Monday, September 30, 2013

Internet Explorer 9 nears 4% share on Windows 7, IE6 extinction countdown picks up steam

internet explorer 9 ie9
Microsoft has shared some news about the state of its most and least loved Web browsers -- Internet Explorer 9 and 6, respectively. Even with IE9 only recently exiting beta, Microsoft reports that 3.6% of Windows 7 users are now running the new browser (no mention of Vista... what's with that?). The post also reveals that the adoption rate is almost five times what IE8 garnered in the early going.

It's also interesting to note that there are now more than 1,000 sites utilizing Internet Explorer 9's Windows 7 integration features -- like the new desktop notification support we showed you in Hotmail.

But perhaps the best news of all is that Microsoft's now has more than 400 partners and is generating nearly two million pageviews per month, helping to lure users away from the woefully out-of-date browser. Can the end come soon enough, DS readers?

Internet Explorer 9 nears 4% share on Windows 7, IE6 extinction countdown picks up steam originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Omate TrueSmart smartwatch is also a phone, incorporates Fleksy keyboard (hands-on)

DNP Omate TrueSmart can be a standalone smartwatch, incorporates Fleksy keyboard for texting handson

While most smartwatches like the Pebble and the Galaxy Gear can't live up to their true potential without the assistance of a smartphone, the Omate TrueSmart is a full-fledged calling and texting machine right out of the box. We've seen a couple of other such smartwatches of course, but the TrueSmart sets itself apart with a design that's both water- and scratch-resistant, a unique UI that runs full-on Android 4.2 and most intriguing to us, a partnership with Syntellia's Fleksy keyboard so that you can actually type coherently on such a tiny screen.

We had a brief hands-on with the TrueSmart at the Glazed conference in San Francisco, and we'll admit to a bit of skepticism that we'd be able to do much with a 1.54-inch screen. However, we did manage to flip through the four-icon menu without too much trouble. The icons were large enough for us to tap, and we simply had to slide our finger to the left to go to the previous screen. It refused to recognize our swipes on occasion, but hopefully that's just due to it being a pre-production unit.%Gallery-slideshow99594%

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Source: Omate



3Doodler 3D printing pen starts shipping to Kickstarter backers, retail models arriving in early 2014

It's not news every time a Kickstarter product starts shipping to backers, but in the case of 3Doodler, it's worth a mention. At last count, the startup had raised $2.3 million to fund its 3D printing pen, and with a cost of $99 per device, well, you do the math: that's a lot of people waiting for their new toy to arrive. And we mean it when we say "toy" -- while you won't be creating anything useful like a gun or a Van Gogh knockoff, there's really nothing more addictive than "drawing" in the air with melted plastic, and watching it solidify. For those of you who ordered early, you already know what you're in for. As for the rest of you, your next chance to get one will be in early 2014, though you can place a pre-order today if you like. Really, though, we suggest you revisit our hands-on video, embedded below; we're descriptive writers, but nothing we say can do justice to a pen with molten plastic flowing out of it.

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Symantec seizes part of massive peer-to-peer botnet ZeroAccess

The cybercriminals behind ZeroAccess, one of the largest botnets in existence, have lost access to more than a quarter of the infected machines they controlled because of an operation executed by security researchers from Symantec.

According to Symantec, the ZeroAccess botnet consists of more than 1.9 million infected computers and is used primarily to perform click fraud and Bitcoin mining in order to generate revenues estimated at tens of millions of dollars per year.

ZeroAccess has a peer-to-peer architecture where every infected computer can relay files, instructions and information to other computers?peers?in the botnet. This mechanism is used by its operators for command and control (C&C), making ZeroAccess more resilient to takedown attempts than botnets that depend on dedicated C&C servers.

Bot hijack

Earlier this year, security researchers from Symantec found a practical way to liberate ZeroAccess bots from the botmasters by leveraging a known design weakness in the peer-to-peer mechanism.

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Libra for Android helps you track your weight using The Hacker's Diet system

I'm getting fat; that's what you see on the screenshot to the right -- my gradual move from chubby to portly. But never mind the numbers, look at the pretty graph!

If you've ever read The Hacker's Diet, this graph should be instantly recognizable. Each point shows the weight for a given day, while the trend line lets you see if you're gaining or losing weight.

When I use my "main" PC, I have a homebrew solution for creating and maintaining this graph. But I've had to find a temporary solution for Android, and Libra is it.

It's a beautifully simple app, very true to the spirit of The Hacker's Diet. You can create a shortcut on your homescreen that brings you right into the data entry screen, so you just tap the shortcut every morning, feed in your weight for the day and hit OK, and then you get to see your progress (or lack thereof) on the graph.

The app remembers the previous day's weigh-in, which makes it easy to enter today's weight (as they're usually not too different). The graph is zoomable and scrollable, and most importantly, you can export the data to CSV so you're not locked into the app.

If you ever need to track your weight using an Android device for any period of time, Libra is one excellent solution.

Libra for Android helps you track your weight using The Hacker's Diet system originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Firefox 6 build next week, Firefox 7 by May, and aurora channel introduced

Firefox 5, 6, 7 and release channels
Mozilla's Engineering Project Manager, Christian Legnitto, has detailed the release schedule for Firefox 5, 6 and 7. If all goes to plan, Firefox 6.0a1 will be released next week, April 12, and Firefox 7.0a1 in the middle of May. The final build of Firefox 5 should be released on June 21, exactly three months after the release of Firefox 4.

Along with the faster 6-week release cadence, Firefox's new Chrome-like release channels have also been given names and anticipated update frequencies. The most notable change is the introduction of a new alpha channel -- which is analogous to Chrome Canary -- that will be called 'aurora' and will update nightly. Aurora will be where fixes and features are tested, and either approved for Beta, or backed out to Central. Aurora will have a new icon, too.

The Nightly (mozilla-central) channel will remain unchanged in name and frequency, but it will gain a new 'nightly icon.' The Beta (mozilla-beta) channel will remain as-is, with new builds rolling out weekly. The Release (mozilla-release) channel will also remain as-is, with security and stability updates coming every 6 to 12 weeks.

It should be noted that the names (including 'aurora') are not necessarily final, but it's unlikely that they'll change. We're also awaiting the arrival of the new 'channel switching' technology, which should arrive in the next few days -- in time for the release of Firefox 6 aurora!

First Firefox 6 build next week, Firefox 7 by May, and aurora channel introduced originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 05:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlackBerry's sale: A FAQ

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry is being taken private by one of its largest shareholders. Here's a quick primer to get you up to date on the news and what it means for customers and the industry.



Add playback hotkeys to Amazon Cloud Player with a Chrome extension

Sure, Amazon's Cloud Player works -- as long as you're in the U.S. or willing to do some tinkering -- but it's fairly simplistic at the moment. There are plenty of features missing which we'd like to see added -- but since Cloud Player is a Web app we don't have to wait for Amazon!

Google Chrome users, for example, can add playback hotkeys with an extension called keyMazony. Once installed, you'll have keyboard control of your Amazon Cloud Player queue. keyMazony commands will work as long as you're in the same Chrome window as Cloud Player, even if its tab doesn't have focus. The key combinations are customizable as well -- just make sure you don't set up a combo that conflicts with another extension or Chrome's built-in keyboard shortcuts.

Add playback hotkeys to Amazon Cloud Player with a Chrome extension originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What to do when your free cloud storage fills up

With the launch of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, Microsoft is joining the promotional cloud-storage craze, giving buyers 200GB of free storage for two years.

Like other tech companies that have offered similar promotions, Microsoft hopes you?ll use cloud storage to ease the burden your device?s somewhat skimpy flash storage drive. In a blog post, the company boasts that 200GB is ?enough space to take a photo, every hour, from the moment someone is born, to the day they graduate from college.?

Microsoft and other companies (like Google and Dropbox) don?t like to talk about what you?ll do after the promotion runs out. If you switch to a paid storage plan at that point, they?ll rejoice?but the recurring cost of such plans can be high, and if you?re not prepared to pay, you and your uploaded content could be in an awkward situation when the free ride is over.

So before you start uploading your entire digital life into sky storage, let?s take a closer look at how SkyDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox deal with your files after their promotional plans expire. The cloud can turn mighty dark indeed when your time is up.

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TechCrunch Is Coming Your Way, Boston

Boston MeetupAs TechCrunch powers through the major tech hubs of the world we've consistently missed Boston. That's about to change. I'm pleased to announce our second Boston meetup on November 13, 2013, at the Estate, 1 Boylston Pl .



Facetune now available for iPad, adds localized filters

Facetune, which first launched on the iPhone, lets you touch up your existing photos and do things such as whiten teeth, edit out skin blemishes, add filters, smooth textures, and more. Not only is Facetune now available for the iPad, the iPhone version has been updated to version 2.0 and brings with it some new features as well as updates to existing ones.

When we took a look at Facetune for iPhone we were extremely happy with how it really could make teeth whiter, eliminate skin blemishes, and more, all in just a few taps. The iPhone screen real estate is somewhat limited though and with Facetune now available for iPad, you can see even more details and have better control over touching up photos.

Another new addition to Facetune is the addition of localized filters for both the iPhone and iPad version. WIth this feature you can control exactly where on a photo a specific filter is applied. Some of the menus have also been reworked to lay out options better. Other new features include updates to tones, textures, and more.

You can grab both the iPad and iPhone versions of Facetune via the links below.




Hello Expense is a simple, reliable expense tracker for Android

A good mobile application is a fine balance between simplicity and functionality. You're using it on the go, so you don't have a lot of time to sit there and fumble with the phone to figure it all out. But you also need it to be powerful enough to let you do whatever it is you're trying to get done.

Hello Expense is one mobile app that gets it right. It's an expense tracker that lets you use your Android-powered phone to quickly log the money you spend and then analyze it and see where it all went.

I recently had the chance to use it in a real-life situation - a road trip that took a few days and involved quite a few expenses. Logging each expense took seconds, and at the end of each day I could get a great overview of how much money I spent on each category so far.

Categories and tags are user-configurable; the app also sports its own number pad to make number entry easy, regardless of what keyboard you're using.

Hello Expense is a simple, reliable expense tracker for Android originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple reportedly hires another Nike exec

Apple reportedly hires another Nike exec

As the industry tries to figure out what Apple has planned in the burgeoning wearables market, some pieces are falling into place. Apple recently hired Jay Blahnik, who worked on Nike's FuelBand wearable, and now the company has reportedly hired Ben Shaffer, who was Studio Director of Nike's Innovation Kitchen with strong ties to the FuelBand as well, according to 9to5Mac.

Apple has a strong connection to Nike that goes right through the top level of the company. Apple CEO Tim Cook is also on Nike's board of directors, and is also a Nike product user who's been seen wearing the FuelBand. The FuelBand tracks how active you are throughout the day; it also works in conjunction with an iOS app and the web site. It can track distance traveled, caloric expenditure, and other metrics for people trying to track their active lifestyle.

What Shaffer will be working on at Apple is anyone's guess, but this move, along with Blahnik and Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve's re-hiring this summer certainly indicates that whatever it is, Tim Cook is taking it very, very seriously. Let's just hope it's a bit more than yet another fitness band.

Do you use the FuelBand, or another fitness band product? What would you like to see an Apple wearable do? Sound off in the comments.

Source: 9to5Mac




Install the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update regardless of your carrier

windows phone 7 nodoSome of you who own Windows Phone 7 devices are still waiting for your pre-NoDo preparation update -- never mind NoDo itself. A few workarounds have been posted, but unfortunately they didn't work unless your carrier had completed testing and was ready to schedule the update.

Now, however, the Chevron WP7 team's Chris Walshie has delivered a handy little utility that will allow you to update any Windows Phone 7 device -- regardless of your carrier.
  1. Download and install the Windows Phone Support Tool (x86 or x64) and the ChevronWP7 Updater (x86 or x64)
  2. Launch ChevronWP7 Updater and select your language. If your language isn't listed, stop and do not update.
  3. If were running WP7 build 7004 (you can verify in Zune) then run the updater twice.
Once the process completes, you should be able to copy and paste to your heart's content. Let's just hope all this update foolishness gets sorted out before we're supposed to receive Mango.

Install the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update regardless of your carrier originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Heads Up, Hands Free: A Bike Geek?s View Through Google Glass

Heads Up, Hands Free: A Bike Geek’s View Through Google Glass
An avid cyclist -- and bike blogger -- signs up to test Google Glass. He uses it in the shop. He uses it on the road and on the trails. He learns where not to use it. This is his ...



Daily Crunch: Guard Tower

1413Here are some of yesterday’s stories on TechCrunch Gadgets: Evul Todai: A Relaxation Lighthouse Lamp For The Living Room Nike Apologizes For Nike+ Issues, Promises Fixes, New Platform Soon Terrahawk?s M.U.S.T. Is A Mobile Guard Tower In A Shady-Looking Van Video: ?Der Kritzler,? An Automatic Scribbling Machine Amazon?s Kindle Tablet Is Very Real. I?ve Seen It, Played With It.



Interview with Actor Jack McBrayer from Wreck-it Ralph

Interview with Actor Jack McBrayer from Wreck-it Ralph
Forget candy for Easter this year - be sure to pick up Sugar Rush for Easter! Sugar Rush of course is the video game world of our favorite brat racer in the movie Wreck-it Ralph. Seriously, what kid (or adult) ...