Apr 14, 2012
Guest Author

Is The Internet Getting Increasingly Sinister?

Can you call yourself a geek or a techie without having a Facebook or a Google account? Not many teenagers have been able to successfully dodge the array of social games like Farmville forced upon them by their friends on Facebook. No wonder then that our internet liberties are wholly tied today to how these big web companies choose to treat their customers. Google’s recent privacy policy announcement just gave its users a glimpse of what could happen if the company were ever exploit its dominance. Check out this infographic to see why our dependence on Facebook and Google in the internet could be getting us closer and closer to virtual slavery.

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Apr 14, 2012
Guest Author

iPhone 5 Launch In July 2012?

It was originally pencilled in for the second half of 2012, but could we see the next incarnation of the iPhone as early as July?

The iPhone 5, or the “new iPhone” as it might be known, could be announced during the summer and the latest rumour surrounding the Apple device is that it could have a new kind of casing known as ultrasonic bonding. Apple has made a patent application that is dated 15 March. It makes a refinement to an older patent that dates from 2008 of the use of Ultrasonic bonding that can be seen on iPods and the metal back of the iPhone. The bonding allows designers to work with both metal and plastic. It makes devices lighter which also staying strong. The alternative is a metallic weld. Apple devotees will say ultrasonic bonding makes the device more attractive.

News of bonding is not the only report to fire up the rumour mill around the iPhone 5. More important for US users rather than UK ones but with the introduction of LTE connectivity on the new iPad, the same could well extend to the iPhone 5. Much like the reports for the new Samsung Galaxy S3 which is also expected to be unveiled later this year, the iPhone 5 could also have an edge to edge display. One of the strongest features of the iPhone 4S is that touchscreen and the resolution. The iPhone 5 would need to outstrip that and the rumour is it will have a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution with a 367ppi. Under the bonnet reports suggest the iPhone 5 could have an A6 processor and potentially a quad–core processor.

A major focus of the iPhone 4S was to improve the camera on the device. As more and more Android devices come with an 8 megapixel offer the iPhone will certainly have that or even more. Some reports have suggested a 3D camera is in the works. Another Apple patent has featured a self-timer meaning iPhone users could set a timer, set-up the camera and then snap the picture with the photographer themselves in the photo, which would be a massive draw. It’s likely the device will have NFC as contactless connection and payment is the next big thing on the cards for the mobile industry. Although Apple have no confirmed when they will launch the new iPhone deals, the recent reports suggest that we might not have that long to wait.

Whatever is on the cards for the iPhone 5 one thing is certain, it’s going to generate huge amounts of enthusiasm and excitement. If past Apple paths are to be followed then the device will have a fresh iPhone design and a new style of bonding perhaps making it look more like the iPod in terms of finish could be heading our way. The device will almost certainly be quicker with even faster processing speeds as Apple focusses on its iPad and iPhone and their increasing ability to work in tandem.

Apr 13, 2012
Anand Srinivasan

How To Use Local Scout On Windows Phone Outside United States

Local Scout is one of the most useful integrated applications that come with the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS. The app lets you check out the places to eat, drink, shop or just about anything else in your vicinity with just a few taps. The best part about the application is that it is tightly integrated with Bing Maps. So, if you find something interesting to check out your neighborhood, you just have to tap the directions to get started on your turn by turn navigation. The application is also integrated with other third party apps like FourSquare to instantly check in, find reviews,etc. For a comprehensive understanding of how it works, click here to visit the Windows Phone website.

Local Scout on Windows Phone Mango OS

But here lies the problem. If you do not reside in one of the following countries; Australia, France, United Kingdom, and United States ; then Local Scout is not available for use in your country. So how do you use this? Follow the steps below:

1. From your Windows Phone Home Screen, swipe to the right to view the comprehensive list of all applications

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Screen to view the ‘Settings’ options. Tap once to open the Settings

3. You are by default on the ‘System’ tab. Scroll down to an option that reads “region+language”. Tap once to open

4. There are a lot of options to set. Scroll down right to the bottom of the screen to an option that reads “Browser & search language”. It should be set to the default language of your choice.

5. Tap the field. You will be taken to a list of all languages available for ‘Browser & search language’. Scroll down to the option that reads “English (United States)”. Tap this once to select this.

6. Tap the ‘Windows’ button on your phone to return to the home screen.

You are done. Now when you tap the search button on your Windows Phone, you should see an additional ‘local scout’ button on the left. Enjoy this awesome Windows Phone feature.

Feb 3, 2012
Guest Author

Mobile App Usage Statistics Shows App Download Numbers Don’t Mean Success

There has been something of an App War in the UK. The App Store versus the Android Market, Windows Phone Marketplace. Each is turning to developers to offer more choice for consumers. As smartphones get faster, allowing a quicker transfer of data, integrating Augmented Reality along with fancy graphics we have developed a habit for downloading games, information or apps just to make our lives easier or just a little bit more fun. But how much do we really love our Apps?

New research suggests while we might rush to download the latest app and play with it for a few days, in fact our love runs cold quickly. The research focussed on users in the US. It showed that 68% of smartphone users only open five or fewer apps a week. 17% don’t use any apps and under half, 42% of Americans have a device that has apps.

They are, the researchers say, merely a novelty that wears off. We delete apps we get bored with, we stop using them and if you use an operating system that shows up the apps you use most frequently, you can scroll through the screens to show the ones that have fallen out of favour. The estimate is that around 80% of apps are eventually deleted, which is why the researchers of this report say measuring downloads of apps is a bad way to measure how popular they might actually be.

The importance for apps to smartphone launches has grown as it is a good way of showcasing a devices capability. Both EA and Gameloft released new apps and games to coincide with the iPhone 4S. Siri was an app itself originally, and the developers were taken over by Apple. But while there is big demand at the launch, users tend to whittle down the apps they use regularly, until there are just a core few they use. The Nokia Lumia 800, the first to use Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, made app integration even easier by adopting social networking platform friendliness, allowing users to see Twitter and Facebook updates as though they were messages. BBM, or Blackberry Messenger is much the same, a feature that has become so integrated into device practice that it is a social networking platform in its own right.

For app developers though, it is not great news. Apps do not make firms a huge amount of money, no matter how much of a push they might get on the AppStore. One UK based developer created a wide range of apps but still saw that arm of their business operate at a loss. A good profile raiser, but not a sound business model.

But is it so bad that we use and lose apps? One of the best things about our smartphones is the ability to mould them and personalise them. Keeping it fresh with new apps makes it easier for us to explore new games and new places. We might get excited about a tourism app while in a new city, but never use it again when we get home, but instead of seeing apps as a long term download, should we just see them as a short term fancy, a fling rather than a marriage? With so many millions of apps to choose from it would be impossible for anyone who sample even half over the course of a smartphone’s lifetime. More choice makes it easier for us to pick and choose, as difficult as that may before developers who want us to keep hold of them forever.

Uncategorized
Feb 2, 2012
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How Big Is Wikipedia?

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, has had a phenomenal few years. It is by far the world’s most popular online encyclopedia. Protecting an online profile is vital to any website such as Wikipedia, because its loyal fan base may abandon it in droves if it is seen to make any major mistakes, either with its content or its technology.

Most of the bad press Wikipedia has received has been on account of the negative perception of its ‘freely sourced’ content, and the fact that anybody can add or edit articles, with only the most basic monitoring of uploaded content in operation. Editing poor content on Wikipedia is largely the job of its large online community, many members of which spend their days trawling its content to find errors, and correcting them. The bias of some articles has led to some negative media coverage and criticism of Wikipedia, with some claiming the structure of Wikipedia allows some subjects to be biased to the extent of being inaccurate, or not accurately or comprehensively sourcing information and images. In light of this, many colleges and universities have banned the use of Wikipedia in any academic function except casual reading.

Freedom of Knowledge

Nonetheless, Wikipedia generally has good press at is is seen as being part of a movement to ‘democratize’ information, making it free and available to all. Wikipedia recently came out in ardent opposition to recent American anti – piracy laws, and effected a ‘blackout’ of its English pages for a 24 hour period. Many came out in support of Wikipedia’s ‘blackout’ strategy. Wikipedia’s growth over the years can be best shown in the form of statistics and graphs:

Current article count (English): 3,860,798+
Estimated number of words (English): 2,100,000,000+

This graph shows the general increase in the number of articles on the English Wikipedia over the years 2001 – ’12.

This is a visual representation of Wikipedia’s size, if its english articles were compiled into a physical collection. The size of this collection would, by now, be far too big for anybody to read in a lifetime.

Jan 25, 2012
Anand Srinivasan

Windows Phone 7 Newbie Guide – I

Like every other smartphone OS, Windows Phone 7 needs a little bit of learning and unlearning too. If you are a new user to Windows Phone, then these topics will help you with several simple tasks that you may take a little time figuring out. This is the first in the series of many topics.

Not able to store new contact number on WP7 phone
How to view SIM card contacts on my ‘People’ list on WP7
How to transfer contacts from SIM card to phone with Windows Phone 7

Jan 22, 2012
Anand Srinivasan

Smartphone Market Share : Windows Phone Vs. iOS Vs. Android

Microsoft may have been a late entrant to the Smartphone segment (not considering the popular but old fashioned Windows Mobile here) but it does look like Redmond is doing a lot of things right so far. The Windows Phone UI and functionalities are extremely slick and despite the relatively few apps available on the Windows Phone marketplace compared to the iOS AppStore or Android Market, a lot of people have started to check out their smartphones. Today, Windows Phone enjoys an encouraging, but not so great 1.9% market share. But that could apparently change in the next few years thanks to the Lumia series of phones from Nokia that run on the Windows Phone platform.

According to the latest report from IHS iSuppli, Microsoft Windows Phone could beat Apple’s iOS in market share as early as 2015. In their report, IHS claim that 2012 could be the watershed year for Microsoft as their Windows Phone grows in popularity from a market share of sub 2% levels to as much as 9%. This is good not just for Microsoft but also Nokia that has seen its popularity fizzle in recent times to the iPhone and Android handsets.

Read : Number of Windows Phones Sold To Be Higher Than iOS by 2015?

Here is how the market share of the three big Smartphone players expected to move over the next three years.

iOS
2011 : 18.0%
2012 : 18.0%
2013 : 17.3%
2014 : 16.8%
2015 : 16.6%

Android
2011 : 47.4%
2012 : 53.9%
2013 : 55.9%
2014 : 57.8%
2015 : 58.1%

Windows Phone
2011 : 1.9%
2012 : 9.0%
2013 : 15.3%
2014 : 16.1%
2015 : 16.7%

The share of the rest of the Smartphone OSes is expected to fall from 32.7% in 2011 to just 8.6% in 2015. Is RIM going to be dead by then?

Jan 21, 2012
Guest Author

Beginners Guide & Tips For Shooting With DSLRs

Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras are mostly used by professional photographers. They offer more sophisticated features than point and shoot digital cameras. DSLR is a dream for aspiring as well as amateur photographers. While some are not in a position to afford a DSLR many novice users find it hard to get going with their brand new DSLR cameras. If you have just bought a new DSLR and wondering how to start shooting with it then here are some simple tips to guide you.

Handling

When you start shooting with a brand new DSLR and find the pictures are getting blurred, switch to a fast shutter speed. Faster you take a photograph lesser is its chance of getting affected by shake of hand. If you can hold the camera close to your body you can minimize the chance of shaking. Lean against a tree or strong support when you are taking nature shots.

Go with manual

Your DSLR comes with a manual. Consult it whenever you are confused. Learn about different settings of your camera. Practice changing settings like shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Try them in different situations to get accustomed. You should know the settings like back of your hand. A photographic opportunity won’t wait or give you time to adjust your DSLR.

Avoid presets

Try to shoot in manual mode as far as possible. Let different modes and programs be set aside for compact digital cameras. Now you are grown up! Manual and aperture priority are most powerful settings that you should explore and expertise.

Buy necessary accessories

If you are serious about photography then you need to buy some accessories for your DSLR camera. It is desirable to buy a UV filter for each lens. It not only improves picture quality but protect your valuable lenses from scratches. A sturdy tripod and remote release would be great for taking photographs that require long shutter speed like night photography. Make sure to buy a camera bag. Depending on the extent of your involvement, you may need separate bags for carrying the camera and lenses.

Experiment

Learning is fun when you experiment with your device. While taking picture of a waterfall or running water try different shutter speeds and note down the changes. Similarly, while shooting a landscape explore different settings of aperture. You may be surprised to view the results.
Press the shutter button half way down to pre-focus before you take any final shot. This will stabilize the focus and give you a clearer picture. If you are anticipating any subject on a spot then pre focus on the spot by half pressing the shutter. When the anticipated view comes, press the shutter all way down.

File format

As a beginner of DSLR camera it may be useful to shoot in RAW file format. A digital RAW file contains unprocessed RAW data that must be processed with special software in order to become a finished image. There is no loss of image quality in this format. While converting raw files to images, you can adjust the white balance. You can also preserve the image from RAW file as high quality 16 bit file (TIFF or PSD format).

Finally

DSLR cameras are very sensitive and costly. It is desirable to follow best practices and preserve the device for superior performance and long life of camera. If you are serious about photography and want to pursue it with passion then these tips may help you in get started with a DSLR camera.

Author Bio:

Emily Steves is associated with various internet security related companies as their freelance and staff writer. She has been linked with some of the best web media companies and offers various ways for internet solutions. She excels in writing articles related to AT&T internet, internet security, internet plans, comcast deals etc

Jan 12, 2012
Guest Author

Motorola Motoluxe and Defy Mini Launch Announced

Just a short while after the launch of the RAZR Motorola has announced that two new Android phones are due to be released very soon. The Motoluxe and Defy Mini both run on Android Gingerbread. Neither phone is quite as cutting edge as the RAZR but they are nice additions to Motorola’s burgeoning Android range.

The Motoluxe is a large 4 inch touchscreen phone that will be ideal for web based features and Android apps. The phone runs on quite a slow 800MHz processor but is fairly well endowed in 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also has a pretty decent 8 megapixel camera and a VGA front facing camera.

While the specs may not be amazing the Motoluxe is certainly a stylish phone, and has a unique ‘lanyard slot’ at the bottom right of the screen that will light up when you have a missed call, new message or email. This is a bit like the light indicators that used to be included on the exterior of flip-phones, and it is a wonder why this useful feature has not been included on more touchscreen phones. The lanyard slot allows you to quickly check whether you need to read a new message or check a missed call without actually having to walk across the room to pick up your phone.

The Defy Mini is a smaller version of the earlier Defy released in 2010. The Defy was a rugged phone, a phone designed to withstand the worst that Mother Nature had to throw at it (as well as your own cack-handedness). Being able to endure high volumes of dust, being held under water for extended periods and shrugging off drops to the floor that would leave other phones weeping into a thousand pieces are just some of the reasons that rugged phones have become popular with mountain climbers, divers and fans of other outdoor pursuits.

Until the Defy though, these rugged phones were pretty basic. Probably more basic than a phone you had ten years ago, but Motorola showed it was possible to bring this durability to touchscreen smartphones. The Defy Mini is the same sort of thing, albeit quite a bit smaller, which probably makes it even more ideal for outdoor activities.

The Mini is a little bit slower than the original Defy and the camera isn’t quite as good, but it does come with a more modern version of Android (Gingerbread) and the same decent Wi-Fi and 3G connections. Most importantly though, for when you find yourself lost on a mountaintop somewhere, the Defy Mini has a far superior battery life compared to the original for talk time and standby.

Both phones will feature MotoSwitch, which evolved out of Motorola’s earlier MotoBlur system. MotoSwitch has adopted ideas used on Facebook that will display contacts and app icons more prominently on your phone the more you interact with them. So if you have one contact that you phone ten times a day and another that you sent a single message to 8 months ago, your regular contact will be easier to access from the phone’s homescreen.

The two phones are due to be released in the coming weeks in Europe, China and Latin America, although Motorola has not released any price details just yet. When these phones are finally released you will be able to get them in the UK from mobile phone comparison website Best Mobile Contracts.

Dec 23, 2011
Guest Author

Top 5 Christmas Apps for iPhone

Christmas is right around the corner, so now it’s the right time to pick out some holiday apps for your iPhone. Here are the Christmas apps I personally enjoy, and I hope you’ll also like them. Continue reading »

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