Exciting Technologies Coming to Linux

The first half of 2009 is over and after your summer vacation, you might want to start gearing up for the new distro releases. Once again open source proved that developers collaborating all over the world deliver constant platform improvement. Let’s see what they have in store for us this time.

USB 3.0

USB_3.0This new bus specification promises a speed of 5 Gigabits per second, about 10 times faster than USB 2.0. And the first operating system to get a USB 3.0 driver is GNU/Linux, specifically, kernel 2.6.31 (scheduled for September).

Ubuntu to support Google Android applications

With a user base of roughly 2 million and more than 20 Android-powered  devices coming this year, Google’s mobile operating system may become a force to be reckoned with. Developers will embrace the platform and given time, Android’s Market will contain hundreds of thousands of applications. Well, at least that is the direction in which the Ubuntu dev team is thinking. They plan to introduce an easy way to port Android apps over to their flagship Linux distribution. While most applications will be useless on a desktop machine, there might be some apps that, with their small size and modest memory consumption, might do a certain task much better than its Ubuntu-native equivalent.

Source: Internetling


Google Voice Apps For Android And Blackberry Are Here

Google Voice, previously called Grand Central, is rolling out the first mobile apps for the service this evening. The main function of the apps is to make it easier to use your Google Voice phone number by automatically routing outbound calls through Google and to the recipient. We first mentioned they were coming last month when we broke the news that Google would start letting users port their phone numbers over to the Voice product sometime this year.

The basic idea around GrandCentral is one phone number for all your phones, for life. As we change jobs, homes and cell phones, there are a lot of phone numbers to keep track of, and keeping everyone up to date with your most recent phone numbers.

gvandroidGoogle Voice users get a phone number that should be the only number you give out to people. You route calls to mobile, home and other phones based on who’s calling and when.

Two apps are being released this morning, for Blackberry and Android phones. The Android app is the most complete and takes over the native dialer, address book and call log. Users won’t be bothered with accidentally dialing numbers through the device phone number. The Blackberry app is less integrated, accessing only the native address book, and uses its own dialer. Users can’t simply go into the call log and return missed calls. They need to go back to the address book and select Google Voice to make the call. Still, it solves a big problem.

The apps also allow users to access the core features of Google Voice. Listen to/read voicemails and text messages (all voicemails are automatically transcribed as well), access call history, send SMS messages and place international calls at low rates.

Google Voice Apps For Android And Blackberry Are Here

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Bing! Microsoft Prepares For War With A Revamped Search Engine


Microsoft unveiled its soon-to-launch search engine Bing. It is available as beta and jully available by June 3. It’s different in certain ways from other search engines. The home page features a rotation of stunning photography, for instance, which can be clicked on to produce related image search results.

It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as go Google yourself, but now you can go Bing yourself. (Then again, Google took a few years to become a verb.).

“We have taken the algorithmic programming up an order of magnitude,” says Microsoft senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi. Each search result page is customized according to what type of search you do (health, travel, shopping, news, sports). The algorithms determine not only the order of results on the page, but the layout of the page itself, concluding what sections appear. These sections can include anything from guided refinements and a list of related searches in the left-hand pane to images, videos, and local results.

A news search offers up headlines, photos, videos, and local news in a column on the right. A shopping search will bring up products and is tied into Microsoft’s Cashback program. Every search also generates a guide on the left to help you refine your search.

One of the new features of Microsoft’s just launched Bing search engine is that it auto-plays videos in results when you hover over them. Naturally, the first thing a number of people did was search for “sex” or “porn”. The results are majestic — if you’re a teenager looking for a way around porn filters on your computer. And this isn’t artful porn or something like it, it’s straight-up, hardcore pornography.

A few things to try:

* An ambiguous Web search: “bangalore” (do you want images, recipes, facts, or a map of the country? The topic guides in the left explore pane will help you narrow your search).
* Video search: “Steve Jobs” (hover over the thumbnail to play the video)
* Image search: “Rollercoasters” (notice the infinite scroll).
* A health search: “Sore throat
* Shopping: “Digital SLR” (sort by price or brand, get average ratings and CashBack).
* News Search: “Bing” (what else?)

I had one hell of a time using it. I have to get over the habbits of google to use it. Personally, though they have some cool features, like play video on hover, I didn’t like it. It doesn’t even come close to competing with google.

Wolfram Alpha: Gives Answers Directly Unlike Google

Wolfram Alpha, a new “Computational Knowledge Engine” developed by British physicist Stephen Wolfram, is all set to revolutionize search with its amazing/innovative ability to give answers to your questions directly – instead of directing you to sources where you “might” get the required information.

The software is still in its initial days of existence and will be available for use later this month. Already touted to be a Google Killer – which most probably it won’t be, the Wolfram Alpha has managed to rake up considerable storm even before its launch. It was showcased earlier this week at Harvard University. Many experts consider this to become the “Internet’s Holy Grail” once fully operational. It will be able to understand and respond to ordinary queries and give answers to queries in ordinary language, similar to how a person would respond when queries. To give you an idea of what this is capable of, let us take a few examples. Suppose you want to compare the height of the Empire State Building with the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, all you need to do is to type in your query and wait for the software to calculate your results derived from various sources. Once the search is over, you will not only get a detailed answer to your query but also a lot of other related information that might be of interest to you.

Many experts believe this to be a part of the natural evolution of the internet. Additionally, the results that you receive are assessed by experts and are made available only after a thorough verification. This is unlike Wikipedia, which thrives on user-generated content. Wolfram Alpha is incidentally based on Stephen Wolfram’s Mathematica software, a standard tool for scientists, engineers and academics for crunching complex maths.

You can learn more about Wolfram Alpha here.

Google Chrome, another browser in the block !

The Browser War is flaring up once again with the release of Google Chrome. Google Inc. has released its own Web browser in a long-anticipated move aimed at countering the dominance of Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer and ensuring easy access to its market-leading search engine.

It is a new browser based on many freely available open source components such as WebKit and Firefox. Chrome is bare bones, chrome less, browser with very little UI fluff and decoration. It is interesting to note that the UI for the Google browser took a note from the companies colorful logo, the Chrome UI looks neat with a blue pastel color scheme.

They say, Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier. Many of the features that are high lighted in Chrome are not necessarily revolutionary. Chrome basically reduced the browser to the location bar, tabs, and content page.

The most notable features in Chrome are its crash control, incognito mode, and safe browsing. Chrome runs each web page on its own process so that if one page fails only that page is effected. Incognito mode is like Safari’s Private Browsing, aka Porn Mode, it allows you to surf the web without caching cookies and history of the sites you visit on your local computer. It’s safe browsing feature will help you to identify web sites with malicious code or applications. Many of these features are not entirely new.

What I think is new is that Google decided to release yet another browser. The browser space is already crowded with Firefox, IE, Safari, Opera, Konqueror, and Flock to name just a few. It is clear that Google will align Chrome with its properties, search, applications, development tools, and user generated content sites. Seeing Google take this approach I wonder if other companies follow suit and release internet browsers that compliment their business. Can you imagine a custom browser from Adobe, McAffee, Oracle, Amazon, or EBay? hell!

The news is that Chrome has already acquired nearly 1% of the market share. Now, thats impressive and I think Firefox is already feeling the heat.

Lively by Google

You can now socialize in 3D places on the Web! Lively by Google has interactive 3D places on Web pages where visitors can see each other’s avatars and chat. Customize your avatar and decorate rooms to add another dimension to social networking! Take expression to the next dimension with Lively. This exciting experience lets you interact and express yourself with avatars, within rooms you create.

You’ll be able to:

  • Chat with your friends or meet new contacts online.
  • Create and decorate your own room – and invite your friends over.
  • Personalize your surroundings with an ever-growing catalog of avatars, outfits, furniture, and rooms to build up.

Your avatar represents you. Pick a character that suits your personality or mood and customize it to make it unique. Dress your avatar to express your style. Use your avatar’s animations to add some body language to chats! Customize the avatar and stream personal photos and video.

Users can create and share their own places: Anybody can create and publish their own room. Pick a room shell that provides a good foundation and decorate it any way that you can imagine. Invite people to visit your room, they can decorate it too! Add your room to your site. Invite your friends to chat and help decorate

The best part is, if you already use Web History or any Google service that requires a sign-in, then you already have a Google Account, and can sign in now to begin using Lively by Google.

Google Doctype

Google Doctype is an open encyclopedia and reference library. Written by web developers, for web developers. It includes articles on web security, JavaScript DOM manipulation, CSS tips and tricks, and more. The reference section includes a growing library of test cases for checking cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility.