Saturday, 30 June 2012

Get free MLB.tv access during April with MLB.com At Bat app

If you're a baseball fanatic, the MLB At Bat app is a must-have. It's packed with live updates, scores, stats, news, and videos -- and right now there's another great reason to pick up At Bat. Pony up for At Bat and you'll get to enjoy MLB.tv free for the entire month of April.

The service streams games in HD to just about any connected device you can imagine, from iPhone to PS3, and even Roku boxes and LG Internet-ready televisions. The basic subscription will set you back $99 for the season, and a Premium sub is an extra $20 (and adds DVR functionality, multi-game PIP, and more).

MLB At Bat is available for Android and iOS and both apps run to $14.99 US.

Get free MLB.tv access during April with MLB.com At Bat app originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows 8 now available to OEMs via Microsoft Connect

windows 8Select Microsoft Connect partners -- major players like HP -- have been given their first taste of Windows 8. According to various sources, the build string currently sits at 7971.0.110324-1900, which is the third milestone build of the successor to Windows 7.

So far, there haven't been many details revealed about Windows 8. An actual System Restore -- which is being referred to as History Vault -- has been reported, and the feature will allow users and administrators to completely roll back a system to a previous state. A factory reset option is also said to be included.

We've also seen Windows Live integration taking shape on the desktop. It's believed that you'll be able to log in to Windows 8 using your Windows Live credentials, not just a traditional offline Windows username and password.

All that's left now is for a leaked Windows 8 build to show up on a torrent site. Feel free to tip us if you see that happen.

Windows 8 now available to OEMs via Microsoft Connect originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft catches a break: ITC remands Motorola case, Xbox 360 dodges at least a 2012 ban

Microsoft and Motorola

Things were looking grim for gaming in April, when the International Trade Commission decided that the Xbox 360 violated Motorola patents and the console's US future was in doubt. The agency hasn't necessarily reversed its decision, but it just gave Microsoft a significant (and possibly permanent) reprieve. The Commission has remanded Motorola's case back to the Administrative Law Judge that gave the initial ruling, which very nearly restarts the clock: a new ruling won't come for months, and the usual review process guarantees even more of a delay even if the decision once more works in Motorola's favor. Patent suit watcher Florian Mueller is now confident that the Xbox 360 won't face any real risk of a ban in 2012, at a minimum. If the new decision doesn't clear Microsoft outright, it still pushes any ruling past a Microsoft lawsuit's trial in mid-November, when Motorola might be blocked from attempting any ban using its standards-based patents. We've rarely seen a majority or total reversal of this kind of ITC patent dispute before it reaches the appeals stage, but there's a distinct chance of that flip happening here -- especially as the ITC is using Apple's successful dismissal of an S3 Graphics victory as the judge's new template.

Microsoft catches a break: ITC remands Motorola case, Xbox 360 dodges at least a 2012 ban originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 30 Jun 2012 17:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HTML5 MP3 player lets you listen to your music library inside your browser

html5 browser mp3 audio player
While this slick little HTML5 audio player might not pack all of the features of your favorite desktop media application, it's still a very cool demonstration of what a Web app can do with access to local resources -- like MP3 and OGG files.

Just fire up http://antimatter15.github.com/player/player.html in your HTML5-compatible browser and browse to the topmost folder in your music library. The app will quickly build an index of all your tunes and let you start listening right inside your Web browser. Click on the filter library text, and you can enter a search string -- results load as you type.

There's a volume control, shuffle mode, play/pause control, and you can click and drag to skip forward or rewind during playback. As OMG! Ubuntu points out, you can even save the app to your hard drive and run it offline, which is pretty darn cool.

Not all browsers are equal when it comes to HTML5 implementation, of course. We found that Chrome worked the best, and Firefox was OK. It's also worth noting that this music player comes from the same developer that created one of our favorite restartless Firefox 4 add-ons, drag2up.

HTML5 MP3 player lets you listen to your music library inside your browser originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 Gigabit per-second connection between US and China demoed

Internet2You, sir or ma'am, should probably not get too excited. Chances are, this trans-Pacific 10 Gigabit link won't do you any good, personally. On the other hand, researchers working together across the oceanic divide have tons to cheer about. The China Education and Research Network, the National Science Foundation and Indiana University worked together with BGI, one of the largest genomics organizations in the world, to christen the connection by transferring 24 Gigabytes of genomic data from Beijing to UC Davis in under 30 seconds. As a benchmark, the same file was sent between the same locations over the regular ol' Internet and it took over 26 hours. The high-speed link should prove to be a major boon for genetic research and DNA sequencing.

10 Gigabit per-second connection between US and China demoed originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 30 Jun 2012 03:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New software uses facial recognition to defend against prying eyes

Having the right programs and hardware to keep the information on your display safe from prying eyes is never a bad idea, and new software from Oculis Labs offers a very interesting take on how to do just that. It's called PrivateEye, and it utilizes facial recognition to automatically pixelate the contents of your display when you look away.

If you step away from your system and someone else decides to sit down and poke around, PrivateEye will present a confusing jumble of garbled text. It'll even notify you if someone tries to peek over your shoulder -- and display a picture of your peeping Tom, throw up an alert, or sound an alarm.

Check out the video embed after the break, and share your thoughts in the comments!

Continue reading New software uses facial recognition to defend against prying eyes

New software uses facial recognition to defend against prying eyes originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 13:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads

google chrome malicious download
Google Chrome already sports a number of security-minded features, from Incognito mode to a software sandbox which makes exploiting the browser a Herculean task. Now, Google has announced additional protection for Chromium and Chrome users.

Built upon the Safe Browsing API, the new feature introduces protection against malicious downloads. If a download link appears in the Safe Browsing blacklist, Chrome and Chromium will warn users against downloading -- a save button is still presented, of course, in case you're convinced a file is perfectly safe to download.

We'd like to see something a bit more eye-catching than the red warning icon -- like perhaps painting the entire bar red. Many of the people a feature like this aims to protect probably won't notice the icon or change in wording as they'll be focused on clicking the save button.

Google is initially making download protection available to Chrome dev channel users, and you'll likely see it in Canary and Chromium snapshot builds as well. After thorough testing, beta and stable users will be next in line.

Google Chrome and Chromium add protection against malicious downloads originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows 8 wallpaper available to download, Jupiter and Twin UI spotted

windows 8 wallpaper
With Windows 8 milestone 3 now up for grabs for select Microsoft Connect partners, it's inevitable that leaked bits and pieces will start popping up around the Web. In fact, the first "official" wallpaper image from the still-brewing OS is already making the rounds.

As you can see, it's got a similar feel to the good ol' Windows 7 default background, but features a more subdued smattering of cerulean hues. Those of you who want to use the Windows 8 wallpaper on your current desktop can download it from our file dump.

A few other details have been revealed, too. According to ZDNet's source, the Windows 8 Jupiter libraries and Twin UI are starting to take shape -- though all that's been located thus far are "[various files] scattered throughout the OS" and the aptly-named twinui.dll.

Windows 8 wallpaper available to download, Jupiter and Twin UI spotted originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, 29 June 2012

Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.2 gets smarter, faster

auslogics defrag
Auslogics Disk Defrag has been part of my system maintenance toolkit for quite some time. With the release of version 3.2, it's now even better at tidying up and optimizing your system's hard disk drives. In addition to a cleaner, easier-to-use interface, Disk Defrag 3.2 offers improved single file and folder defragging, better processing of multiple disks, a simplified scheduling screen, and more informative tool tips. Auslogics has also fine-tuned the program's defragmentation and file consolidation algorithms.

For laptop users, there's a new option to lock the program if your system is running on battery power -- so scheduled operations don't kick in and drain your power source at an inopportune moment. If you happen to have an SSD installed in your PC, you can head to the Disk Defrag options and exclude it from scanning (many think that defragmenting an SSD is a very bad idea).

Auslogics Disk Defrag is a free download and works with most versions of Windows.

Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.2 gets smarter, faster originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows 8 Explorer to feature Ribbon UI, SkyDrive and Mesh integration?

windows 8 explorer ribbon
Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott have posted a second look at some of the early changes which have surface in Windows 8 milestone 3. First there was the restyled Welcome Screen, and now it appears that Microsoft is toying with bringing the Ribbon UI to Explorer.

The Ribbon, like in Microsoft Word and Excel, is context-aware, adding tabs for specific tasks which apply to the folder you're viewing -- such as library or picture management. You can also make out two new buttons in the status bar, which allow you to change the current folder's view style.

It's clear from all the placeholder images and repeated elements that this is very much a work in progress, but featuring the Ribbon more prominently in Windows 8 would certainly be a logical progression for Microsoft. It's slowly become more ubiquitous, moving beyond Office and into Wordpad, Paint, and several of the Windows Live Essentials applications.

There's more to the screenshots than the Ribbon UI, however. Our friend Long Zheng has noted two interesting elements in the images: Web sharing and sync (image after the break). That would likely mean users will be able to quickly upload files to SkyDrive and synchronize using Live Mesh right from Explorer in Windows 8. That's not a total surprise considering many of the earliest leaked images of Windows 8 showed Windows Live integration on the desktop.

Continue reading Windows 8 Explorer to feature Ribbon UI, SkyDrive and Mesh integration?

Windows 8 Explorer to feature Ribbon UI, SkyDrive and Mesh integration? originally appeared on Download Squad on Sun, 03 Apr 2011 08:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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App loyalty on the rise, iOS users more decicated than Android

Localytics gathered data from app users across Android and iOS during Q3 2011, and found that 23% of Android owners use an app more than 11 times, while 35% of iPhone and iPad users do the same. At the other end of the spectrum, iOS users are only slightly more fickle than those on Android: 24% versus 21% used an app only once before ditching it.


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Google+ patent app details myFaves-like carrier contacts integration with social network circles

Google patent app details myFaveslike carrier contacts integration with social network circles

With more carriers pushing unlimited calling plans, we can't say there's necessarily a need for the friends and family features of yesteryear on this side of the Atlantic, but plenty of networks beyond the good ole US of A are a bit more stingy when it comes to tallying talk time. The latest Google patent application to be published was filed last December and covers exactly this type of scenario, suggesting that the Google+ profile of the future could include an option to create a "Telco Co. Preferred Calling" circle, which would theoretically enable free calling between yourself and a small group of friends.

According to the application, semi-public information, such as a telephone number, would be shared between Google and a registered service provider, and you would maintain discount calling relationships from within Google+, adding and dropping callers to and from your online contacts list. You could also dictate custom rules, such as ringtones for contacts in specific groups, or create carrier-branded circles that are populated with your friends on the same network, making it easier to determine whether or not you'll be billed for calls to a particular user. Like all patent applications, there's no guarantee that Google's submission with come to fruition, but if you're feeling optimistic, you can hit up the source link below for all the legalese.

Google+ patent app details myFaves-like carrier contacts integration with social network circles originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Jun 2012 10:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows 8 wallpaper available to download, Jupiter and Twin UI spotted

windows 8 wallpaper
With Windows 8 milestone 3 now up for grabs for select Microsoft Connect partners, it's inevitable that leaked bits and pieces will start popping up around the Web. In fact, the first "official" wallpaper image from the still-brewing OS is already making the rounds.

As you can see, it's got a similar feel to the good ol' Windows 7 default background, but features a more subdued smattering of cerulean hues. Those of you who want to use the Windows 8 wallpaper on your current desktop can download it from our file dump.

A few other details have been revealed, too. According to ZDNet's source, the Windows 8 Jupiter libraries and Twin UI are starting to take shape -- though all that's been located thus far are "[various files] scattered throughout the OS" and the aptly-named twinui.dll.

Windows 8 wallpaper available to download, Jupiter and Twin UI spotted originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Easter egg animation

Jelly Bean Jelly Bean

Like ICS, Honeycomb and Gingerbread before it, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean features a neat little "Easter egg" animation within the "About phone" and "About tablet" pages. On a Jelly Bean device like the Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 7, head to Settings > About phone and tap repeatedly on "Android version: 4.1" until you see the picture of the happy Jelly Bean guy filling the screen. Then long press on the middle of the screen, and you'll get a screen filled with more Jelly Beans, which you can fling around using your finger.

You'll also note the candy cane among the field of Jelly Beans. We're not sure exactly why that's there, but it only seems to appear occasionally. (If you've got any wild theories, share 'em in the comments.

Of course, all this stuff is still functionally useless, but it's a pretty cool visual treat regardless.



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HTML5 MP3 player lets you listen to your music library inside your browser

html5 browser mp3 audio player
While this slick little HTML5 audio player might not pack all of the features of your favorite desktop media application, it's still a very cool demonstration of what a Web app can do with access to local resources -- like MP3 and OGG files.

Just fire up http://antimatter15.github.com/player/player.html in your HTML5-compatible browser and browse to the topmost folder in your music library. The app will quickly build an index of all your tunes and let you start listening right inside your Web browser. Click on the filter library text, and you can enter a search string -- results load as you type.

There's a volume control, shuffle mode, play/pause control, and you can click and drag to skip forward or rewind during playback. As OMG! Ubuntu points out, you can even save the app to your hard drive and run it offline, which is pretty darn cool.

Not all browsers are equal when it comes to HTML5 implementation, of course. We found that Chrome worked the best, and Firefox was OK. It's also worth noting that this music player comes from the same developer that created one of our favorite restartless Firefox 4 add-ons, drag2up.

HTML5 MP3 player lets you listen to your music library inside your browser originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Recon Instruments defrosts its Android SDK at Google I/O (video)

Recon Instruments defrosts its Android SDK at Google IO video

Ski season (in the northern hemisphere at least) was in full swing when Recon Instruments announced that it'd be providing developers with an Android SDK for its HUD alpine goggles. Now, most of that snow may have melted, but the SDK is finally a cold, hard reality. Made available to the developing masses at Google I/O this week, frosty-fingered devs can use the tool to hook-in to Recon's visual display tools, including its MOD Live series. Given that this opens up the goggles' altimeter, barometer, accelerometer, gyro and magnetometer and temperature reader, that's a lot of detail to tuck into. Itching to get that downhill leaderboard app going? Slide on over to the source for the details.

Continue reading Recon Instruments defrosts its Android SDK at Google I/O (video)

Recon Instruments defrosts its Android SDK at Google I/O (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Jun 2012 16:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Gladinet maps Amazon Cloud Drive to your Windows desktop

amazon cloud drive
Amazon's recently-introduced Cloud Drive is a great place to store your files online. It offers 5 gigs of totally free space, and U.S. users also get access to the handy Cloud Player app (for Web and Android!) which streams music you upload to your Cloud Drive.

The service could be a little easier to use, however. Until Amazon releases a desktop client, Windows users might want to take another look at Gladinet. The multi-service cloud connector has now added Amazon Cloud Drive support and will let you map a network drive letter to your account with minimal fuss.

Once you've added your credentials to Gladinet, just pick the letter you want to assign to the drive and you're good to go. You can then copy files to and from your Cloud Drive, rename items, and manage folders like you would any local hard drive in your system.

The only downside is that the free version of Gladinet gives you a limited number of cloud interactions. Once you use those up, you'll need to upgrade to the paid version, which costs $49.99. If you work with a number of cloud-based storage providers, however, it could be well worth the price tag.

Gladinet maps Amazon Cloud Drive to your Windows desktop originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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So Much News in China… #051

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There are so much news from China that passes by that we couldn't possibly cover it all. Here are the Chinese tech news that have left behind because we are just too busy or too lazy to post. There are stories on iPhone 5 vs. Galaxy S III, expansion of 4G in China, single-chip LTE smartphone and so on, check them out after the break. Video for this week: a Shenzhen factory tour on the Android 4.0-toting MK802 mini PC ... Hope everyone have a fresh start to your week.

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Google Latitude check-in deals now available across the US

Recently, Google has been busy beefing up Latitude to make it more competitive with other location apps -- and more fun to use. Location history was added recently, iOS users can post check-ins via Latitude, and now Google has begun rolling out location-based deals which are tied to the service.

If you're in the U.S., you can now score local savings at participating merchants by checking in with Latitude. Google will also be offering "status deals," which users can unlock by visiting a particular merchant on a regular basis. Mashable notes three status levels: regular, VIP, and guru -- though partners can apparently customize those titles if they choose.

Right now deals are available from merchants like American Eagle Outfitters, Arby's, Finish Line, Macy's, Quiznos, and RadioShack.

Google Latitude check-in deals now available across the US originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 08 Apr 2011 08:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Voice Search learns Latin American Spanish, Indonesian, and Malaysian

google voice search
Google Voice Search has just introduced localizations for Latin America, Indonesia and Malaysia, enabling native language search for hundreds of millions of users.

Google's official blog post offers some interesting insights into the process of collecting and analyzing the speech data needed to expand support. Thousands of hours were spent gathering voice samples and choosing key regional accents to analyze, and International Program Manager Linne Ha is clearly very appreciative of the Google users who helped the company complete the expansion. Without an enthusiastic base of users to lend a hand, Google Voice Search's polyglot powers would have been nearly impossible to deliver.

Google Voice Search learns Latin American Spanish, Indonesian, and Malaysian originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nexus 7 8GB coming to UK mid-July for £159, 16GB version arriving at retailers July 27th for £199

Nexus 7 8GB coming to UK midJuly for 159, 16GB version arriving at retailers July 27th for 199

We've just had word from ASUS that the 16GB variant of the Nexus 7 will arrive on UK shelves on July 27th -- slightly later than the 8GB model, which will be sold exclusively through Google Play from mid-July. Brits are looking at £159 for the 8GB tablet and £199 for 16GB. The latter is actually shipping to big stores like PC World, Comet, Tesco and eBuyer around July 20th, so those who pre-order may end up signing for that Special Delivery even earlier.

Update: the 16GB slate will also be sold through Carphone Warehouse, either for the same price as above or free on a tethered contract (but check those sums before signing up, obviously). PR added.

Continue reading Nexus 7 8GB coming to UK mid-July for £159, 16GB version arriving at retailers July 27th for £199

Nexus 7 8GB coming to UK mid-July for £159, 16GB version arriving at retailers July 27th for £199 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Jun 2012 06:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Will Apple Face Punishments in China for ‘Unfair’ Maintenance Terms ?

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The China Consumers Association issued a statement pointing out "unfair" clauses in the maintenance terms for Apple's iPhone. The Association said that Apple had 'unfair' repair clauses regarding the use of spare parts, the ownership of old spare parts and compensation for repairs. One of Apple's repair clauses requires customers allow Apple to use either new or retreaded spare parts in repair, and the replaced spare parts are returned to Apple. That means the company is taking a piece of defected equipment already paid by the customer and reselling those parts after they are repaired to other customers. The Association said that Apple is breaking national repair and return rules regarding computers by using refurbished components ...

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Google I/O 2012's second keynote is tomorrow, get your liveblog right here!

It's hard to imagine Google managing to one-up its first keynote -- skydiving into the roof of Moscone from a blimp is pretty tough act to follow -- but that doesn't mean the company is out of surprises. The second keynote of the 2012 Google I/O developer conference is tomorrow morning and we're expecting a few updates on Chrome and then, well, even more updates on Chrome.

We'll be liveblogging the proceedings tomorrow at this page right here. Set your bookmarks now and get ready to rock tomorrow at 10:00 am PT. To figure out what time that is locally, just look right here:

June 28, 2012 1:00 PM EDT

Google I/O 2012's second keynote is tomorrow, get your liveblog right here! originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Jun 2012 22:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Photo Gallery: China’s First Female Astronaut

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China had successfully send its first woman into outer space last week. Liu Yang, a 33-year-old fighter pilot, has joined two other male astronauts aboard the spacecraft. They will attempt a manual space docking procedure and part of China's exploratory preparations for a space lab. Medical experts who helped select the crew, have said that female astronauts must meet the same criteria as men. Female Chinese astronauts must be married and preferably be mothers, citing concerns that space radiation would "harm their fertility" ...

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