Sunday, 30 September 2012
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.
A baseline was determined with test systems sitting idle, and then browsers were pointed at about:blank, a news site, the HTML5 Galactic demo, and the IE9 fish tank demo. Perhaps unsurprisingly, IE9 came out on top -- though Firefox 4 was a very close second on nearly every test. As you can see, the other browsers didn't necessarily fare quite as well, with Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera all posting significantly worse scores. In Opera 11's case, a laptop battery would last over one hour more with Internet Explorer 9 installed.
But what we'd really like to know is where did Microsoft find the dilithium crystals required to run a Galactic Total Power Consumption test...
CrackBerry also warns against installing the leaked BBM 6 app. There's no guarantee this app hasn't been tampered with, and BlackBerry devices are becoming a more common target for cybercriminals.
It wasn't all that long ago that Modbook Inc's CEO, Andreas Haas, made the mac-in-tablet Modbook Pro official, now we're learning that the super-slate will launch with high performance SSD storage. So, as you wield your MacBook Pro come tablet, you'll be free from spinning disks. Great, but what impact will this have on capacity? Well, according to the firm, storage will start at 64GB as standard, with upgrades possible all the way up to a, not-unreasonable, 480GB. Pre-orders go live on October 3rd, along with the all important reveal on price. Regardless of cost, if that void between the iPad and full-fat Windows 8 slates had been irking you, here's your answer.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
After what feels like an eternity since Angry Birds maker Rovio teased that they were working on a game that was from the pigs point of view, Bad Piggies is finally here. I wouldn't call it a "sequel" to Angry Birds, however, because it doesn't feature the birds at all. Instead, it's an entirely new game featuring only the pigs -- and it's awesome!
The objective of Bad Piggies is to help the pigs build modes of transportation to get them to the finish line. Each level also has the option of earning up to three stars, but unlike Angry Birds, these stars are not based off points and don't need to be earned in a single attempt. In fact, you usually can't earn all the star at once. Every level will give you one star for completing the level, another one for collecting the star icon, but the objective for the third star varies from level to level. For example, one level may have a time requirement, another may require that you not use a specific object in your machine, and another level may require you to get to the finish line without blowing up TNT. I'm a huge fan of this approach to earning stars because it fosters creativity since you usually have to change your vehicle's design to earn all the stars.
If you get stuck on a level and need help with designing your vehicle, you can purchase the Mechanic Pig and he'll build one for you. Although the Mechanic Pig's design won't necessarily earn all stars for you, he at least gets you started so that all you have to do is tweek the vehicle to help you get all three stars.
In addition to the 60 levels included, Bad Piggies also includes 4 very difficult "sandbox levels", 30 puzzles that can be unlocked by earning three stars on levels, and an extra-special, super-secret level that will be revealed after collecting all the skulls.
Bad Piggies is availalble as separate purchases for the iPhone and iPad, but unfortunately, the iPhone version doesn't support the iPhone 5's larger display, yet. Another big disappointment about Bad Piggies is that, just like Angry Birds, there is no iCloud sync available to keep your levels in sync between devices. This is such a terrible decision by Rovio because it actually discourages people from purchasing both versions.
- Fun and addicting
- Different than Angry Birds
- 60 levels crammed with flying/driving/crashing fun
- 30 additional puzzles unlocked by three-starring levels
- 4 sandbox levels to stretch your creativity
- Ultra-special, ultra-secret, ultra-difficult sandbox level to unlock by collecting all the skulls!
- 33 objects to create the ultimate machine: motors, wings, fans, bottle rockets, umbrellas, balloons, and much more!
- Purchase the mechanic pig and he'll help you build your mode of transportation needed to complete the level Mechanic Pig
- No iCloud sync between iPhone and iPad
- iPhone version is not optimized for the iPhone 5
The bottom line
Rovio has done a great job with Bad PIggies and it was worth the wait. It's a completely different game from Angry Birds that is challenging, fun, and addicting.
$0.99 for iPhone - Download Now
$2.99 for iPad - Download now
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.
With Logitech's Squeezebox platform having quietly and unexpectedly reached its EOL status, the company found it necessary to let its customers know where they stand going forward. In a very detailed letter from UE product director Ariel Fischer, the Harmony maker reassured current Squeezebox owners it will continue to offer support for these products, adding that the current "mysqueezebox" website and certain apps will still work with existing devices. What's more, those who managed to snag one of those Squeezebox Radios will have the option to upgrade to the outfit's new UE Smart Radio service -- which, according to Logitech, can play nicely alongside existing Squeezebox products, though this "will operate and be controlled separately." All in all, it could be worse -- and, in age where customer service can sometimes be rather unpleasant, we're sure most of us can appreciate the transparency being shown in the open letter. Speaking of which, you'll find that at the source link below.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Alt-week peels back the covers on some of the more curious sci-tech stories from the last seven days.
Dimensions, they're like buses. You wait for ages, and then three come along at once. And then another one right after that. While that might be about where the analogy ends, this week sees us off to the moon, where we then leap from the third, right into the fourth. Once there, we'll learn how we could eventually be controlled by lasers, before getting up close and personal with a 300 million-year old bug. Sound like some sort of psychedelic dream? Better than that, this is alt-week.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Saturday, 29 September 2012
Only hours following Apple CEO Tim Cook's open letter to customers regarding Maps on iOS 6, Apple has added a featured box in the App store for users to "find apps for your iPhone" that takes you to a section devoted to maps apps.
This is a very impressive and humble move by Apple. Apple is typically a rather arrogant company, so Tim Cook's letter and this new section of the App Store show a side of Apple that is willing to admit fault and do what's needed to improve their users' experience.
Apple has featured the following 13 map apps:
- MotionX GPS Drive - $0.99 - Download Now
- Waze social GPS traffic & gas - Free - Download Now
- MapQuest - Free - Download Now
- GPS by TeleNav - Free - Download Now
- Scout by Telenav - Free - Download Now
- Garmin U.S.A - $39.99 - Download Now
- Gokivo GPS Navigator - $0.99 - Download Now
- Navigon USA - $39.99 - Download Now
- CoPilot Live Premium HD - $12.99 - Download Now
- CoPilot GPS - Free - Download Now
- Bing - Free - Download Now
- Magellan RoadMate USA - $49.99 - Download Now
- AT&T Navigator - Free (with subscription) - Download Now
Those who have been keeping a close eye on Google's 7-inch, Jelly Bean-loaded Nexus 7 would know that the company kindly includes 25 bucks worth of Play credit with any purchase of said tablet. Unfortunately, as the famed cliché would tell us, all good things must come to an end -- and, well, such is the case with this neat promotion, which will expire on Sunday, September 30th. Here's the good news, however: there's still a relatively good amount of time for folks interested to get it on the Google Play deal, so now would be the perfect moment to snag what some are calling the best $200 tablet -- and who knows, this might even lead to a post-order Gangnam Style celebration of your own.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
The timing here is certainly interesting, what with Microsoft's recent report on how much power the top five Web browsers consume. In its findings, Opera 11 was fairly low in the standings. While we've not seen any new benchmarks yet, we're curious to know whether the Opera 11.10 RC offers any significant gains.
If you're running Opera 11.10 on a laptop, let us know if you're seeing an improvement in your battery life while browsing!
C Spire Wireless, the regional carrier that covers the southeast, is finally getting some Samsung Galaxy S3 (see our review) love. More carrier availability means more S3 users, so this is great news for all of you on C Spire.
The S3 comes at a time when C Spire is really pushing their 4G LTE service. It is the second device that can support the higher speeds on the network and they have said they will be aggressively be expanding it this fall.
The S3 can be had in either Marble White or Pebble Blue on the 16GB model. It will cost $199 with a 2-year contract online or at any C Spire retail location.
If you're a C Spire customer, are you picking one up?
Source: C Spire
Today, Tim Cook made his first major apology as the CEO of Apple. It probably won't be his last. Despite the obvious knee-jerk reaction regarding the Maps debacle, it's actually interesting that this particular scenario is yet another example of humans having extraordinarily short-term memories. It's the same reason that whatever game we most recently saw is the "best or worst ever." (Packers v. Seahawks 09.24.2012, I'm looking at you.) In truth, Apple has a fairly solid history of ingesting pride in the iPhone era, when it surged headfirst into the realm of serving consumers in a way that it never had before. And moreover, hearing Cook apologize isn't something that should be mocked or berated; one can only hope that more companies of all shapes and sizes develop a policy of listening and reacting. Allow me to explain.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
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!
A Chinese tech site has brought a beta version of Xiaomi phone 2 while attending the Apple announcement event a weeks ago, and shot some comparing photo with the iPhone 5. We have the chance to see the most cost-effective Chinese smartphone meet the Apple latest handset. Xiaomi, the Chinese handset maker of the MiOne "Xiaomi Phone," has announced the Mi2 smartphone in August, and it is expected to go on sale for 1,999 Chinese yuan (around $314), unsubsidized, this October. Xiaomi phone 2 is a device that ticks virtually every checkbox an Android user could hope for. We hope to see more comparison on both device soon, since the engineering version of Xiaomi phone 2 will be releasing this week. Two more pics after the break.
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You can check out live broadcasts at http://www.youtube.com/live, where you'll also find a schedule of upcoming episodes from beta partners like Revision3 and Destructoid. You're also able to subscribe to YouTube Live broadcasts -- which will ensure you're notified when a new episode is coming up.
Friday, 28 September 2012
It's been about a month since we saw Motorola rolling out the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Wifi only version of the XYBOARD, and now we see that Verizon has posted the changes and instructions for the LTE version's update.
In addition to the changes and security enhancements that come with ICS, Verizon lists the following benefits of the update:
- Includes the latest Motorola USB driver to allow Xyboard to connect to a computer to transfer files.
- Securely refresh your Corporate Email account with the native email client.
- Faster Browsing Experience
- Improved network connectivity
With the device page now up for the world to see at Verizon's website, we expect the update itself to begin rolling out shortly. Keep an eye out for it, and holler loud in the comments and forums when you see it.