Friday, November 30, 2012

Microsoft tries to reason with IE haters in new ad

Hands up if you using Internet Explorer…wonderful – so this article is dedicated to all four of you.

Microsoft released a rather quirky advert depicting how most people love to hate Internet Explorer. The ad entitled Do You Know This Guy” features a guy surfing the web while trolling IE on various articles and websites, as well as sending IE SUCKS” tweets to the @IE Twitter account. He continues to hound the web browser with abuse until apparently a new Karaoke standard” is released, which eventually wins him over.

And Microsoft’s point is? Well the company has fought long and hard to try and bring users back to its browser, having put up with competition from Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. But with improving web standards and a supposedly faster interface in IE 10, Microsoft are doing their level best to provide a smoother browsing experience to users who may have long abandoned IE. Still it remains to be seen if users will start to be won over by IE or if the browser really is just good for downloading other browsers.

Check out the video below:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Old functioning digital computer restored

Yeah, that’s a computer. The world’s oldest functioning digital computer, in fact, which has now been restored after three years of hard work. I hope it was worth it.

It was made in 1949, and weighed a massive two and a half tonnes. It was slow, even back then, being out-paced by other smaller computers. For example, it would take multiplying two numbers a good ten seconds. But it was reliable and was at the heart of Britain’s atomic energy research programme. Even back then, technology got old really fast, and when the Witch was no longer needed, it was donated to the Wolverhampton University. It got its nickname, Witch, from there. The full form of it is ‘Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation from Harwell’.

In 1997, it became a museum piece and was put into storage, and got promptly lost. But luckily, in 2009 the Computer Conservation Society (yes, there is one for that) found it and quickly began restoring the age-old computer. And it still works! It is now on display the Bletchley Park.

I wonder if the same would be done for the iPhone? But oh wait, iTunes might not support it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fujifilm launches the X-E1 and X-F1 cameras in UAE

Today Fujifilm launched the much awaited X-E1 camera with interchangeable lenses. Having the same 16.3mp APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as their flagship X-Pro1, the new X-E1 comes in the same compact body size as the lower tiered X100. Getting the best of both worlds, the new X-E1 also boats a new 2.36 million OLED electronic viewfinder that makes it easier on the eye, bringing true to life colors.

The X-F1 is a lifestyle point & shoot camera with a unique twist lens barrel that turn on the camera after it’s opened. The X-F1 boasts a large 12mp 2/3-inch EXR CMOS sensor that’s paired with an f/1.8-4.9 4x optical zoom lens. The X-F1, with it’s small size and collapsible lens comes in three distinct leather covers in red, brown or black.

We are extremely excited about adding this new camera under the innovative X-series umbrella. We are confident that photographers will enjoy this new introduction to the market, said Keitaro So, General Manager, Fujifilm Electronics Imaging Division, MENA.

The X-E1 is available now in shops for AED 3,599 body only, while the 18-55mm zoom kit will cost AED 4,999. Two new lenses will also be available to pair with just the body: the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R (manual aperture ring) LM (linear motor) and OIS (optical image stabilization) for AED 2,499. The range topping AF 14mm F2.4 R lens will also be available for AED 3,299. The X-F1 will retail for AED 2,299.

Check back as we’ll have the review of these cameras soon.

Friday, November 09, 2012

HP Connected Music launches with Universal Music Group

Press release: HP today announced full details of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)-wide collaboration with Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company. To celebrate the launch of HP Connected Music, which features exclusive rewards and content, the two companies have teamed up for No Doubt’s worldwide concert launch event. Taking place today in Paris at La Maison de la Mutualité, the No Doubt private show marks the band’s only live performance of the year in Europe and is the first event of the partnership between HP and Universal Music.

Available on all new Microsoft® Windows® 8 -powered HP consumer desktop and notebook PCs HP Connected Music brings music lovers a new way to enjoy some of the world’s most popular music artists.

The No Doubt concert is the first in a series of private events planned by HP with other Universal Music artists across Europe. The HP Connected Music platform on Windows 8 HP consumer PCs will offer users access to exclusive VIP experiences and give them the opportunity to attend events with some of their favourite artists over the next year.

With exclusive content and access to Universal Music’s unrivalled catalogue of global artists, the agreement puts music at the heart of the latest HP consumer PCs.

A whole new music experience
Users can access exclusive HP Music Rewards Packages3 via the HP Connected Music launcher embedded on Windows 8 HP consumer PCs including:
- HP Private Events: access to exclusive showcases featuring live performances by Universal Music artists;
- Music Experiences: the chance to win money-can’t-buy experiences such as exclusive “meet & greets,” recording studio visits or the opportunity to have lunch with popular artists; and
- VIP Pack Trips: exclusive VIP opportunities to visit artists, including travel and accommodation.

Customers with new HP consumer PCs featuring Windows 8 will also have access to an exclusive list of services through HP Connected Music including streaming with free access to Universal Music’s full catalogue, the most extensive in the industry, for 90 days and, for customers with new Windows 8 HP Spectre and HP Envy PCs, 10 free mp3 downloads per month for 90 days.

“Customers are looking for great entertainment on their personal devices and HP sees the PC as the heartbeat of the entertainment experience for today’s consumers, letting them create, consume and share content they love,” said Eric Cador, senior vice president and general manager, Printing and Personal Systems Group, HP EMEA. “Working alongside Universal Music, we can pair our innovative Windows 8 hybrid, notebook and desktop consumer PCs with one-of-a-kind music experiences that give our customers access to some of the world’s most popular artists.”

“This innovative partnership will provide a great consumer experience for new audiences. With the help of HP technology, we’re looking forward to engaging with music fans across established markets, as well as in new territories where previously there have been no legal digital music services,” added Olivier Robert-Murphy, Global Head of New Business, Universal Music Group.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S III overtakes the iPhone as best-selling phone last quarter

Samsung’s Galaxy S III was declared as the highest selling Smartphone for Q3 or 2012 overtaking Apple’s iconic iPhone for the first time, as revealed in a report published by Strategy Analytics. With 18 million units sold, the Samsung Galaxy S III easily bested iPhone that shipped around 16.2 million units.

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone model shipped 18.0 million units worldwide during the third quarter of 2012. The Galaxy S3 captured an impressive 11 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally and it has become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever. A large touchscreen design, extensive distribution across dozens of countries, and generous operator subsidies have been among the main causes of the Galaxy S3’s success. Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units worldwide for second place, as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter.”

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Say hello to The Steve Jobs Building

Steve Jobs has become a household name for his work at Apple but between his two terms at Apple, he headed Pixar before Disney bought them. Pixar is the company responsible for creating some of the best animated movies of recent times such as Toy Story, Cars and Finding Nemo. The studio’s main building has been named The Steve Jobs Building”  at Pixar’s campus, as reported by Pixar Times.

On Twitter, a Pixar employee shared an image taken by a friend, stating that the building had been named “The Steve Jobs Building.” Peering in through the windows, you can clearly see the outline of Sulley, confirming that this is the main building that Steve Jobs himself played a major role in designing. He came up with the idea that the building should be centered around a large atrium, which would lead to accidental collaboration that may not occur if everyone was stuck in their individual offices.

I find this to be the perfect way to honor the legacy of Steve Jobs. Placing his name above the main building not only reminds those who walk through the entrance of his importance to the formation of the studio, but is also a meaningful representation of his influence on the famed building.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Coyote Case turns your iPhone into a siren

There have been a lot of rather interesting accessories for the iPhone, including turning it into a tazer. But if you’re looking for a more stylish device for your personal security, then you need to take a look at Coyote Case.

The Coyote Case looks like a regular iPhone case, but at a simple touch of a button it blasts out a 100-decibel siren to alert people that you are in distress. At the same time, it broadcasts a message along with your location to a list of your emergency contacts, making it a very useful case indeed. It comes in five colors and is currently looking to raise funding of $120,000 to begin production.

Check out the introductory video below, and also their Indiegogo page here.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Oprah loves the Surface

Oprah Winfrey loves Microsoft’s Surface Tablet and is not afraid to shower superlative praise on it. The device has been declared as one of her “Favorite Things” of 2012.

In the December issue of O, Oprah’s magazine, the media tycoon and former talk show host says, “”The Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet, feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people!”

She goes on to praise the “full-size keyboard built right into the cover “and the “very smart kickstand”. Oprah is also really impressed by the weight of the Surface or rather the lack of it which makes it “a great alternative to a laptop.”

I am not sure Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement counts as much as it used to when she was on television everyday (would she be giving out Surfaces to the audience if she was on today? Probably). But the list is out in advance of the holiday shopping season and she still has millions of fans. Redmond isn’t complaining.

Etisalat launches first flagship store in Sri Lanka

Press Release: Etisalat Lanka recently announced the launch of its first flagship store in Sri Lanka. Located at Etisalat Lanka’s corporate office in Colombo, the new flagship store will serve as a one-stop shop for customers to experience new products and services, and will also house an Etisalat Lanka customer service centre to assist customers with all their telecommunications needs, specifically 3G services.

The new flagship store is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and features an Experience Centre displaying cutting-edge products and 3G services aimed at enhancing the lives of customers and empowering individual mobile communication needs. Customers have the chance to try these products first-hand with the help of trained service personnel. The store also includes a Customer Care Point where products and services can be purchased, as well as a Billing Centre for services payments.

Commenting on the opening of the Flagship Store, Jamal Saif Aljarwan, Chief Regional Officer â€" Asia, said: “At Etisalat, we believe telecommunications is transformative. This new flagship store will allow us to reach customers with ease and provide services of the highest quality, in addition to demonstrating new technologies and 3G services that will benefit individuals and companies, as well as society as a whole.”

The Flagship Store is the first in a series of outlets that Etisalat will open around the country in an expansion drive that will enable it to service its customers island-wide. This is part of Etisalat’s broader plan of expanding operations and coverage around the country while introducing new technology and solutions that will boost the mobile telecommunications sector.

The new Etisalat flagship store was inaugurated by Abdulhamid Abdul Fattah Al-Mulla, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Sri Lanka in the presence of a distinct number of representatives from the business sector in Sri Lanka.