Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Questions you have for iZone-iHUB? Answers here!

“To nourish and cultivate the minds of bright and creative individuals by letting them discover their ultimate potential in the field of Information Technology.” - This is one quotation we believe in, that's the whole mantra of what iZone-iHUB is all about.

Providing equal opportunity to individuals who are tech minded and does not have the avenue to have this ideas nurtured and developed!

And it does not stop there! Our site also offers open collaboration with other techie individuals who will also be there onsite to work with you and provide you a learning experience you never had!

Check out this questions coming from people who have been onsite! This might be your questions as well and to make it easy, all this queries answered now.

Question #1 : What is iZone-iHUB? 

Answer #1: 
 iZone-iHUB is an online community that provides Pinoy techies and innovative individuals a room for collaboration. It aims to encourage knowledge sharing among those who have the passion for information technology. It comprises of two components, one is onsite (located in Pasig City) and the other is a virtual environment (iZone-iHUB website) where everyone can easily collaborate. 

Question #2: What’s in it for you (iZone-iHUB) why do you offer your facilities for free for techies? 

Answer #2: 
We believe that Philippines is an avenue for advancement and innovation and the biggest challenge for this people is a place to have this nurtured anddeveloped. iZone-iHUB believes in the mantra “your idea + our resource = realization”. 

Question #3: What’s in it for us (techies)? 

Answer #3: 
Besides the avenue that we provide for techies to meet and have a place to call their second home, we offer potential funding and resources as well for ideas and project that would be the next big thing. 

Question #4: What do I expect from this place if I decide to visit? 

Answer #4: 
Safety and security, fully air-conditioned, Internet connection, computer terminals and volunteer staff that would cater to your technological queries. 

Question #5: What is the relationship of iZone-iHUB to the company iZone Technology? 

Answer #5: 
iZone Technology is just one of the companies owned by entrepreneur magnate Dan Pena, and iZone-iHUB is also another project he had in mind to give more opportunities for Pinoy to develop and realize the potential in terms of technology and innovation. 

Question #6: Does this function as a coworking space or environment? 

Answer #6: 
No. We only want to make sure that facilities can accommodate techies who do not have any venue for research and development. 

Question #7: What if I am not techie enough? Am I not welcome toiZone-iHUB? 

Answer #7: 
You might not be techie but you might have an “idea” that would be the next big thing! In iZone-iHUB we can provide you the resources you need to make it happen. 

Question #8: Do you have any events our happening in the HUB or does it only function as a research center?

Answer #8: 
We will have a line-up of amazing ideas and event that would keep everyone hooked and also drive your competitiveness and push you to come up with the best ideas that would change the technology world.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

iZone-iHUB is officially on the GRID!

The very first forum location for tehcies is here!

iZone-iHUB is officially on the grid for techies, innovators and geeks.

iZone-iHUB Center is an online community that provides a haven for Pinoy techies and innovative individuals to converge ideas while gathered in one place. It primarily aims to solidify a collaboration among techies, innovators and geeks that opens a room to maximize the best resources and potential of information technology in the country, and explore other related businesses.

To facilitate this, iHUB offers everyone (including students) a free and unlimited access to the internet, free coffee, as well as facilities that will mobilize the knowledge transfers, sharing and exchange among collaborators, individuals who are interested can create a vast networks and come up with plans and proposals on IT advancement.

Functioning as a technology center for research ranging from technological ideas or advancement to business development, iHUB center is not limited to mere virtual environment. It also provides collaborators a place to host events and seminars that can prepare and mold them to be better entrepreneurs, netpreneurs, technopreneurs and innovators.

the iZone-iHUB center is located at the heart of Ortigas Business Center and we invite techies of all ages to come and experience the amenities and services iZone-iHUB provide completely FREE!

Innovation allows growth,

and Innovation is what iHUB offers.

iZone-iHUB Community

Check our site: iZone-iHUB Website

Saturday, October 27, 2012




Saturday, October 20, 2012

iZone-iHUB Center is now open for Techies!

The long wait is over for techies, innovators and geeks. iZone-iHUB is officially on the grid! The very first open forum location for techies is here!

Here are the things we offer to you:

  • Safety and Security
  • Fully air-conditioned environment
  • Bean bags and meeting room
  • Computer terminals for those who does not have devices to access the internet
  • 4 mbps of internet connection speed
  • Coffee and Ice tea
  • Haven for bright techies to communicate and be free

The site is located at the heart of Ortigas Business Center and we invite techies of all ages to come and experience the amenities and service iZone-iHUB provide completely FREE!


12th Floor Augustin Building (Penthouse) Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Business Center, Pasig City 1605

So what are you waiting for? Come and visit our site and experience a new horizon for development and innovation!

Welcome to iZone-iHUB!

iZone-iHUB Community

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Google tries wowing the world with a look at its data centers

As part of an effort to build appreciation for how it actually runs online services like search, Google is showing off its massive computing resources.

Google only rarely gives outsiders a look at its data centers, but today it's trying to make up for lost time with a large online photo gallery and Street View tour of the computing hardware.

The company launched a new site, "Where the Internet Lives" with a lot of eye candy for people who enjoy racks of computer gear, raised-floor ventilation systems, multicolored cables, and massive air-conditioning chillers. Urs Hoelzle, Google's senior vice president for technical infrastructure, announced the site in a blog post today.

It's short on details for those who want to eye Google's servers up close, but there are some glimpses in the accompanying video about Google's data centers and in a view from last year. But to a certain extent, Google's individual servers are beside the point. They may be a fundamental computing unit to ordinary people, but Google thinks at much larger scale.

Several jewels in the company's software crown -- MapReduce, the Google File System, and Spanner, for example -- are designed specifically to run on massive clusters of machines and to keep on running even when individual servers fail. Superficially, Google's custom-built servers look similar to the one unveiled in 2009, though: computing components bolted or strapped to an open-topped piece of sheet metal.

Steve Jobs might have cared about the aesthetics of his computers' innards, but for Google, the highest calling is the most purely economical and functional object. Showing off the data center is smart move for a couple reasons.

First, it could help outsiders value an operation at Google that's under increasing scrutiny for consuming tremendous electrical power in an era when enlightened companies are supposed to minimize their impact on the environment. Second, it could trigger some ooh-aahs among people who've begun to take Google's truly impressive computing achievements for granted. 

It's something Google can genuinely brag about. The company gets grief for alleged privacy invasions and monopoly abuse, but the company has earned respect when it comes to running a colossal computing operation. Not for nothing do people joke that Skynet is most likely to become conscious within Google's infrastructure. Google is bringing its levity to the occasion, too. 

As Arvid Bux noticed, there's also a Star Wars Imperial stormtrooper and R2-D2 droid in the Street View tour. Also, Connie Zhou's photography is really very nice. This is corporate propaganda that truly is a treat for the eyes.

Article By: Stephen Strickland

Apple finally sends out invitations for the Oct. 23 event, the iPad mini almost certain

Apple just started spreading their invitations to their previously rumored event on October 23. The invite tagline is “We’ve got a little more to show you” and the word little may be used quite literally, as Apple is supposed to unveil the iPad mini at this event.

We already saw numerous leaks of what the iPad mini is supposed to look like. The latest one shows the dummies, which Chinese accessory manufacturers use to prepare for their announcement of the Apple’s product.

I remind you we recently got a pretty convincing iPad mini price leak, too. Well, there’s only a week left till the event, so we’ll hear the real announcements from Apple execs themselves.

Article By: Chavis

Sunday, October 14, 2012

3 ways to boost the strength of your home wireless network

William writes: Actually, this question is for the benefit of my 84-year-old mother. She has DSL from Verizon, which came with a Westell modem/router. It is in the living room (connected by a cable) to her desktop computer. The problem is the wireless signal. While it’s fine in most of her apartment, it’s a little weaker in her bedroom. (There are two walls and about 30 feet between her bedroom and the router). This wasn’t an issue until I got her an iPad for her birthday. She really would like to do things like watch Netflix in her bedroom, but it’s often just a little too slow. Is there anything I can do to boost/amplify the signal to make it more powerful?

Hi William! There are actually three things you could do to boost your home Wi-Fi signal, although I’m guessing my third suggestion will work the best in your mother’s particular case. 

Option No. 1: 

Move your Wi-Fi router If you’re not getting a good signal in one part of your house, try moving your router to another room—say, one that’s more centrally located, or at least closer to the room where you use your Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets the most. Of course, the only problem with this advice is that your Wi-Fi router is usually tethered to your cable or DSL hookup, and most of us don’t have the luxury of cable outlets in every room. That said, if you have a cable connection or phone line in your bedroom, you could try moving your modem and Wi-Fi-router there to see if that improves your overall reception. Now, just moving your wireless router might not do the trick—but hey, it’s worth a try, especially if you’d rather not spend more money on additional gadgets. 

Option No. 2: 

Buy a new Wi-Fi router Have you been using the same wireless router since the early oughts? If so, it might be time to pony up for a new model. A few years back, I swapped my aging Apple AirPort wireless base station for the then-latest version, and noticed an immediate uptick in performance. You should be able to pick up a new Wi-Fi router for well under $100. (Apple’s AirPort Extreme is considerably pricier at about $180.) Also, make sure to get one with “dual-band” wireless—that is, two wireless radios rather than just one, which will help your Wi-Fi signal compete with nearby microwave ovens and cordless phones. Unfortunately, William, a new router might not be an option for your mother, given that she’s been issued a combination modem/router by Verizon. In that case, I recommend that you… 

Option No. 3: 

Try a wireless extender These little gizmos look almost exactly the same as your standard wireless router—except that instead of creating a new Wi-Fi network, they extend the range of an existing one. Think of them as Wi-Fi repeaters, perfect for amplifying your home wireless signal from room to room. A wireless extender is relatively easy to install; just place it in a room with a weak Wi-Fi signal, plug it into a power outlet, and the device should be able to detect and boost your signal with a minimum of fuss. Got a big house? Try placing two or more Wi-Fi extenders strategically throughout your home. Expect to pay less than $100 for a PC-compatible wireless extender; Mac users, meanwhile, can snap up Apple’s $99 AirPort Express router, which doubles as a wireless repeater. Hope this helps, William—please check back with us and let us know how it goes!

Article By: Ben Patterson

No supersonic skydive for Baumgartner tomorrow

The wait will drag on for daredevil Felix Baumgartner, as his attempt at a breathtaking, record-setting freefall continues to be bedeviled by the weather. 

Felix Baumgartner will not attempt his stratospheric skydive tomorrow. Weather conditions continue to be less than ideal for the mission, in which Baumgartner plans to set several records -- most dramatically, becoming the first person ever to fly, or in this case freefall, at supersonic speed without the protection of an aircraft fuselage around him. In making the attempt, if all were to go according to plan, he also would make the highest manned ascent with a balloon (120,000 feet, or just under 23 miles) to get to his jumping-off point, and the longest sustained freefall (an estimated 5 minutes, 35 seconds). This morning's attempt was scrubbed at 10:42 a.m. PT because of gusty winds. That followed a five-hour delay past the planned 5:30 a.m. scheduled start time as the Red Bull Stratos team tried to find a favorable break in the weather. 

At the time the mission was aborted, Baumgartner was in the pressurized capsule in which he was to ascend, and the massive balloon was partially filled. The original launch date for the attempt was yesterday morning. It remains to be seen when conditions in and around the Roswell, N.M., launch site will take a turn for the better. Red Bull Stratos tweeted this update just a short while ago:

 The plans for the supersonic freefall date back a number of years, and at one point the jump had been planned for sometime in 2010. The technical challenges notwithstanding, it was a legal dispute that shut things down back then. Baumgartner, 43, is a veteran of more than 2,000 skydives, often in extreme settings -- off skyscrapers, bridges, and even Rio de Janeiro's famed Christ the Redeemer statue.

Steve Jobs Taught Me Not To Steal

For a generation that grew up on Napster, Kazaa, BitTorrent, Limewire, and an army of other file sharing tools, the idea that you get what you pay for isn’t exactly second nature when it comes to digital content. Learning this concept has required huge shifts within the digital content ecosystem. Two years after Napster changed everything, the late Steve Jobs set the foundation for a decade long process with the release of the iTunes store, making it monumentally easier to buy music. 

 By offering a single digital purchasing location, allowing a la carte song purchases, and hitting the all-important $0.99 per song price point, the dynamic between free and paid content was massively altered. All of the sudden it wasn’t a question of do I drive to the store to buy an entire album or download any song I want instantly. There was at least an equal playing field. Unfortunately (for record companies at least), Napster’s first mover advantage created a culture of digital hoarding. Even with the $0.99 price point, the average user would have to spend thousands of dollars a year to sustain their content consumption levels. That first step was enough, however, to attract the digital content world’s late adopters, repelled by the murky black market of digital content. As iTunes grew into the dominant player for both purchased and otherwise acquired digital music, and the store expanded to include video content, millions of users at least dabbled in the waters of purchased content. These initial iTunes purchases, regardless of size, had a tremendous impact on Apple’s future. 

This was one of Jobs’ greatest strategic moves, and one that has made Apple boatloads of cash. When Apple released the App Store in 2008, these initial purchases allowed for a tremendous reduction in friction. iPhone users could simply log in to their iTunes account and they would be primed and ready to purchase apps and content. This order of operations is a big reason why, to this day, the App Store leads Google Play in app profitability. Apple customers never had to take out their phone and type in their credit card number, something most consumers simply weren’t ready for. Many still aren’t. Easy, low friction purchases of cheap, relevant, and new digital content, especially apps, have created positive experiences purchasing content on this level for the piracy generation. 

 It was here that the entrepreneurs at Pandora, Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and an army of other web companies jumped to continue this process of guiding the evolution of the digital consumer, experimenting with an array of monetization and content delivery models. 

Continued innovation has proved far more effective in shifting consumer behavior than RIAA and MPAA litigation ever was. While I grew up with this evolution, watching record stores shutter their doors and seeing ‘friends’ amass massive digital content libraries, I didn’t really notice how far things had come until a few weeks ago, when I began assisting in the sale of “Flashlight ®,” a massively successful paid utility app. Launched immediately after the release of the iPhone 4, the app was one of the first to use the newly added LED flash, but it faced a slew of free alternatives that made the $0.99 price point a tough sell. Despite the slower and less pleasant execution, it wasn’t like the free versions were turning off after 15 seconds to inform users they had exceeded their trial period. The end result was pretty similar. 

But with over $1.4 million in sales to date, Flashlight is one of many success stories that prove digital consumers have learned to pay for quality. I see this as paradigm shift as one of the most important legacies of the late Steve Jobs. From the dark ages of piracy that nearly destroyed the global recording industry, the massive transition that Jobs began now bears fruit. A new and profitable digital content ecosystem has emerged that empowers creators, massively improves discovery, and delivers an incredible volume of fresh, relevant, and easily accessible content to consumers. 

I would venture to say that for the first time there is a fair fight between paid, pirated, and add supported content. Whoever wins, my money is on the entrepreneurs.

Article By: Greg Salwitz

In reference to the original link source:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meet the intern who built a key Facebook mobile-ad product

Facebook is known for its hacker culture -- constantly challenging the status quo and valuing a good idea from anywhere in the ranks. 

So it shouldn't be a surprise to those who know the culture that one of its most prominent (and potentially moneymaking) mobile products to date came from an intern. The social network put the spotlight on 23-year-old Peter Cottle, a software engineering intern and University of California, Berkeley, student, today with a blog post detailing Cottle's work on the ability to buy promoted posts through mobile devices. In the post, Cottle, a soon to be full-time employee at Facebook, wrote about his expectations for his internship this past summer. 

He thought he would be writing tests for servers or doing white papers, not helping Facebook's first mobile-advertising product become a reality within his first week as an intern. "After a whirlwind of on-boardings and abbreviated engineering bootcamp sessions, I met my manager, plopped down at my desk, and learned what my internship project would be: to implement the first mobile-advertising interface for Facebook... ever," he wrote. This wasn't just some busy work for the new guy. Facebook's shift to mobile is huge.

Facebook has 600 million monthly users on mobile, and business owners are a part of that wave. The interface Cottle brought to life was a result of businesses asking the social network for ways to keep up. A mechanical-engineering student going for his master's and Ph.D at Cal, Cottle received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from UC San Diego and has interned as an autopilot-software development intern at General Atomics Aeronautical, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

He wrote how he and then product design intern Leo Mancini -- Mancini is now a full-fledged employee, according to his LinkedIn profile -- worked into the wee hours to get the task done. Cottle's favorite part of the product?
The carousel insights view that lets page administrators see how many people saw their promoted post. "It makes the entire page management process seamless, dynamic, and responsive; implementing it was my favorite part of the summer," he wrote. Not exactly fun in the sun, but Cottle's got a leg up on most "what I did over summer break" stories, and a new job to look forward to: "It felt great to put so much effort into a historic interface and see our work make the ship deadline. 

I'm really proud of the feature, thankful for the opportunity, and excited to demonstrate Facebook's dedication towards mobile. Even better, I'll get to experience Facebook's culture full time when I return in the Spring."

Article By: Donna Tam

As mobile rises, desktop search declines for the first time

In a sign of the mobile-centric times, desktop Web search declined in September for the first time since Macquarie Group began tracking it in 2006.

ComScore data for September showed that searches declined 4 percent year over year, according to a note Macquarie sent to clients. Growth rates in search have been slowing since February, when searches were up 14 percent. The increasing number of mobile searches appears to be the biggest reason for the decline, Macquarie analysts said in their report.

The decline in desktop search makes intuitive sense. These days, we're less likely to search for a destination on a map site before leaving the house; that's what turn-by-turn directions are for. We might not even search for a restaurant to eat at until we're out the door; a number of apps can give us recommendations on the go. And nontraditional search engines are on the rise: we might search for clothes on instead of Google, or airfares on Hipmunk, or a friend's e-mail address on Facebook.

Collectively, all those trends point to a long, slow decline for traditional desktop search. And it's a reason why companies like Google and Microsoft are investing heavily in mobile search applications. Consumers are warming to mobile search. By the end of the year, almost a third of Internet search traffic will come from smartphones and tablets, Macquarie said. In some categories, such as restaurant search, mobile already accounts for that share of search. And in several categories important to advertisers -- electronics, beauty, finance, and autos -- mobile searches are rapidly climbing, Macquarie said.

Google remained the No. 1 search engine in September, claiming 66.7 percent market share. Microsoft's Bing hit an all-time high of 15.9 percent share, and has either grown or retained its share for 29 consecutive months, Macquarie said. The big loser on the month was Yahoo, where searches were down 25 percent on the year. Its market share has declined 3.2 percent in the last year. "Most importantly, and unfortunately for YAHOO, we see no obvious structural bottom for YAHOO's search share," the analysts said. "This is a significant problem in our view given the fact that search is a very high-margin business for YAHOO."

Hacker wins $60,000 prize for breaking into Google Chrome

Hack into Google Chrome, and you could win $60,000, at least if you do it through Google's Pwnium 2 competition. 

That's just what happened to a hacker dubbed Pinkie Pie, who won the award on Tuesday by exploiting a security hole in Chrome. In an effort to shore up its browser's defenses, Google holds the competition to challenge hackers to hack their way through Chrome's security to find previously unknown holes. 

Tuesday's Pwnium 2 contest was held at the Hack in the Box 2012 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. "We're happy to confirm that we received a valid exploit from returning pwner Pinkie Pie," Google announced in a Chromium blog. "This pwn relies on a WebKit Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) compromise to exploit the renderer process and a second bug in the IPC layer to escape the Chrome sandbox. 

Since this exploit depends entirely on bugs within Chrome to achieve code execution, it qualifies for our highest award level as a 'full Chrome exploit,' a $60,000 prize and free Chromebook." Google's Chrome team quickly jumped on the exploit as soon as it was discovered, leading to an update to the browser to patch the hole after just 10 hours. 

Pinkie Pie also won $60,000 in the first Pwnium competition, held earlier this year.

Article By: Lance Whitney

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

George Colony's Business Technology Keynote is Insightful

This business technology keynote from Forrester Research’s CEO George Colony offers extremely valuable advice on the topic of technology and innovation for executives in the business world today. 

Colony introduces a concept he refers to as business technology, which he defines as pervasive technology that directly impacts profits. As business technology continues to replace information technology, business executives can no longer afford to be clueless when it comes to technology. 

Relying on a techie or a CIO to understand technology today can create devastating results for a company. George Colony advocates for cultivating a staff that includes a variety of technology-knowledgeable executives and employees. Businesses cannot function without technology today, let alone innovate. 

CEOs and CIOs must work together, to create a cohesive plan when it comes to organizing innovation processes.

To watch this video coverage click on the link below:

Article By: Jaime Neely

Start-ups convert innovative ideas into applications

Last weekend was hectic for the 95-odd participants who gathered at the ‘Start-up Weekend’ here. Techie youngsters, guided by various mentors, formed teams and developed mobile or web-based applications to solve specific problems or create new experiences for users. 

The apps ranged from a flat finding app, an app for video tagging to an intra-institution social network app.

Three apps won prizes, which included free credits from Amazon Web Services, ZipDial, InterviewStreet and Ozonetel. The winning apps included ‘Park-e-mon’, a parking management solution, ‘OptiRate’—a mobile value-added service app and ‘Desi Karaoke’, a game for social networks. The Park-e-mon solution comprises two applications—a web-based portal and a mobile app suitable for any smartphone. The web-based application is used by office administrators and building managements and would have details about the offices, contact people and vehicles that would be granted parking space. 

The mobile app is used by parking attendants to record the entry and the exit details of each vehicle, and these are updated in the web-based database in real time. The app does away with two out of three people manning a parking system. The system can give a snapshot of the overall parking situation in a building at any given moment. It also enables the instant identification of cars parked in wrong slots by checking their registration number against the database. 

Though the system is not meant to replace mechanical barriers, it would introduce more efficiency by eliminating logbooks. Sudeep D’Souza, who led the four-member team that developed the app, says he plans to charge '25,000 a year as installation fee, along with a nominal monthly maintenance fee. A few companies in Hyderabad have expressed willingness to adopt the solution, says D’Souza. The solution is being run on a pilot basis at an office complex in Hyderabad, which has parking capacity of 150 cars and 600 two-wheelers. OptiRate, which won the second prize, is an app for Android phones. The app is designed to recommend the best tariff plan, based on the user’s pattern of usage. It also, through a web interface, enables recharge with a single click. 

Rajagopal Grandhi, one of the developers of the app, says his team would introduce it in the market in three months after some fine-tuning. “The users’ first experience of our app should be good, so we would take some time,” he says. The app, when installed in a phone, would alert the user about credit expiry, and also suggest the best rate plan offered by the operator that suits the user’s needs by analysing his call records. For recharges, apart from charging a fraction of the recharge value as fee, the developers expect to tap advertisements as well. 

The third prize-winning app, Desi Karaoke, was developed by a young team from the Indian School of Business. Achint Parekh, one of the app’s developers, says it was not meant for trouble-shooting, but to add a new experience to social networking sites such as Facebook. The app, currently available only for Android, is free and comes with a few Indian instrumental music tracks. It allows users to record their singing along with the background music, and this can later be shared with friends on social networks and can also be compared with the original. Says Parekh, “Games like Antakshari are popular in India, but karaoke is available only for some English songs. 

On the other side, games on social networks are changing the whole experience. Our idea combines these two trends to offer karaoke as a social game.” The developers are in talks with T-Series and other music companies for tracks. 

The app is expected to be functional in a few weeks. Parekh said the developers would consider the project a success if it touches 500 downloads a month.

Article By: B Ramakrishna

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Opera releases developer-focused Opera 12.10 beta

The latest beta build of Opera’s browser is now available for download.

Version 12.10 brings a improved API support, SPDY support, touch optimization for the upcoming Windows 8 and Retina, Notification Center and sharing to social networks in 

Mac OS X Mountain Lion. SDPY is a network standard, which coupled with the HTTP protocol will help load pages faster. Chrome has had support for SDPY since last year, while Firefox is using it since June. 

The Opera 12.10 is available for download now - Download Here!


Google becomes No. 2 most valuable company in tech

After a summer stock surge, the Internet potentate surpasses rival Microsoft to become the second-most valuable in tech by market cap.

In May 2010, Apple attained a ranking long thought unthinkable -- the world's most valuable technology company, a position it achieved by dethroning longtime rival Microsoft. 

Apple still sits atop the throne. But in the meantime another company has come along to kick Microsoft down a peg: Google, which capped off a summer surge in its stock price by overtaking Microsoft today in market capitalization. In the technology sector, only Apple has a bigger market value. Google closed the day at $761.98, up 0.99 percent. 

Microsoft closed at $29.51, down 0.82 percent. And just like that, Google's market capitalization of $248.89 billion overtook Microsoft's value of 247.27 billion. The day capped off a strong run for Google's stock, which surged more than 30 percent this summer amid improved earnings and a bullish Citi report that set a new price target for the company at $850, up from $740.

Article By: Casey Newton

Monday, October 1, 2012

CyanogenMod 10 gets OTA support, installs the latest nightlies for you

Great news for Android enthusiasts and fans of CyanogenMod 10, as its developers have added a neat feature allowing you to install the latest nightlies over the air in the latest build of the ROM.

This means flashoholics won’t have to go through the usual procedure of flashing CM10, but rather have the CM Updater take over the hassle. The OTA update feature is called CM Updater and is available only for stock CyanogendMod 10 releases. Sorry, custom ROMs.

You can also specify whether you want the updater to create a backup of your ROM in case things go south. After all, these are nightlies and everything could happen, so you better be safe than sorry.



Acrobat XI performs some clever new tricks

If I had to summarize the changes with this version of Acrobat in two words, I think I'd go with "workflow enhancements." Every change in Acrobat XI seems to be targeted at moving PDF files through your hands faster, increasing their interoperability with other applications, and making them more easily accessible from any device.One of PDF's mixed blessings as a format has always been its uneditability.

While immutability means that the file always looks the same regardless of viewing platform or system configuration, it's always been frustrating that you couldn't make basic changes to a document without returning to the originating application.

 But now you can; you can edit and add text, perform search and replace, and individually replace images and graphics extremely easily. You're still relatively limited by the page layout -- text will reflow but if you extend pass the existing area it will overlap with other page objects -- and it will substitute fonts rather than rendering a close-looking facsimile (because, well, DRM). But as someone who routinely has to pull PDF files back into Illustrator for small tweaks based on other people's feedback, I'm chair dancing.

The Typewriter tool has been replaced by a full-fledged text engine, and it's faster. If you regularly grind your teeth waiting for the Typewriter tool to load, it's probably worth the upgrade cost. In fact, the program feels a lot faster than Acrobat X overall. There's also better interoperability with other office applications, most notably PowerPoint.

You can export a PDF formatted presentation to PowerPoint and it makes an attempt to convert text and objects to their PowerPoint counterparts. It will even create slide templates based on your background formatting. With the beta I tested the results were mixed, but usable overall.

Adobe bills this Acrobat update as "Acrobat XI with new Cloud Services," which for the most part means increased integration with last- year's acquisition of EchoSign and year-old FormsCentral, plus the ability to access and check in/out documents from SharePoint/Office365 and resources.

It uses EchoSign for managing signature flows and providing audit trails. FormsCentral desktop comes with the Pro version and in addition to form creation and data gathering now allows you to view response data and generate a summary report, as well as export data to Excel. It's also a lot easier to get started using an existing PDF form, which it can now import and it's pretty easy to create the linkages between the form and the online data capture.

 For organizations that use thin client platforms for remote operation, such as Citrix, it now supports running the full version of the program off the server, and if you're running it that way on a mobile device it will automatically translate the interface to support touch gestures and space out the icons for fat-finger relief.

Security options have been surfaced, with more streamlined operation. For instance, now it's faster to simply password protect a file against editing (Restrict Editing) and the ease of redacting information should thrill those responsible for information purges. With one click you can strip out tons of metadata and linked content as well as flatten and purge the file of cruft. 

I would like the ability to select which data gets purged in the Sanitize Document process, though; for instance, I could imagine that for print production I'd like to keep the metadata and hidden layers, but drop the rest. Sanitize Document is intended for security -- a similar operation for Preflight, which is still really complicated, might be nice. 

 Adobe Reader gains the ability to access documents from the aforementioned cloud, commenter markup and simple signature handling (via EchoSign) and the mobile version is now optimized for touch operation. (A beta of the latter was not available to test.) Acrobat Pro costs $449 ($199 upgrade), while Standard will cost $299 ($139 upgrade); of course, the latest version of Reader will be free to all. Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers will automatically receive Pro, but the subscriptions to EchoSign and FormsCentral require subscriptions on top of that -- at about $15/month each -- for anything more than the most basic capabilities.


Techs Factor: Cowell to seek next Zuckerberg

It's what you've been missing in life. An "X Factor" show to find the next great tech leader. It should make for riveting television.

For Simon Cowell, there is no such thing as enough.

This would put him within a comforting cohort that includes William the Conqueror, Madonna and, of course, Mark Zuckerberg. How fitting, then, that the latest spawn of Cowell's brain is reportedly a reality show that will discover the next great tech entrepreneur.

On all things Cowell, the Sun tends to have an inside presence, so I am grateful to it for revealing this marvelous development. His partner in this very serious caper is, who is a remarkably good clothing designer. The Sun quoted as saying: "We're working on a project called X Factor for Tech -- and it's going to be out of this world." There can be little question about the out-of-this-worldness of this idea.

"The X Factor" was supposed to be Cowell's great breakaway from "American Idol." He promised a minimum of 20 million viewers. This, sadly, didn't happen. Should you have been detained for years by the TSA for owning a suspicious toothbrush, you might be unaware of "The X Factor''s conceit. It is essentially very much like "Idol," but with some rather touchingly concocted drama built in.

This week, for example, there was Trevor Moran (once known as Trevor Michael), whom some might know as the boy who makes dance videos in Apple stores.

Moran collapsed while waiting for his "The X Factor" performance. Would he make it? Or would he end up in hospital? Gosh, he made it. (I have embedded the evidence.) This week also enjoyed the sights of Gene Simmons' daughter trying to make it big, as well as a 540-pound man who is so big that he had to perform sitting down. It has the added attraction of charming judges, such as Demi Lovato and Britney Spears, who far too often pulls a face as if she's just swallowed a lemon-encrusted bee.

I will leave you to imagine who Cowell would pick to be the judges of this Techs Factor, though I wonder if MC Hammer and Ashton Kutcher might be available.

In general, I am rather in favor of reality television. I can't wait for Bravo TV's tech reality show -- produced in part by Randi Zuckerberg -- which will, presumably be a sort of "Top Chef" kind of thing, without the good food or the talent. believes that his and Cowell's show will contribute to the American economy. He told the Sun: "Singing and performance create a couple of jobs. But this will create lots."

This must be true, but one wonders just what the contestants will be asked to do. Might they have to try and persuade VCs to hand over money by explaining that some fine new idea will, um, "go viral"? Might they have to perform an all-night hackathon to see who can create the best new dating site for puppies? Or will they merely be instructed to go game hunting and then eat the animals they shoot? Cowell has had his hits and his misses.

Will this show unearth the next great Kelly Clarkson of tech? Or will it merely produce a Melanie Amaro? Or even a Taylor Hicks? 

Article by: Chris Matyszczyk of