT today: first, it'll be running Honeycomb by the time it launches in June -- current prototypes are running Gingerbread -- and second, certain MeMO bundles will include the MeMic, a separate Bluetooth handset that lets you take calls without holding a giant tablet to your face (it's pronounced "me-mike," by the way). Interestingly, the MeMic features a translucent LCD that we're told will make it to the production units; unfortunately, the units on display were running very early alpha software that had "given out" by the time we arrived at the booth, so we couldn't get a sense of viewability. In addition to making calls, the MeMic will let you stream music, control media, and perform a few other basic tasks that make sense for a tablet remote.

On the Honeycomb side, ASUS tells us the delay is simple -- as it stands, a commercial-grade Honeycomb port doesn't exist for Qualcomm hardware, which is what the Eee Pad MeMO is running (the Xoom -- the only released Honeycomb tablet so far -- is running Tegra 2). The company's confident that it'll be ready by the time the MeMO's slated for release in June, however. Follow the break for video!

Continue reading ASUS Eee Pad MeMO and MeMic hands-on (video)

ASUS Eee Pad MeMO and MeMic hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 08:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/28/asus-eee-pad-memo-and-memic-hands-on-video/

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Beleaguered Huawei encourages US government to investigate it, quotes two presidents in the process

When you're the second-largest supplier of communications infrastructure in the world and your president is an ex-member of the Chinese military, suspicions of espionage -- warranted or not -- are pretty much a foregone conclusion. Indeed, Huawei has suffered a couple of high-profile business setbacks in the past year over vague concerns that the company could be some sort of Trojan horse for Chinese intelligence, and they're fed up: after being pressured into shelving a planned acquisition of server virtualization firm 3Leaf Systems' intellectual property by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, they've published a lengthy open letter that implores the government to fully vet the company to put to rest any concerns or fears it has.

The gist of the letter is that Huawei is owned by its employees, not the Chinese government, its loans are commercial, its products are continually audited by third-party companies for security, and the tax breaks it gets from the government are consistent with what private corporations in other countries receive. Huawei also manages to quote both Obama and Lincoln in the letter -- just to make sure it has both Democrats and Republicans covered, we suppose -- and concludes by saying it believes that "any thorough government investigation will prove that Huawei is a normal commercial institution and nothing more." Sounds like a challenge to us.

Beleaguered Huawei encourages US government to investigate it, quotes two presidents in the process originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 07:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/vsun2XcKUvY/

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Fujitsu's Stylistic Q550 Windows 7 tablet: orders kick off tomorrow starting at ?699

Expanding on some tidbits fleshed out last week, Fujitsu has dropped all the details on its Oak Trail-based Stylistic Q550 Windows 7 tablet here at CeBIT this week. Along with your choice of 30GB or 64GB SSDs, you'll be able to select Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional atop a 10.1-inch WXGA IPS display capable of four-finger multitouch with stylus input, 2GB of RAM, and an optional Gobi radio that'll push 14.4Mbps down and 5.76Mbps up over HSPA. Pricing will vary by market, but it's starting at €699 (roughly $966) here in Europe when it goes on sale tomorrow. Follow the break for the full press release.

Update: We just snapped a few glamor shots of Fujitsu Technology Solutions CEO Rolf Schwirz showing off the Q550 here at the company's CeBIT press conference -- see 'em below!

Continue reading Fujitsu's Stylistic Q550 Windows 7 tablet: orders kick off tomorrow starting at ?699

Fujitsu's Stylistic Q550 Windows 7 tablet: orders kick off tomorrow starting at ?699 originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 07:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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