What do you use your computer for? Long gone are the days when the computer was strictly a data processing tools. Today, the computer is an all-purpose media entertainment center. Its capabilities have gone far beyond keeping a catalog of all your movies and music – it’s even gone beyond playing all your favorite music and movies. These days, with the right tools you can splice, cut, record, edit, mix, create and publish your own media. And to accompany the new capabilities there’s a dizzying array of new software tools that can help you do everything from rip CDs to encode complete animations and videos. How do you find the best new software tools?

And you’ll find them easily. There’s no need to wade through page after page of directory structure. You can search all categories from the front page on the site, or click on a category to go directly to browsing that category. You’ll find video editors, audio editors, CD rippers, imaging software, video and audio converters, complete all-in-one packages and more. There are shareware listings, commercial listings and freeware listings – in short, just about everything you’d ever want to play with your media.

Each listing includes a capsule description and a full review as well as a side box that lists all the important details about the software – including both a staff and user rating, and the chance to enter your own rating. The categories include All-in-One, Media Players, CD Rippers, CD Burners, Converters, DVD software, Editors, ID3 Tag Editors, Mobile Phone Tools, Plugins, Radio and Broadcasting (plogcasting, anyone?), Recorders, Utilities and Voice and Text editors.

The reviews are comprehensive, listing all the capabilities of each software package and how well it performs each function. It’s a nice bonus that’s not often found on pure directories.

For software publishers, there are multiple opportunities for exposure. There’s an easy submission tool to add a free listing of you audio or video software, and many different ways to increase the exposure of your listing at very reasonable rates. You can opt for a featured listing, front page exposure, top level search results, footer text links and more.

Among the most popular software featured at audio-video-tools.com is Blaze Media Pro, the popular powerhouse all-in-one media tool that converts between all available video and audio formats .Rip, burn, convert, edit, capture, create, extract and combine files to create your own unique media.

I was a bit suprised to see that Google now offers it's own set of DNS servers for use as an alternative to your traditional DNS ISP based servers. Then again I'm not surpried, since this is only a natual progression in Google's business model and influence. The nice thing about Google DNS is the easy to remember ip addresses: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

Some fear a loss of privacy if one would use Google's DNS servers. I'm not sure if I'm ready to switch over at the moment, since I'm currently using OpenDNS as my primary and secondary DNS servers, which have been excellent. Time will tell if it would be beneficial to witch over to Google for DNS.

Google DNS

and of course let's not forget:

OpenDNS

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new_orkut_icon

new Orkut Many of you folks send e-mails to me asking for an invite to the new Orkut eversince I wrote about the New Orkut. Though the steps were very simple to get an invite easily on the New Orkut but many were unable to get one.

So, here’s some very good news for you folks.New Orkut 1

Well I am giving away the invites on a FCFS (First Comment First Serve) basis. You simply need to comment on this post below and also mail me at jasonblr .

So what are you waiting for folks!! Get started – the new Orkut is really worth the wait I feel.


NIS 2010 jsbi Regular readers of my blog know that I am not a fan of Norton products since the are sluggish and consume a lot of resources. But wait a sec – that was my opinion from ages. Shouldn’t they have improved now? recently when I got my Acer Aspire D250 netbook it came with McAfee installed but that was no good for me. Getting back to Norton, I wanted to really check out their new offerings and see how they have improved when you have many free and fast anti-virus solutions in the market like AVG, AVAST, etc.

NIS 2010Norton has a slew of 3 products lined up – Norton 360 (a complete suite that has all the solutions), Norton Internet Security 2010 (more targeted for Internet Users) and the plain vanilla Norton Antivirus.

I got myself Norton Internet Security 2010 popularly known as NIS, since it boasts to offer complete protection and yet not compromise on performance. It is one of the lightest protection solutions available currently and that makes it much more interesting. Norton Internet Security currently supports Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 – all 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Now this is where it got me interested since my home PC was loaded a few weeks back with Windows 7 64-bit – I was really out there looking for a next gen Anti-Virus for it.

Something that got me interested in Norton Internet Security 2010 was that it uses a new security model. This new security model helps NIS to attain unmatched levels of detection of new malwares. What the new security models does really is that it uses cloud-based intelligence to identify malware in an entirely new which is simply ages ahead of the traditional way of using signatures and behavior-based detection. The new security model also features a real-time reputation system that tracks files and applications and dozens of their attributes such as their age, download source, digital signature, and prevalence(more about this feature in detail later).

First of all – installing NIS was a breeze, except for the 60MB update that it needed to download off the internet.3But belive it or not - I had NIS working on PC in less than a minute flat!!! (excluding the 60MB download). This feat by Symantec is simply commendable.

The NIS 2010 interface is all re-vamped and so fresh to look at.11

It has 3 very distinct partitions – Computer, Network and Web. Well, these are the only there layers for which we need protection.

  • Computer : This has the anti-virus solution which has many new features like enabling of system scan when computer is idle. Also the idle time can be easily set by the user – now this is really a wow for a geek like me. Gone are the days when I had to schedule scans in my PC at mid-night and let my PC run through the night. Now, the scan happens even when I get off my comp to grab a cup of coffee (coz I have my idle time to be 3 mins – 3 mins is too much of an idle time for a geek like me if I am near the comp).
    It also features something called as SONAR 2 (Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response) which is a 2nd generation system that harnesses all elements of NIS 2010 to make really sophisticated and clever decisions about what to trust and what to convict as a threat or risk. Again, to do this it leverages data from the cloud, network communications and file attributes such as location on the PC, origin information, etc.
  • Network : NIS 2010 is not just an Anti-Virus but more of a complete security suit and this is further testimonial to it having a Smart Firewall which repels any possible attacks and also constantly monitors the traffic flow to determine any threat. Intrusion prevention is a key here and also has in-build e-mail protection that helps prevent your PC being used as a botnet by spammers.
  • Web : Finally the web. Norton IdentitySafe provides one-click log-ins and automatic form filling to prevent key loggers from stealing your information. Norton Safe Web adds additional protection when you search, shop, and surf the web to stop Internet threats before they can infect your PC. Safe surfing is always the key and this is easily achieved by NIS 2010.

Here’s a small test that I subjected Norton Internet Security 2010 to and it came out with flying colors. I had a exe which was infected with a trojan on my PC. I unassumingly like a lay-man double clicked the exe. This is what came up.15Went ahead and clicked on More Details and this popped up. 16

I was simply amazed at the kind of information that NIS 2010 threw back at me. It picks up information off the cloud and display some very vital statistics like how many people have used this exe and what kind of threat level it carries. This helps me to make a informative decision on whether to go ahead or not (Though it won’t allow me to execute the file – but even before that giving this kind of info is really handy).

Norton Internet Security also comes with a Task Manager – not the plain Windows kind of one, but this is a hybrid one which clearly lets you analyze your system performance over a period of time in time-slices. Important installations can be easily tracked and even tasks that have consumed more CPU or memory can be easily tracked down.18

Some of the advantages of using NIS 2010:

  • The fastest, lightest security suite you can buy for award-winning protection that won’t slow you down or get in your way.
  • Installs faster than any other security suite.
  • Boots faster than any other security suite.
  • Scans faster than any other security suite.
  • Uses less memory than any other security suite.
  • Doesn’t impact your PC’s speed when you copy or edit files, install applications or download files.

What I would like NIS to improve upon is provide a full fledged Widget for Vista / Windows 7 users rather than the signal light widget that we have now 12 this only lets us know how secure or vulnerable the PC is. But having an option for a full fledges widget would be a really nice add-on.

The pricing of Norton Internet Security 2010 in India is very competitive and also much below (or in-line) with other Anti-Virus vendors. The suggested retail price for Norton Internet Security 2010 is Rs 2,495 for a three PC license(great for a Home Network like mine), and Rs 1,450 for a single PC license. You can easily purchase it at the Symantec online store www.in.symantecstore.com


IP2Location

On 9:32 AM
I was recently reading an article by Rick Vanover from Techrepublic.com on resolving the physical location from an IP address. Nice and useful tool when needed. This of course would not give you the exact location, but basically the relative location based on Country, State, City and ISP.

IP2Location

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This is small utility used for finding one's Internal and External IP in one application. No install needed, just execute after unzipping. Yeah, I know you can also log onto your router to get the same info....but I found this a little bit faster and lazier!

IP2

Thanks to http://www.ezlan.net/ip_mac.html for the link!

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Hard Rock Cafe is all set to open India's fifth Hard Rock Cafe at Hyderabad, which perfectly augements the flagship Mumbai cafe(September 2006) and also locations in Bengaluru(December 2007), Pune(January 2009) and New Delhi(June 2009). The new Hard Rock Cafe Hyderabad is as expected going to be situated near luxury hotels and shopping areas that offer a convenient destination for both local fans and also international travelers.

The new Hard Rock Cafe Hyderabad will be located at GVK 1, Road No. 1 which anchors the GVK Mall development at the heart of city. The 8,000-square foot cafe features a 200-seat restaurant, live concert venue and Rock Shop complete with Hard Rock's limited-edition merchandise. The new cafe and retail outlet will offer guests great American fare in a rock 'n' roll atmosphere.

Hard Rock Cafe Hyderabad like the other destinations will be adorned with pieces from Hard Rock's world-famous memorabilia collection which includes items representing both contemporary stars as well as rock legends, such as Elvis Presley, Elton John, Kylie Minogue and many more. Key memorabilia items on display at Hard Rock Cafe Hyderabad will include a pair of Alain Mikli glasses with gold-colored plastic frames worn by Elton John, a black satin top hat worn by The Beatles' George Harrison during the recording of "Crackerbox Palace," and a leather suede tunic jacket worn by The Who's Roger Daltry in the 70's. Now that's something to watch out for!!

Also, for the first time, Hard Rock Cafe Hyderabad will offer limited-edition and city-specific merchandise. The Rock Shop will have limited line of authentic rock-inspired Hard Rock Cafe items, including famous Classic and City t-shirts, as well as highly collectible accessories and pins. In addition, the Hyderabad cafe will offer Hard Rock's charity-driven Signature Series T-shirt line, featuring artists such as U2's Bono, Shakira, and Green Day.

ASUS has long been the leader in providing innovative motherboard solutions. Once again it has taken the lead by launching today the first "TUF" (The Ultimate Force) Series of motherboard called the SABERTOOTH 55i. As the name suggests the TUF Series has been specially developed for the heavy computing of geeks and also perform very well under extreme conditions (read - over-clocking).

Geeks have always had a desire for high-quality motherboard components and also the need for very stable computing platforms, and this seems to have achieved uncompromising stability with the new TUF Series motherboards.
Asus has claimed that the SaberTooth 55i motherboards have even passed the most demanding military-style testing and yet even in the harshest operating conditions they have been able to deliver robust performance.

The SaberTooth 55i motherboard is designed around what is known as a "Marine Cool" concept which incorporates the Intel® P55 chipset and also the all new "tough" features to give users a supremely solid and stable computing platform.
SaberTooth 55i motherboard employs What is known as the unique CeraM!X microfin coating and also military level tested capacitors and VRM MOSFETs to give users increased operational stability.

More about the unique Ultimate Heatsink Cooling system with CeraM!X Microfin Coating
SaberTooth 55i motherboard comes with the new CeraM!X heatsink which easily delivers exceptional cooling to active components and also gives uncompromising system stability even under intense operating conditions. SaberTooth 55i motherboard's advanced ceramics-based composition is something that is commonly used in the aerospace industry for heat insulation. This new heatsink dissipates heat rapidly to achieve ultimate cooling. Ceramics have replaced the traditional anti-oxidant compounds to create a microfin surface texture for enhanced cooling. This rough surface offers an expanded area for heat induction into the surrounding air. As a result, more heat is rapidly conducted away from the active system-allowing users to enjoy previously unattainable levels of stability.

Direct Memory Cooling with Affordable CoolMem! Fan Frame SaberTooth 55i motherboard realises the need for an optimal memory operation - which squarely relies on good cooling. SaberTooth 55i motherboardhas the CoolMem! Fan Frame that can easily enclose most standard 40mm or 50mm computer fans and also fits them directly over the memory module. So you can gain an affordable cooling solution that significantly stabilizes memory operation.

Resilient Performance from Military-certified Capacitors and MOSFETs
SaberTooth 55i motherboard ensures users to experience uncompromising performance by incorporating only high-grade, rigorously-tested components. These perform robustly even under the most demanding conditions. Take for example, all its capacitors have undergone thermal shock tests to ensure continuous, stable operations during rapid temperature changes in the 60°C range. In fact, all its capacitors and VRM MOSFETs have been certified for military-level use through stringent testing.

Optimized Power Use with E.S.P.
SaberTooth 55i motherboard delivers E.S.P. (Efficient Switching Power) to all major components for superb system efficiency. Besides delivering efficient power to the CPU and memory, the power design also applies the same level of efficient power to the PCIex16 expansion slots and IC. This improves overall power efficiency and reduces the amount of heat generated-resulting in cooler and more reliable operations. Additionally, the E.S.P. converts power at 90% efficiency compared to a conventional linear design that is only about 60% efficient. Built for robust performance, the SABERTOOTH 55i-and ASUS TUF Series motherboards as a whole-incorporates the latest breakthroughs in heatsink composition and high-grade, military-tested components to enable users to build their DIY systems around one of the most solid and stable motherboards ever created.

Here are the detailed Specifications of SaberTooth 55i motherboard
  • CPU - LGA1156 socket for Intel® Core™ i7/Core™ i5 Processors
  • Chipset - Intel® P55 Express (Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology)
  • Memory - 4 x DIMM, max. 16GB, DDR3 2000/1800/1600/1333/1066MHz, non-ECC, unbuffered memory Dual channel memory architecture. Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
  • Expansion slots - 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode)
    - 3 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 (2.5GT/s)

    - 2 x PCI
  • Multi-GPU - Supports both NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology and ATI® Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
  • Storage - Intel® P55 Express Chipset
    - 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports (black)

    - Intel Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10

    JMicron® JMB363 SATA & PATA controller: - 1 x Ultra DMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices

    - 1 x External SATA 3Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)

    JMicron® JMB322 (DriveXpert Technology) : - 2 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports (orange and white )

    - Supports EZ Backup and SuperSpeed functions
  • LAN - Realtek® 8112L PCIe Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2
  • Audio - VIA® VT2020 10-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
    - Absolute Pitch BD192/24 featuring ENVY HD

    - DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC

    - Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking

    - Optical S/PDIF out port at back I/O

    - ASUS Noise Filter
  • USB / IEEE1394a - 14 x USB 2.0 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 8 ports at back panel) VIA® 6308P controller supports 2 x IEEE 1394a ports (one at mid-board; one at back panel)
TUF Exclusive Features
Power Design 12-phase CPU Power, 2-phase Memory Power, 2-phase VTT_CPU Power, Efficient Switching Power Design for 3VSB/1.8V/1.05V, TUF Capacitors and MOSFETs (certified military-standard)

Thermal Solution CeraM!X Heatsink Coating Tech, CoolMem! Fan Frame, T.Probe Technology, ASUS Fan Xpert

Guardian feature MemOK!, DriveXpert, ESD Guards, EMI Eliminator

Form Factor - ATX Form Factor, 12 inches x 9.6 inches ( 30.5cm x 24.4cm ). It's also a Windows 7 certified MotherBoard - now don't ask me what that means.

Well, a .ppsx file is a Power Point Show file created in Microsoft Office 2007 or later. Today at office I received one such file and double clicking it launches the Powerpoint Viewer and Not on PowerPoint. This maybe needed if you want to edit a few slides or copy some information from the slides.

I searched online for quite sometime with no luck. For the earlier .pps files, they can be easily converted to .ppt file by merely renaming the file extension to .ppt from .pps. But this technique doesnot work with the new versions - so a mere renaming of a .ppsx file to .pptx throws up an error when you try to open the file.

Then an idea struck me and it worked beautifully.
  • Open Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Click on the Ribbon and Open.
  • Now select and open the .ppsx file.
Viola - you have now opened the .ppsx file in edit mode and can now save it in either .pptx or .ppt formats too within Microsoft PowerPoint.

Related Articles :

AdMob Which reports on web requests on more than 15,000 web sites and applications world wide has some very stunning news in it's October release. Apple's iPhone is the most popular Smartphone OS in the world and it sweeps a whooping 50% of all mobile web traffic. Symbian OS has a 25% share which is very closely followed by a very new entrant - Google. Yes, the Google's Android OS seems to direct in 11% of the mobile web traffic out of Smartphones and that's really very impressive.

So, where's WinMo you may ask? Well, it currently has only a mere 3% of the SmartPhone Web Traffic. Do note that this not all the mobile web traffic we are talking about but only specific to SmartPhones. Let's put it this way - there aren't so many WinMo SmartPhones that have taken up well with the users. On the other hand, iPhone has entered several markets WorlWide and has consolidated a very nice marketshare in the very competitive SmartPhone market. The iPhone has been available atleast in the US for almost 2.5 years now - but taking 50% of the Worldwide traffic of smartphones is very impressive.

Some very interesting news related to Android again is that the newly launched Motorola Droid which runs only on Verizon in US currently has already managed to capture 24% of all Android traffic in US in the last few weeks!!.

The upcoming holiday season is surely going to tilt in favor of the new slew of Android phones and also more folks picking up the impressive iPhone 3GS. Stay tuned for more updates in this space.

Well, folks - it wasn't that easy to choose a winner. There were 340 correct / qualifying entries to the contest. That was a bit too less than what I expected it to be, anyways - looks like the word didn't spread around much. So, how do you pick 1 winner from 340? There were many folks who had consistently answered on all 7 days - many correct, some wrong.

I just got an idea this morning to be completely neutral and use a Random Number Generator. And this was the lucky number which won it.


So, at position 112 we have.....

Anuradha from Namma Bengaluru


Congrats Anuradha on winning the contest - we've already dispatched a mail to you. The details on when the printer will reach you will be shared separately in a few moments.

Oh boy! that was pretty exciting. Thanks to the HP IPG team (especially Seema) and also folks from Burson-Marsteller (especially Soumya) for making this happen. Thanks again folks!!

Special thanks to all the participants and also for all those of you who helped spread the word about the contest.

Please await for a complete review from me on the HP PhotoSmart Premium 309G in a few days.

Cheers!!
Jason

Have you ever wondered how many Mega Bytes per Second your download serial bandwidth stream is when rated at 12.53 Mega Bits per second? Very easy conversion can be done quickly with multiple results with this helpful tool!

iCal IBeast Bandwidth Calculator

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Google Chrome OS

On 11:03 AM
Looks like another innovative and unique application was unveiled today by Google. Google Chrome OS would most likely be coming out, pre-installed on some netbooks sometime during the 2010 holiday season. The Operating System will be relying on an internet connection continuously to access applications and data online. It seems that there may be a good size group of users who might get by using Chrome OS for day to day function. Can't wait to see how this one turns out in the years to come. I've been a fan of Google for about 3 years now, and they continue to surprise and bring innovation.

Chrome OS

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The HP Photosmart Free Printer Giveaway contest will conclude tomorrow (Nov 19, 2009) at 11 am IST and thereafter the winner will be announced. So, to catch all this action live - I have been invited by HP to Delhi for the exclusive launch.

All you bloggers out there who are based out of Delhi can get an invite for the tomorrow event(check the invite above). If any of you are planning to attend do give me a buzz - we can catch up.

BTW, the mean Black machine has arrived a few minutes ago and you can be rest assured about a review soon.

Cheers!!
Jason

We are less than 24 hrs away from the Free HP Photosmart Printer Giveaway results - and we have 2 more questions to go. So I'll go ahead and post both the Day 6 and Day 7 questions here - double bonanza you may call!! Two correct entries from you today - you get two chances more to winning the Black Beast!!


Well, well - sorry that I couldn't do a detailed review of the HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G printer since the review unit seems to have just vapourised into thin air. The courier agency seems to claim that it has delivered the unit but I am here still waiting to get it :( - so it may take somemore time untill the logistics get sorted off and I get to do an in-depth review of the unit.

Here are thre words to describe the HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G - Simple, Natural and Compelling and here's the reason why?

Simple: Breakthrough ease of use through direct manipulation
See it. touch it, print it

Natural: Directly manipulate objects and pages, naturally
Push it. pull it, flick it

Compelling: Warm colors, photo realistic graphics, and quality sound deliver a premium, engaging experience
Hear it, see it, love it

TheQuick Form is one hell of an innovation I can call.

Touch the Quick Form icon. Then you have several quick forms to choose - eg. Calendar . You can choose between monthly and weekly calendar monthly - select year you want to see - OK - then select the month - touch the arrows to move - May 2010 OK - printing. You're done - You now have a lovely customised calendar printer right at te comfort of your desk!! You can also get it priter in studio quality online at HP Snapfish all this even without connecting to a PC.

Another example for fun: games choice - Sudoku, mazes, dots, tic-tac-to Let's go for Sudoku - touch Sudoku then you can even select the 4 different levels of the Sudoku - from "very easy" to "difficult". Let's go for the difficult one - touch done then you are asked for the number of printouts.

Easily drag and drop photos to a desktop icon from virtually anywhere – folders, applications, e-mail and websites – for printing with the HP Photo Print Gadget.

Easily print web pages with HP Smart Web Printing and save both ink and paper by combining multiple web pages onto one printed page.

So here's Day 6 question below :

The HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One allows users to view, edit and print lab-quality photos without connecting to a PC from your online album at?

Click here to give your answer to the above question and also enter the contest. Rules of the contest are available at the following link.
P.S: Answer Day 6 and Day 7 questions individually on the contest entry page.

And.... here's the easy of the lot question for Day 7.

Why do you love the new HP PhotoSmart Premium 309G? In case of a tie, the best answer to this question wins!!

Click here to give your answer to the above question and also enter the contest. Rules of the contest are available at the following link.

P.S: Answer Day 6 and Day 7 questions individually on the contest form.

The response has been good thus far though we had a few glitches with the Techolic Blog where the contest had to be dis-continued for some un-avoidable reasons. But we're going strong on The Most Authoritative Technology Blog though. The final 3 days are here - so gear up folks and let others know of the contest too - so that we can have more fun and you can also find your friends and family try their luck on winning a brand new printer - courtesy HP.

PRINTING IS FUN!

Well, you may ask how? With the HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G the convenience and simplicity of a TouchSmart control panel with a large 3.45-inch touchscreen, the HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One allows users to view, edit and print lab-quality photos from their online albums on HP Snapfish without connecting to a PC.

The new HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G take “touch” several steps ahead with a breakthrough TouchSmart user interface called the “Magic Frame”. This patented dynamic panel provides consistency, value, and ease-of-use across the product lineup. The screen maximizes the size of the touch area by including contextual buttons that light up when relevant to the user. To simplify the user experience, HP has removed all clutter from the touch panels and minimized unnecessary features. This strengthens the visual focus and makes it really intuitive.

Now looking into the Quick Forms. Touch the Quick Form icon Then you have several quick forms to choose - eg. Calendar, etc. You also have fun options: games choice - Sudoku, mazes, dots, tic-tac-to Let's go for Sudoku - touch Sudoku then you can even select the 4 different levels of the Sudoku - from "very easy" to "difficult". One touch has your Sudoku game ready. Easily drag and drop photos to a desktop icon from virtually anywhere – folders, applications, e-mail and websites – for printing with the HP Photo Print Gadget.

And here's the Day 5 easy as usual question coming your way.

What’s the size of the HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G touchscreen?
Answers : 2 inch | 3.45 inch | 5 inch

Click here to give your answer to the above question and also enter the contest. Rules of the contest are available at the following link.
P.S: You need to copy paste the answer only at the contest entry page. E.g: 2 inch

For those of you who find it hard to track the questions daily or have the website blocked at their office premises - here's a simple solution. Enter your mail ID in the form below and get subscribed to the mailing list - the questions will be delivered right in your inbox - ain't that simple?


Assembling

On 8:45 AM
We are starting to think in depth about our Assembly, for the JISC Institutional Innovation programme. We'd like to have a topic of "Personas and User Testing" as we think user testing would be of interest to others at this project phase.

Tentative dates might be 8th, 14th or 15th December, for an assembly roughly 11am-4pm at Cambridge. The programme will include:
  • Personas and their place in user research and testing (presentation by Cambridge)
  • 10 minute micro-briefing "Post-It Notes and their Special Place in research"
  • Our experiences of user testing as part of a user-centric design process (presentation by Cambridge)
  • Best practices in user testing (group brainstorming, to be documented online for comment)
  • Hopefully some presentations from others about their user testing experiences :)
If anyone would like to join us in this Assembly, please email us: laura@caret.cam.ac.uk and asd38@caret.cam.ac.uk and let us know if you might be able to bring a presentation, and which dates would work for you.

Thanks!

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Well, when Windows 7 was released there was one very nice feature which was much talked about by the geeks and that was the Windows XP Mode. Well, Windows XP Mode is part of a seperate installation by which you can run Windows XP on your Windows 7.

But the catch was that in order to use Windows XP mode Microsoft made it mandatory that you must be running Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate - also your PC must have virtualization support by the hardware.

These mandatory requirements was a downer and many users weren't able to truly enjoy Windows XP Mode. But here some very good news - enter the VMLite which is a very nice alterative to Microsoft's Windows XP Mode.



VMLite XP Mode does offer very similar features like the Microsoft XP Mode but lo it doesn't need you to have Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate - so even Windows 7 Starter edition will work fine and also it doesn't require hardware virtualization.

VMLite allows you to easily run Windows XP from your desktop running on a different host operating system - not just Windows 7. You can download VMLite here.

Yes, the much anticipated Microsoft Office 2010 suite has already been leaked on many peer-to-peer(torrent) file sharing websites/networks. This is the Beta 2 release featuring a Build version 14.0.4514.1007.

The build which has been leaked last week is said to install with the Office 2010 Technical Preview keys and no new keys are needed. So the keys are available here.

Here are some very exclusive screen shots running the Microsoft Office 2010 on my Win 7 RC 1 as you can very well see the UI has been polished and so also the program icons. The public beta is expected to be out by early next week.

Office 2010 runs on Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista and of course the brand new Windows 7.

Here are the exclusive Screenshots of Office 2010 Beta 2 (Build version 14.0.4514.1007)






More on TOUCH.PRINT.GO

Ever-since HP first started incorporating touch into it's Photosmart range of printers way back in 2006 - things have evolved so much. There have been lots of evolutions to make the new touch experience that you experience in the latest range of printers to make it that much more user friendly and intuitive. It's not just the hardware and the touch responsiveness that has evolved but also the UI and the underlying software that powers up all these. The new features incorporated into the dynamic graphical interfaces strive to improve the overall user-experience and also makes printing directly right off the printer a far more instinctive approach than never before.


Did you know that the new HP PhotoSmart C309G makes touch-based processes that much more satisfying with the all new multi-touch capable hardware(much like your iPod Touch or iPhone) and also the software is tweaked to react to the very lightest touch of a finger, thereby making the experience that much more fun and easy.

The HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G also features a very smart one-touch wireless set-up. Best of all the new HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G comes in a sleek new black design with piano finish that'll compliment any desk and it's sure gonna grab a few eye-balls.

So, here's the Day 4 question coming your way.

Day 4: When did HP first incorporate touch technology in the Photosmart line?
Answers : 2009 | 2006 | 2004

Click here to give your answer to the above question and also enter the contest. Rules of the contest are available at the following link.
P.S: You need to copy paste the answer only at the contest entry page. E.g: 2009

For those of you who find it hard to track the questions daily or have the website blocked at their office premises - here's a simple solution. Enter your mail ID in the form below and get subscribed to the mailing list - the questions will be delivered right in your inbox - ain't that simple?



Well, well - Here we have the day 3 of the contest for you. There was a barrage of e-mails yesterday as to what happened to the contest question - well, we were slightly off track as the questions were coming out only at around 15:00hrs on Day 1 and Day2 - Inorder to correct this off-set, yesterday was intentionally left and lo - we now have questions in the morning itself from today onwards.

Also, for those who find it hard to track the questions daily or for those who have the website blocked at their office premises - here's a simple solution. Enter your mail ID in the form below and get subscribed to the mailing list - the questions will be delivered right in your inbox - ain't that simple?



So here's the fun reading for today and also the question.

A printer for everyone in the household

As I had mentioned in the earlier article - the brand new HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G printer is touted as the world's first Web-Connected printer. Now what this really means is that the printer can work very individually without the need for a PC and when I say this - it's not the simple Copy-Scan features I am talking about but a whole host of other things.

The HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G is all about convenience and simplicity - It features a really nice and large 3.45-inch touchscreen which is called the TouchSmart control panel. This allows users to easily view, edit and print studio quality photos from their online web albums located at HP Snapfish - All this even without switching ON your PC. Not just that, the superb Touchscreen helps you to do much more on Snapfish like archive, share, and even create projects or print photos from the site. Isn't it a true Web-Connected printer?


Day 3: HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G printer is touted as the XXX-Connected printer. What's the XXX?

Click here to give your answer to the above question and also enter the contest. Rules of the contest are available at the following link.
P.S: You need to answer only the XXX at the contest entry page.

First of all, thank you folks for the out-standing response we have had on Day 1 of the contest. Hope you all enjoyed the contest yesterday and many said it was very simple - yes that's exactly how it's going to be for the next 6 days too. Now lets dive into today's topic and also the question.

Simple steps to Save Energy when using Your Computer and Printer

Always look out to buy Energy Star certified computer accessories like monitor, printer, or All-In-One (AIO) scan-copy-print-fax machines. They can easily help you save around 50% or more on your energy consumption. All of HP's current printer range are ENERGY STAR® qualified which means that they are more than 10% energy-efficient than other similar models which are non-ENERGY STAR® qualified.

One may wonder how the modern Energy Star computers / printers work and how they can save power? It's very simple, these equipment can use 70% less energy than other non-Enery Star equipment due to the low power mode that can operate when the computer/printer is inactive. As we all know, inactive period of computer periperals like printers and scanners is very high than the time they are active. So having an energy star efficient equipment really helps. There are also other benefits of the Energy Star qualified equipment like reduced noise and heat output as well as less electromagnetic field emissions in case of certain type of monitors.

Hope that made an interesting read, so here's the question for day 2.


Day 2: ENERGY STAR® qualified printer are more energy-efficient than other models by?
Answers : More than 10% | Less than 5% | Less than 2%

Click here to give your answer to the above question and also enter the contest. Rules of the contest are available at the following link.
P.S: You need to copy paste the answer only at the contest entry page. E.g: Less than 2%

After the initial announcement of the HP PhotoSmart Free Printer Giveaway contest this morning - I have been virtually flooded with mails. Most of them asking why the contest is open for Indian residents only. Sorry about that but we were constrained by the Logistics and hence wanted to restrict the contest only to Indian residents.

So, lets get started off with the contest for today.

The Power of Touch

HP started talking about something called as Print 2.0 way back at the Web 2.0 Summit held during October 2007. At that time the Print 2.0 concept looked more like a strange paper initiative that many company's talked about. At that time it merely looked like what many other company's were doing by adding a 2.0 tag to their businesses. But through the years, we have witnessed HP going through a conceptual shift which is very well captured by this very cool video placed on YouTube.

Way back when HP started the InkJet Revolution by introducing the HP ThinkJet which was the first mass-marketed personal inkjet printer. Inkjet technology very much spelled the end for the noisy dot-matrix printer. Those were the days when the web was at it's infancy. The printer very much evolved from the clunky, noisy boxes to integrate personalized features that can make printing more intuitive and simple. And “touch” became an important step forward.

The new HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G takes the “touch” evolution several steps ahead with a breakthrough TouchSmart user interface which is called as the “Magic Frame”. HP wants to make the printing experience seamless with the concept of TOUCH.PRINT.GO . The HP PhotoSmart Premium C309G printer is also the first-ever web-connected printer - what this essentially means is that you can very easily view, edit and print lab-quality photos from their online albums on HP Snapfish without even connecting your printer to a PC. Now ain't that cool.

Coming to the question of the day :

Day 1 : Fill in the blank - HP Enables Consumers to Simply XXXXX, Print and Go?
(Hint: Check out HP’s FaceBook Page or read the article above again carefully )

Click here to give your answer to the above question and also enter the contest. Rules of the contest are available at the following link.


P.S: You need to answer only the XXXXX at the contest entry page.

Hello Folks,

I'll be starting off with a Free Giveaway contest on the Jason S The Most Authoritative Technology Blog shortly (a few hours from now to a day at max). The contest will entitle you to win a Free HP PhotoSmart printer on the day of it's launch!! Yes - you can win the very first unit when it is launched in India on 19th November. How much cooler can it get - thanks to HP for all this.

So, that's got you all excited - here's how you can win the printer easily. All you need to do is visit this blog daily (as you've always done) and for the next 7 days - everyday you'll find an article related to one very exciting (when I say exciting I really mean it) feature of the HP PhotoSmart printer and based on that article you'll need to answer a very simple question and lo you can win yourself a brand new HP PhotoSmart printer. Can it get any simple than this?

Hint : Even before the contest opens up I'll pass on some hints to you folks. Each day's answer will be a SINGLE WORD. So no large sentences to remember. Now that makes it so much more easy.

Hope this has got you all excited. Do let me know if you have any queries - will be happy to answer.

Here are the contest rules :
  • The contest is open only to Indian residents.
  • The contest will end on Nov 19, 2009 at 11 am IST.
  • Only one entry allowed per user per day.
  • The contest winner will be decided by Jason S along with the HP co-ordinates.
  • Employees of HP and Jason S (The Most Authoritative Technology Blog), their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, retailers, agencies and their respective officers, directors, employees and agents, and members of their immediate families and households, whether or not related, are not eligible to enter or win.
  • The decisions of the judges are final and binding. HP and Jason S (The Most Authoritative Technology Blog) reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject entries, if any, that are not qualified as eligible.
  • The contest will also be run jointly on Techolic Blog which is also authored by Jason S. The winner will be jointly chosen from all the entries received from Techolic and The Most Authoritative Technology Blog.
    Update :
    The contest will run exclusively only on this blog.
  • The rules can be modified without prior intimation - the same will be displayed on this blog as well as the contest page.
Do let all your friends and contacts also know about this contest - together you can WIN. Click the e-mail icon below to mail this to your friends.

Here are the direct links to all the Questions and the Contest Entry page.
Contest Day 1 Question
Contest Day 2 Question
Contest Day 3 Question
Contest Day 4 Question
Contest Day 5 Question
Contest Day 6 Question
Contest Day 7 Question




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