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Updated: 2018-03-05T21:36:48.805-08:00


How to Make Phone Calls Over the Internet


Introduction Using the Internet as an alternative to traditional telephone conversations can be less expensive, but slightly more complicated. Be sure to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before you invest too much time and money in Internet telephony. Instructions Steps Step One Make sure you can connect to the Internet at a minimum speed of 28.8 Kbps. Higher connection speeds will allow clearer conversations. Step Two Make sure your computer is equipped with a sound card of at least 16 bits. The sound card should also allow recording. Step Three Purchase compatible speakers and a microphone if you don't already have these components. Step Four Buy or download Internet telephony software and install it on your computer. The software you choose must be the same as or compatible with the software of the people you wish to call. Step Five Make arrangements with the person you wish to call establishing that you will be online at a specific time. Step Six Follow the instructions of your specific telephony software for making a call. This usually involves accessing a server and selecting a name from a list of users who are currently online. Tips & Warnings In general, online telephone calls can only be made between two people who have computers, Internet access and compatible software, although some applications (such as Dialpad) allow you to call regular telephones. For optimal clarity, use a full-duplex sound card. Instant-messaging software will give you instant messages, but without the voice effects. [...]

Evolution of Microsoft's Surface


2001In 2001 Stevie Bathiche of Microsoft Hardware and Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research began Brainstorming concepts for an interactive table. Their vision was to mix the physical and virtual worlds to provide a rich, interactive experience.2003In early 2003, the team presented the idea to Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman, and within the month the first prototype was born, based on an IKEA table with a hole cut through its top and a sheet of architect vellum as a diffuser. The evolution of Microsoft Surface had begun. As more applications were built, the Hardware team saw the value of the surface computer beyond simply gaming and began to favor those applications that took advantage of the unique ability of Surface to recognize physical objects placed on the table.2004In 2004, the team grew and became the Surface Computing group. Surface prototypes, functionality and applications were continuously refined. The team build more than 85 early prototypes for use by software developers, hardware developers and user researchers.2005By late 2004, The Microsoft Surface software development platform was established and attention turned to its form.A number of different experimental prototype were built including the "tub" model that was encased in a round plastic shell, a desk-height model with a square top and cloth-covered sides and even a bar-height model. After extensive testing and user research, the current look and feel of Surface was finalized in 2005.2007Today Microsoft Surface is a 30 - inch diagonal display table that's easy for individuals or small groups to use collaboratively. With a sleek, translucent surface, people engage with Surface using natural hand gestures, touch and physical objects placed on the Surface.The FutureA form factor continuous to evolve, surface computing will be in any number of environments - schools, business, homes and any number of form factors - part of the counter top, the wall or the refrigerator.[...]

Google Bashes IIS on Web Security


After looking at 70,000 domains distributing malware or hosting attack code, Google took a jab at Microsoft IIS Web server software yesterday, saying it’s twice as likely to host malicious code.

Google actually found the same number of problems on Apache and IIS Web sites, but with so many more sites on Apache servers (66 percent versus Microsoft’s 23 percent), IIS servers host a much larger percentage, PC Advisor reports.

Apache and IIS host 89 percent of Web sites, but are responsible for 98 percent of Web-based malware.

In a blog, Google’s Nagendra Modadugu noted many dirty servers were found in areas with rampant software piracy, such as China and South Korea, according to ZDNet.

With FeedBurner, Google Takes the Measure of the Web


(image) Google (GOOG) has bought FeedBurner, in a move that hits close to home for Beta. Why? Well, I'm a customer of both, using Google Analytics to track our blog networks' traffic and FeedBurner to manage our RSS feeds.

Dick Costolo, FeedBurner's CEO, had a key insight three years ago: RSS feeds are a new medium, different from the Web. "The new medium never drives dollars to the old; it drives dollars to the new thing," he told Business 2.0 last year. And sure enough: Look at all those dollars the Google truck just drove to FeedBurner.

The deal, valued at a rumored $100 million - a figure the companies have yet to confirm or deny - has been cast as all about advertising. FeedBurner sells ads that appear in RSS feeds, a Web delivery mechanism used by blog and news sites to deliver headlines, summaries, and sometimes the entire text of articles and posts.

But I think there's more to the deal - and to FeedBurner - than that.

FeedBurner doesn't just distribute feeds; it enhances them and recombines them in several ways. Business 2.0, for example, uses FeedBurner to power a feature called "The Spew," where all of the B2 blogs' posts are mixed together into a continuous, real-time feed. Today, one big thing that FeedBurner does is splice in ads to feeds, but I could see it doing a lot more. Imagine, for example, Google using its search technology to splice in related videos, Web pages, and blog posts into a feed.

And FeedBurner also fits with another Google product, Google Analytics. FeedBurner recently expanded from tracking RSS feed activity to tracking Web-page traffic, too, with the acquisition of another startup called Blogbeat. Folding Blogbeat into Google Analytics, which Google recently revamped, could make that traffic-tracking tool even more useful. By adding RSS traffic into the media types Google tracks, FeedBurner will let bloggers and other publishers will get a better picture of how their readers are consuming their content.

For those concerned about Google's growing domination, its entry into the RSS-feed business may be cause for alarm. But I imagine most publishers and advertisers will see this as a positive - one vendor to deal with and integrate into their websites, where there used to be two.

What do you think? Does this move give Google too much power over bloggers?

AT&T's Internet TV on Apple Set-Top Box in 2008?


Citing a "well-connected" source, Engadget's Peter Rojas reports that AT&T (T) and Apple (AAPL) are working on adding Internet protocol television to Apple TV, starting sometime next year. He goes on to speculate:We're guessing that it'll be something like AT&T's U-verse TV service, but it's still way too early to say whether this would be a blown-out offering a full package of channels aimed at replacing your current cable/satellite service, a more limited selection of on-demand programming, or whether it'd even be available to non-AT&T subscribers.A rumor like this has a bit more credibility than usual, coming on heels of the Apple-YouTube deal, and is likely to fuel analysts' newly rekindled enthusiasm for the Apple TV platform. Only days after Fortune's Brent Schendler pronounced Apple's (AAPL) set-top box all but dead ("Why Apple TV is a Dud"), Steve Jobs has breathed new life into the business he described at All Things Digital yesterday as a "hobby" (as opposed to a $10 billion business like iPod/iTunes, the Mac and, he hopes, the iPhone).All it took were two relatively modest changes:1) A new $399 version with a 160 gig hard drive (as opposed to the $299, 40 gig version that had been met with derision by heavy-duty downloaders);2) A deal with Google (GOOG) to make YouTube content available on the Apple TV menu, starting in mid-June with "thousands" of clips (added manually by a team that puts them into Apple TV-friendly format) to be followed in the fall by YouTube's full catalog. (Apple press release here)The YouTube deal is especially significant because it represents the first time the box is being used as anything but a place to show content purchased on the iTunes Music Store (or stuff previously stored on a local hard drive).Opening up Apple TV by just this much has fired the imagination of analysts, who are now talking about other content that could be streamed directly to the box. TV shows, for example, shown with or without commercials, but on demand, when you want to watch them, thus bypassing the cable monopoliesNo wonder Viacom (VIA), which is hardly YouTube friendly -- having sued Google for $1 billion for allowing Viacom intellectual property to slip (or rather pour) through YouTube's cracks -- seems to have changed its tune overnight. "We're always vigilant about protecting our copyrights," a Viacom spokeswoman told the BBC."But we would welcome the opportunity to license our content to Apple as we do with all distributors."[Apple TV screen shot courtesy of Gizmodo][...]

Apple iPhone


Apple iPhone Launches June 29

(image) After weeks of anticipation, speculation and guesses good and bad, Apple (AAPL) tonight confirmed the launch date of the iPhone: Friday, June 29.

The news came in a series of three TV ads aired Sunday night and posted shortly after on Apple's website here. The first ones aired at 7 p.m. ET, according to several sources, one before the broadcast of 60 Minutes on CBS, and another just before the 7 p.m. broadcast of 7th Heaven.

Each demonstrates a selection of the iPhone's functions and ends with the words "Only on the new AT&T," the Apple logo, and the tagline: "Coming June 29."

The ads are straightforward and ungimmicky, except perhaps for "Calimari" (see below) ,which jumps from watching the giant squid scene in Pirates of the Caribbean to searching for the nearest seafood restaurant in San Francisco to calling for a reservation. It will be interesting to see if the iPhone -- and the Net -- work as quickly and seamlessly in the real world.

The only news in the ads, besides the launch date, comes in the small print on the AT&T screen. It reads:

"Use requires minimum new two year activation plan."

That should put to rest rumors floated two weeks ago that the iPhone might be offered contract-free, with prepaid and pay-as-you-go options.

Pasted below is the YouTube version of the Calimari ad:

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Pac Man finds new life on Xbox


Update of iconic video game, created by original designer, features dance music and mazes that change shapes.


Pac Man will be reborn on Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox Live online service Wednesday as a final tribute for designer Toru Iwatani, who is retiring from the $30 billion games industry he helped ignite.

The new version of the iconic arcade game is a faithful interpretation of the addictive 27-year-old original, where players wrenched joystick controllers to race a character - resembling a yellow pizza missing a slice - around a digital maze to chomp white pellets and chase multicolored "ghosts."


The new game, "Pac Man Championship Edition," is the second and final version Iwatani personally designed, and was created for the final round of the Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Championship in New York, when nine finalists played it for the first time.

Wii outsells PlayStation


Nintendo Co.'s Wii game console outsold Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 by more than five to one in Japan last month, Japanese video game magazine publisher Enterbrain said Wednesday.

Nintendo (Charts) sold 251,794 units of the Wii in May, compared with 45,321 units of the PS3 sold, it said.

Nintendo's Wii is outselling the rival Playstation 3 from Sony.

Nintendo launched the Wii in November. The device features a motion-sensitive controller that allows users to direct on-screen play by swinging it like a tennis racket or wielding it like a sword, opening a new avenue of game playing.

Rival Sony (Charts) also started selling the PS3 late last year, but has seen slow demand so far due to its high price tag and limited availability of attractive software titles.

Shares of both Nintendo and Sony edged higher in early morning trading in Tokyo

Cellphones can disable car keys: Nissan


Nissan North America has a warning for customers: placing your electronic key too close to your cellphone could leave you stranded.

The automaker is asking customers driving new models of two of its flagship sedans to keep their car keys and cellphones at least an inch apart to avoid disabling the "intelligent keys."

Cellphones kept near Nissan's I-Keys -- wireless devices designed to allow drivers to enter and start their cars at the push of a button -- can erase the electronic code on the keys, rendering them unable to unlock or start the cars.

The problem has occurred on the 2007 Nissan Altima and Infiniti G35 sedans -- two of their top-selling models.

"The company discovered that if the I-Key touches a cellphone, outgoing or incoming calls have the potential to alter the electronic code inside the I-Key". The car won't start and the I-Key cannot be reprogrammed.

The problem has occurred in a "very small percentage" of cars sold. A new version of the I-Key would be available in the fall.

The current owners have been notified of the potential glitch via mail and can get new keys from dealers if they encounter the problem.

World's Thinnest Laptop


At 0.7-inches thin and 2.25 pounds light with an out of this world battery life of up to 14 hours, a prototype laptop backed by Intel dubbed the “Intel mobile Metro notebook” could change the game for PCs. I know I am biased as I write this on my Mac, but for the last few years PC offerings have been rather stale. With few attractive yet functional PC notebook solutions it’s no wonder why people have abandoned ship to head for whiter pastures.

Image courtesy of BusinessWeek

Intel set out to change this misconception by funding some of its engineers along with Ziba Design to create a stunning “Think Thin” notebook.

The machine has to be fashionable, able to connect to all manner of wireless networks, and full of the latest, fastest computing capabilities. Oh yes, and make it as thin as Motorola’s Razr.

The result is a notebook that might make me switch my mobile computing needs to a PC (if Apple never releases their rumored ultraportable notebook). While such a notebook won’t come to mass produced fruition for a while, it gives us a glimpse into the future of notebooks if other PC manufacturers take notice. The codename Metro notebook specs are enough to make any techie giddy. Although, no word yet on the size of the screen or possible cost if it ever goes up for sale.

  • 0.7-inch thin magnesium case
  • Access to cellular, Wi-Fi and WiMax wireless networks
  • Small array microphones to cancel out background noise - useful with Skype, etc.
  • Flash memory used in place of the traditional hard drive
  • Integrated fingerprint reader
  • No-rim, glass-like cover extends across screen
  • Screen brightness automatically adjusts with light sensors
  • Built-in video camera
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Unique case with integrated screen allows you to check email and take part in other activities on the go
Image courtesy of BusinessWeek

Take a look at the BusinessWeek slide show for more pictures of this cutting-edge laptop.

What do you think of this prototype notebook? It could be exactly what the PC industry needs to revamp slumping sales of high-end notebooks while adding excitement to the term “PC”. This might also signal the beginning of an era where laptops might regularly be thinner than mobile phones and where laptops start to be classified into specifications by their thickness. For example, a Class A notebook might be 0.5-inches thin and under, a Class B device might be 0.75-inches thin and under, etcetera.

Watch TV on mobiles with Doordarshan


Even as the telecom industry is debating with the government for spectrum allocation for launch of 3G or triple play services, State-owned television broadcaster Doordarshan has launched mobile TV on the DVB-H platform.

“DVB-H is a technology that allows simultaneous transmission of multiple channels of television, radio and data to a range of multimedia devices including mobile phones, PDA’s, PC’s and other handheld devices. It is a new concept which is going to change the face of television,”

DVB-H offered a number of advantages, which include better reception quality, increased channel carrying capacity, new features such as program guides to facilitate navigation, multi-view and interactive services. “DVB-H brings with it the capability to continually enhance services provided to subscribers, both from a video perspective and from new applications".

DVB works on the IP platform, similar to GSM technology. The signals are transmitted via towers like the GSM telephony, and handsets have to be developed for better transmission for a larger area,

DVB forum is working on a next level of technology for satellite television channels – DVB-SH, which is due to be released later this year and the commercial launch will be in 2009-2010. The satellite technology is being given major thrust as the DVB-H is limited to terrestrial television channels and satellite signals can reach even the remotest parts of the country”

Increased attachment limit-- 20 MB!


(image) Google Inc launches a new feature in gmail. Now you can start sharing more of those home videos, large presentations and files you just can't seem to get smaller. We have doubled the allowable attachment size to 20 MB to make your Gmail space even more useful.

Windows Vista x64


Contents Introduction x64 Section x64 Assembly C/C++ Programming Inline Assembly Windows On Windows File System And Registry Redirection Interprocess Communication Portable Executable Exception Handling .NET Framework Vista Section Editions Microsoft Visual Studio User Account Control Compatibility Verification Obtaining Admin Rights Disable It Address Space Layout Randomization Driver Signing Patch Guard Attacks Registry Filtering Power Management .NET Framework 3.0 Windows Presentation Foundation Windows Communication Foundation Windows Workflow Foundation Conclusions Introduction This is an introduction to Windows Vista and the x64 architecture. Writing an article like this is always uneasy, because there's plenty to talk about, but on the other hand it's an article, not a book. I tried to focus on some important aspects, but it goes without saying it that I had to cut out a lot (e.g. the User-Mode Driver Framework, and I'm very sorry for that). This is just a general overview on certain topics, if you want to learn more, then you should really consider turning to specific guides. Also, I won't talk about some obvious matters of the x64 architecture, like the fact that applications can now access a larger memory range etc. This article should be considered a quick upgrade for x86/XP developers. At the time I write this article I've been using Windows Vista for a month and its official release is scheduled for January 30th (so, in another month). I moved to x64 with XP some months ago and at the time I did I was surprised that I found all the drivers for my devices. But, as we know, Windows Vista requires drivers to be certified, and in order to get the certification companies have to supply a x64 version of the driver. No certification will be released for x86-only drivers. However, at the moment I write, a lot of applications like virtual drive encrypters don't provide drivers for Vista (since x64 versions haven't got a certificate). If you didn't know about the certification, don't worry, I'll talk about it later and you'll see that it's still possible to run drivers without it. I just wanted to say that hardware compatibility is no longer an issue like it was one year ago, and by switching to Windows Vista x64 you're not taking too much chances. I tried to organize this article in two sections, one about the changes brought us by x64 and then by Vista. I tried as hard as possible to separate these two things, because the x64 technology already existed under Windows XP, so it was important to me that the reader was given a clear distinction between those things that affect only Vista and those ones which affect both topics. x64 Section x64 Assembly In this paragraph I'll try to explain the basics of x64 assembly. I assume the reader is already familiar with x86 assembly, otherwise he won't be able to make heads or tails of this paragraph. Moreover, since this is just a very (but very) brief guide, you'll have to look into the AMD64 documentation for more advanced stuff. Some stuff I won't even mention, you'll see by yourself that some instructions are no longer in use: for instance, that the lea instruction has completely taken place of the mov offset. What you're going to notice at once is that there are some more registers in the x64 syntax: 8 new general-purpose registers (GPRs). 8 new 128-bit XMM registers. Of course, all general-purpose registers are 64 bits wide. The old ones we already knew are easy to recognize in their 64-bit form: rax, rbx, rcx, rdx, rsi, rdi, rbp, rsp (and rip if we want to count the instruction pointer). These old registers can still be accessed in their smaller bit ranges, for instance: rax, eax, ax, ah, al. The n[...]

Google to Lose the FIRST Place Soon


Google, the leader of the online search engines, is more and more challenged by other Internet companies that are aiming to build similar solutions with the ones developed by the search giant. In the recent period, the most threatened product is surely YouTube, the online video sharing service, acquired in October 2006 for $1.6 billion. Microsoft and News Corporation announced their plans to build a solution similar with the one powered by Google, aiming to lure the same segment of users. GodTube is also a YouTube competitor that was created to attract Christians and offer them church-related content. As a reply, Google created a special YouTube channel for bishops that will offer the same type of clips.

The most powerful news service on the Internet, Google News, is now challenged by MySpace News a similar solution that receives news from numerous sources. Just like the Google product, MySpace received headlines from several publications and organizes them on categories, offering a Digg-like functionality that enables users to vote the news. Although the solution was launched yesterday, it's obvious the company will have a new rival for the news service.

Some days ago, the Checkout solution offered by Google received a new rival after Yahoo announced a deal with PayPal to allow users to buy products straight from the SERP. Using the new deal, the giant portal will include a product link on the search engine result page, offering a small checkout sign, enabling the visitors to buy stuff. As a reply, Google renamed it Froogle, the old shopping service to Product Search.

Only one thing is sure: Google has numerous competitors in multiple domains but, this is surely a good thing especially for us, the users. The competition promotes better solution and better performance, creating new solutions.

AJAX - A New Technology for Web


Ajax, shorthand for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, is a web development technique for creating interactive web applications. The intent is to make web pages feel more responsive by exchanging small amounts of data with the server behind the scenes, so that the entire web page does not have to be reloaded each time the user makes a change. This is meant to increase the web page's interactivity, speed, and usability. The Ajax technique uses a combination of XHTML (or HTML) and CSS, for marking up and styling information. The DOM accessed with a client-side scripting language, especially ECMAScript implementations such as JavaScript and JScript, to dynamically display and interact with the information presented. The XMLHttpRequest object is used to exchange data asynchronously with the web server. In some Ajax frameworks and in certain situations, an IFrame object is used instead of the XMLHttpRequest object to exchange data with the web server, and in other implementations, dynamically added tags may be used. XML is sometimes used as the format for transferring data between the server and client, although any format will work, including preformatted HTML, plain text, JSON and even EBML. These files may be created dynamically by some form of server-side scripting. Like DHTML, LAMP and SPA, Ajax is not a technology in itself, but a term that refers to the use of a group of technologies together. Ajax is a new meme for an old concept - but what is it and how has it changed since being defined?AJAX is not a new concept or even a single technology. It only gives a name to techniques that have been in use on the web for many years - techniques that eBusiness Applications is proud to have been developing with since 1998. Traditional Web Components In traditional web applications, interactions with the server require time-consuming page reloads. A user completes a web-form, clicks submit, waits for the entire page and all related data to refresh, and then resumes work. Positive Aspects: Produces web applications that have higher levels of compatibility with legacy browsers and mobile systems. Easy to implement using native HTML controls Negative Aspects: Workflow is continually interrupted by page refreshes. Innefficient use of bandwidth.AJAX Based Web Components In the case of software components that use an AJAX model, requests are sent to the server only for the data that is needed, not the whole page. AJAX applications use the following technologies to facilitate this process: XML data sources XSLT to transform data into HTML quickly XMLHttpRequest to perform asynchronous requests for data JavaScript, HTML, and DHTML to display data on the web page Positive Aspects: Can produce smooth, uninterrupted user workflow. Saves bandwidth by only transmitting new information. Creates possibility of entirely new types of user interfaces not possible in traditional model. Doesn`t require 3rd party software like JAVA or Flash. Negative Aspects: Can be difficult to implement WAI and other accessibility guidelines, including compability with text-to-speech devices for the blind, and other assistive technologies. Poor compatibility with very old or obscure browsers, and many mobile devices. Courtesy: Wikipedia[...]

What is AJAX?


AJAX is a not a new technology used in web development. This statement is encouraged by the endless news articles showing sites made with AJAX. In fact AJAX is neither new, nor a technology. It can be seen as a mix of several popular technologies put together to build a friendlier web. The name itself is an acronym for Asynchronous JAvaScript and XML, which already contains two technologies and a technique for loading information. The name was coined by Jesse James Garrett in this essay from the Adaptive Path website. In this mix, XML is used to store and move information between the client and server, HTML and CSS to format the output and JavaScript to bind all of these elements together in a dynamic manner. The asynchronous part comes from the fact that when a change has to be made to the current page (the user clicks on a link, or submits some information), only the part to change is transferred from the server, and not the entire page. Besides these, AJAX is about much more: The way information is displayed in a browser - using HTML/XHTML and CSS. To present information to the client, you still need to use the language that browsers understand: HTML for content and CSS for layout and formatting.In the age of dynamic websites, displaying content is not enough. You have to first retrieve it from a dynamic data source, and process it for final output. This is where XML and XSLT come into play.Tip: Not familiar with XML and XSLT? Read more here!Getting the information from the server and in the user's browser is the next step. The XMLHttpRequest JavaScript object is used for this part. This JavaScript object will be covered in detail later on this article.Once the information is displayed you need to modify it dynamically. For this you will use the Document Object Model (or DOM, for short). To provide dynamics to a static HTML page, DOM manipulation is used to alter the properties of already created page elements. It is done through JavaScript and allows (for example) a div element to become visible, or a button to gray-out when a certain selection has been made.Tip: To learn more about the Document Object Model check out this article from W3 Consortium.The glue that holds all these elements together is JavaScript. This allows retrieving dynamic information, displaying and modifying the page elements. JavaScript is a lightweight programming language used to perform various tasks on the web client. The notion AJAX has come to define a development framework which aims to improve web page usability. As you can see from the list above, none of the technologies used within AJAX are new. What is new is the way these technologies are used together to create new types of web applications that are much more responsive and intuitive than the existing ones. To illustrate this, just have a look at Gmail and Google Maps. The user interfaces are quick in providing the user with the desired information, while performing the minimum of page reloads possible. This new approach to user interaction and application responsiveness is part of a wider technology trend, aimed at making the Internet more friendly and faster.[...]

Google GEMS


Google provides very simple Interface, with most powerful & faster way to fine the relevant information on the Internet. Apart from the Google search, Gmail, Google also provides more technologies to make our life easier.

This article will explore some of the Google’s technologies, which are less known to the most Google users.

Google Calculator
Google search provides calculator function by default to solve complex problems. For any calculations just go to and type in the value for the calculation.
Ex: 7567 + 358

Google Currency Conversion
Like Google calculator, Google currency converter function is provided by default in Google earth to know the currency conversion or equivalent of any value.
Ex: 20 US$ in Indian Money.

Google Trends
Google trends graphs the popularity of particular search terms over time. Results are displayed by city, region or language.

Google special searches
Google’s special search narrows our search on to specific topics.
Ex: Windows specific search

Google Sketchup
Google sketchup is a very simple 3d sketching application to models 3d objects quickly & easily.

Google Page Creation
Google page creator helps us to create page our own web pages.

Google Spread Sheet

Google Calendar

Google OS by 2010


Wishful thinking? Yes, but let's consider the possibilities. The last couple years have seen significant advances in hardware production and design. One of the more interesting (and potentially revolutionary) developments to take place this past year is the announcement of a new CPU, the STI (Sony, Toshiba, IBM) Cell processor.Acting like several CPUs in one, the Cell will be able to power multiple operating systems at once, as well as bear the heavy computing load that a single system can place on the CPU. These past couple years have also seen significant shifts in the direction that computers and their operating systems are to take. Phones, computers, gaming systems, and entertainment centers are becoming more complex, more integrated with each other and the distinction between these devices are becoming more and more blurred. Modern operating systems are reflecting this shift as well, supporting VoiP, integrating audio and video with IM and email, etc. With the maturity of the cell processor, tech manufacturers have the opportunity to combine these functions completely on a single home machine, with dedicated processors or cores for each task, and perhaps dedicated operating systems--or environments--to enhance task performance and simplify the interface.As hardware complexity increases, a simpler, more elegant and straightforward computing interface will likely emerge, separating media from computing, design and multimedia work from office work, with all tied to the Web. With multimedia and gaming relegated to their own places--all of which can operate simultaneously without interfering with one another (thanks to Cell)--there is no need for one beastly, complicated interface to control them all. Each environment can have its own simple, straightforward interface, and the Cell will ensure ease of mobility between environments without disturbing the workflow of any particular environment.Enter Google This is Google's specialty: a simple, easy to use interface, accessible to all levels of users. Though there is no indication that anything like this is in the works, one can easily imagine a streamlined Google OS on its own hard disk partition, separated from the entertainment, gaming, and media production environments. In addition to Google's signature services—a high-powered internet, media, and local disk search engine—it would likely consist of an office suite, a lean web browser, and various other applications and utilities. Consider the technology already at Google's disposal. Start with the world's best search engine with access to the largest body of searchable information and media. Add Gmail: a clean, JavaScript-based application, stored on a server, accessed via the internet, from which a user can not only compose, read, organize, and search their email, but also quickly access Google's search and other services. Now, look at Google News: a world of online news sources, which can be customized to an individual users preferences. Throw in Google's desktop search, the Picasa photo software, and Firefox (Mozilla and Google have significant overlap in their employed workforces) with live bookmarks, and cool research extensions such as dictionary and thesaurus lookup, linky, launchy, and the like. Extend all of this technology to typical desktop applications like office software, then combine them all into one interface and bundle the OS. Simple, powerful, and totally Google.Let's take it one step further. Imagine that all of this software—like the Google search engine, Gmail, etc.—is stored on Google's notoriously well-backed-up servers and operates[...]

AJAX - Overtaking Desktop Applications


The domain where desktop applications beat web applications hands-down is user interaction. In desktop applications, you do not have to wait and stare at a blank screen (most of the time) until an action completes. The user interface is integrated with the actual application and allows instantaneous response. In classic web applications, when some information is submitted or requested you have to wait for an entire new page to load.

The key word that might just change all of that and bring desktop response times to the web is AJAX. This is THE buzz word on the Internet nowadays, appearing everywhere.

Some voices say it's a good thing that will revolutionize the web, while others argue that it is already a dead technology that will never yield anything useful. To truly understand what AJAX is all about, you need to spend some time and browse through a hand-full of articles.

Without covering in detail every little aspect of AJAX, this article will try to shed some light on what AJAX really is, where you should use it and where you shouldn't. No special prerequisite knowledge is required in order to follow this article, but some notions of HTML, CSS and JavaScript will come in handy.