Thursday, 31 January 2013

Add a Windows 8 user tile to your Windows 7 taskbar

Now that Windows 8 images have begun leaking out, it's only a matter of time until developers start releasing mods for Windows 7 which mimic upcoming features. Over at Into Windows, they've spotted one such mod already.

In the earliest Windows 8 images, we saw Windows Live integration on the taskbar. In the far right corner, there's a user tile displayed. If you'd like to do the same on Windows 7, download Taskbar User Tile from DeviantArt user AngelWZR.

Once installed, your current picture will appear on the taskbar. Click it, and a menu appears which allows you to log off, switch users, and access the control panel. Right now, the mod only works if your taskbar is displayed on the bottom of your Windows desktop.

Add a Windows 8 user tile to your Windows 7 taskbar originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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IE9 and Firefox 4 post top marks in Web browser power use comparison

Over on the Internet Explorer Blog, Microsoft has posted results from an extensive comparison of the top five Web browsers. The goal: to determine whether Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4, Chrome 10, Safari 5, or Opera 11 is able to squeeze the most life out of your laptop's battery.

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...

IE9 and Firefox 4 post top marks in Web browser power use comparison originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Glass Explorer Edition arrives at the FCC

Google Glass Explorer Edition arrives at the FCC

Folks, the rather dour line drawing that you can see in the image above is the very first glimpse of Google's wearable computing project as it swings through the FCC's underground facility. The Google Glass Explorer Edition hardware, promised to arrive this year, is carrying a Broadcom 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g WiFi radio that's been paired with a Bluetooth 4.0 + LE module. We've seen a reference to an "integral vibrating element that provides audio to the user via contact with the user's head," which we presume relates to the bone conduction patent we saw earlier this month. The filing also reveals that the testing laboratory involved used the conduction technology to view video with audio. As the commission is now making the paperwork public, it can only mean that it's judged the unit, with the product code "XEB," to be safe for human consumption -- which means customers 782 and 788 might be expecting something special in the mail very shortly.

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Source: FCC

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Xperia T/TX/TL Jelly Bean firmware certified ahead of release

Android Central

Sony's first round of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-based firmware has passed through certification at the PCTRB forum, a usual indicator that the update is just a few weeks away from being pushed out to handsets. Firmware for the international Xperia T and TX and the AT&T Xperia TL has passed certification, meaning those handsets should be first in line for the Sony Jelly Bean upgrade. In the case of the Xperia TL, carrier certification may lead to a slight delay, but TL owners can rest assured that the bulk of the work is done.

Late last year Sony promised to release Jelly Bean updates for the Xperia T and TX in "mid-Q1," so it looks like things are going according to schedule. If you own one of those phones, we recommend keeping an eye out for the update in mid-to-late February.

Source: PCTRB; via: XperiaBlog



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Google Play Music update improves widget, adds features, fixes bugs

Google Play Music widget

Google Play Music has just received a notable update to add a few features that have been bugging users for some time now. Right off the top you'll spot a proper reverse button on the music widget, letting you go backwards in albums or playlists without entering the app. Instant mixes can now continue on past 25 tracks as well, and you can shuffle albums, artists or playlists. The default album art is changed to a simpler grey tile also.

When you pin albums or tracks, you can now see the progress of the download from that album or playlist view rather than just in the settings. There is also apparently a bugfix that should solve the problem of some Galaxy SIII (S3) devices freezing when using the app. It's a whole bunch of useful fixes and improvements, so go grab the update from the Play Store now.



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Acer Iconia B1 budget tablet appears at UK supermarkets for £99

Android Central

Unveiled to the world at CES, the Acer Iconia B1 is Acer's play at hitting the budget tablet space. While not offering bleeding edge specs, the B1 does offer a stock Jelly Bean experience on a 7 inch tablet, which, in the UK, goes for just £99. At CES we were told to expect launch in stores at the end of January, and true to their word that seems to be the case. 

The Iconia B1 has been spotted already for sale by British supermarkets, ASDA and Sainsbury's, both at that magic £99 price point. Appealing to the casual consumer at a price point that is bordering on impulse buy could prove successful for Acer, especially over the traditional 'no-name' cheap tablets we've seen for so long at this kind of price. The Kindle Fire is a big supermarket tablet line in the UK, so it will be interesting to see how the Iconia B1 fares. It under cuts the cheapest Kindle Fire by £30 while offering a more traditional tablet experience. 

Our hands on at CES showed a little lag, and a distinctly plasticky design, but also expandable memory and that Jelly Bean experience. But it all comes down to the price, and the Iconia B1 is the first tablet from a recognizable brand to hit that magic sub-£100 price point that makes it a compelling purchase for first time tablet buyers. If you've picked one up, or thinking of doing so, be sure to jump into the comments below and share your experience. 

via Eurodroid



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This is the Modem World: Why we troll

Each week Joshua Fruhlinger contributes This is the Modem World, a column dedicated to exploring the culture of consumer technology.

This is the Modem World Why we troll

Back when the PlayStation 2 was the world's most popular game console, the original Xbox was struggling to gain a post-Halo audience and the GameCube was a cute diversion with a couple decent titles, I trolled gaming message boards. I was so sure that anyone who bought anything other than a PS2 was out of their mind that I set on the most immature mission in history: to inform the masses, proselytize the word as handed down by Hirai-san, and ridicule those who were wasting their time with The Wind Waker.

Those who were active gamers at the time probably read that paragraph and are now either annoyed or cracking a wry smile in understanding. The latter are the ones who played Ico. Those who weren't gamers at the time can insert their own products into the mix for context.

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ASUS Budget 10-inch Tablet Ready to Roll Out (Video)

front

After the announcement of the cheap 7-inch MeMo Pad, ASUS has prepared another new tablet on the horizon. The MeMo Pad 10 tablet has surfaced and there is an entire unboxing video to go along with it (the original video has already pull down from Youtube). The Taiwanese PC maker hasn't officially announced this tablet yet, but some lucky folks already have one in their hands to play with. The new 10-inch tablet is a redesigned, slightly thicker, yet cheaper Transformer Prime in a sense. The MeMo Pad series aims to be more budget friendly while not compromising on performance or portability ...

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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

IE9 and Firefox 4 post top marks in Web browser power use comparison

Over on the Internet Explorer Blog, Microsoft has posted results from an extensive comparison of the top five Web browsers. The goal: to determine whether Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4, Chrome 10, Safari 5, or Opera 11 is able to squeeze the most life out of your laptop's battery.

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...

IE9 and Firefox 4 post top marks in Web browser power use comparison originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ASUS Budget 10-inch Tablet Ready to Roll Out (Video)

front

After the announcement of the cheap 7-inch MeMo Pad, ASUS has prepared another new tablet on the horizon. The MeMo Pad 10 tablet has surfaced and there is an entire unboxing video to go along with it (the original video has already pull down from Youtube). The Taiwanese PC maker hasn't officially announced this tablet yet, but some lucky folks already have one in their hands to play with. The new 10-inch tablet is a redesigned, slightly thicker, yet cheaper Transformer Prime in a sense. The MeMo Pad series aims to be more budget friendly while not compromising on performance or portability ...

Read More >>

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Nokia begins its Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade rollout (video)

Windows 78 rollout TKTK

Talk of Microsoft finally deploying Windows Phone 7.8 has been building to a crescendo -- and we're glad to confirm it's more than just noise. The more customizable home and lock screens, Marketplace improvements and numerous under-the-hood upgrades are rolling out to all of Nokia's Windows Phone 7.5 devices, starting today and continuing through February. The company hasn't confirmed who goes first, although AT&T's Lumia 900 is believed to be part of the earliest wave. Other upgrades will depend on carrier timing, if you're using a locked phone, but the plan to push 7.8 is still good news for those who've wanted to keep their early Lumias as current as possible.

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Source: Conversations by Nokia

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App Store brought in 3.5 times more revenue than Google Play in 2012

App Store brought in 3.5 times more revenue than Google Play in 2012

App Annie, a service that tracks revenue and growth for both the App Store and Google Play, has released their January 2013 index. Both marketplaces are doing very well and while Google Play saw more growth than the App Store, the App Store still managed to bring in over 3 times more than Google Play.

When comparing both app ecosystems, Google Play has grown tremendously with over 700,000 apps now available to consumers compared to the App Store's 800,000, according to App Annie and Bloomberg.

App Annie wouldn’t disclose specific revenue figures because it sells that information separately to software companies that buy the data and analytics. While Apple has said the App Store has generated more than $7 billion since 2008, Google hasn’t made such information public. Apple has more than 800,000 apps on its store, and Google has more than 700,000.

Apple has reported to average around $333 million a month since June to December, which is over 3 times more than Google Play. Apple also saw an increase in sales of around 20% between October and December which can probably be attributed to the release of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

What's interesting though is that Google Play has grown 6 times its size prior to 2012, even though Apple still pulled in higher revenue. Apple's App Store has been around a lot longer than Google Play and has a very established user base but it shows that both ecosystems are doing remarkably well as coming into a brand new year.

Source: Bloomberg



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How to enable system sounds on your Android device

System sounds

Part of having a modern smartphone is the media experience. Today's Android phones rival about any desktop system when it comes to audio and visual cues for the way you interact with them. Case in point -- audible alerts for system UI actions.

Making your Android phone or tablet give you an affirming "tick" when you press a button or unlock your screen is easy. Open your settings, and find the "Sound" entry in the menu list. You'll see something like the above, where you can set the standard ringtone and notification. If you scroll down a bit you'll see where you can enable or disable the audible prompt when doing things like dialing a number, or unlocking your phone. What's really cool is that you can set these sounds individually, so your phone only makes the noises you want it to make.

Once you have things set up the way you like, just press the back button and leave the settings menu. Now you're set!



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