Long awaited digg v3 has gone live. First thing that put me off was the large text add on top of the web page. There seems to be lot of test ads thrown around.
Apart from that, I liked the new categorical organization of the stories. For once, I liked the new Gaming category. Now, I won’t see some silly Super Mario stories on the front page. There are plenty of new features. Instead of going through multiple links/sorting etc., I can now easily see the upcoming stories by just clicking on a link. A direct link to “Bury Story” is also a welcome change, which is a kind of undigg. There are plenty of other small improvements, check out for yourself.
I also hope to see all the outsourcing slams discussed only in the “World and Business” section than the technology section.
Another fad with Linux enthusiasts these days is the Compiz Window manager. Coupled with an X Server architecture like the Xgl or AIGLX, you can get some awesome graphic effects on the Linux desktop.
I downloaded and installed the Xgl and Compiz applications from the quinnstorms repository as given in this thread. I followed the second how-to to install it as another desktop session, so that I can revert to metacity if I want to use the normal desktop. It took almost an hour to set everything up. Once I rebooted into the new desktop, the graphics effects just blew me away. Especially impressive are the cube and the rotate plugins while the more useful ones are the Alt-Tab switching with live preview and expose kind of interface to view all your applications in one screen. Compiz uses plugins to achieve different individual graphics effects. Currently, there are so many number of plugins available like the Wobbly, cube, rotate, miniwin, dock, fade, minimize, zoom, scale etc., I could not get a good screenshot of the cube or rotate plugins, so I am not posting them here, but the following from linuxedge.org could give you an idea.
The major problem with Xgl is that it is resource hungry and a bit buggy too. If you are using an intel based graphics adapter, AIGLX is a better option. A complete how to guide is here. So at the end of the day, I replaced XGL with AIGLX, disabled a few buggy plugins like miniwin and the dock and removed the wobbly plugin too. (Wobbly made me dizzy). All is well and fine now. I believe I can use compiz as the primary window manager after all these tweaks.
It is surprising to see that all these jazzy graphic effects work effortlessly on my integrated graphics card, intel GMA 900. Windows Vista upgrade advisor wants me to upgrade my graphics card to run aero, which effectively means that I have to buy a replacement for my 6 month old laptop in order to enjoy all the graphics effects in Vista. If compiz can do it, why not Vista? Vista in fact offers much less graphic effects compared to compiz. I see nothing but a conspiracy by the hardware vendors and Microsoft in this case.
I was just diagnosed with a deadly disease called Neophilia, which among other side effects, could also lead to bankruptcy. Not a very good news, isn’t it?
One fine morning you wake up and find that your pocket IE is not working. Cursing Microsoft, you launch Newsbreak to check your latest news articles and get annoyed that this application too is not working. Worse, even your pocket Outlook has gone for a toss. You start blaming Bill Gates now.
Well, the problem really is because of all the tweaks that you made on the Windows Mobile OS. In order to free up the Program memory and storage, most geeky users edit the registry to store data in the Storage Card – the IE cache, rss cache, outlook mails, PIM data etc., You edit the registry and change storage locations to something like "Storage Card\IECache" and the like. Well, there is nothing wrong in it and it is a good idea indeed. Unfortunately, if there is some error in the Storage Card, your Pocket PC or Smartphone may not be able to locate this folder, and so it automatically creates a folder by name "Storage Card" in the memory! When your SD card is inserted back or restored, your phone or pda gives it the name Storage Card2, since there is a folder already by name Storage Card.
If this happens, all the shortcuts/launchers for applications that are installed in the Storage card will stop working, though you can still launch them by going to the respective folder in Storage Card2. You cannot delete "Storage card" folder because some applications may be using files from here. The solution? Rename the folder! Once you rename, immediately do a soft reset. Once the OS boots again, quickly locate this renamed folder and delete it. Now you can insert your SD/CF card back and you will see it being properly named as Storage Card. Peace.
PS: This is my first article in a series of tips and tricks that I am going to publish for Windows Mobile users.
IBM and Georgia Tech have coaxed a chip to run at 500GHz, a record for a silicon-based device, by dropping the temperature to minus 451 degrees Fahrenheit. This is just 8 degrees below absolute minimum.
Runnning at room temperature, this cheap can reach speeds of 300-350 GHz which is way ahead than today’s industrial standards. Terahertz is just around the corner!
It is just two months since I started using the HTC Wizard (O2 Mini S) and an upgrade is already announced! The HTC TyTN is going to be one of the first Windows Mobile Smartphone that will be branded and sold as HTC itself. HTC earlier used to market the phones under their own brands called as QTEK and DOPOD (and possibly KROME too. The owners of KROME remain a mystery) along with plenty of other Operator brands like O2, Orange etc.
The TyTN has pretty impressive specs. Being a 3G phone with HSDPA, it sports a dual camera for video calling. It is one of the few phones which support 3G and EDGE on the same device. The most interesting aspect of the phone is a Blackberry-like jog dial which can be used for scrolling. The rolling jog-dial is touted to be one of the reasons why Blackberry is so popular among managers. The only other Windows Mobile based smartphone which possesses a jog-dial is the iconic Motorola Q. Another marked improvement of TyTN (I hate these Moto-ish names, BTW) over the Wizard is the 400 MHz processor. While the maker of the CPU is unknown, it is definitely an improvement over the 195 MHz TI OMAP processor on the Wizard. The TyTN carries a microSD slot as opposed to miniSD on the Wizard, which is bad news for many Wizard/Magician owners- they now have to shell out more money to buy a large microSD card. The phone sports other regulars like Bluetooth, WiFi and Windows Mobile 5 with direct push email.
So all the Wizard owners- give a big hand to the HTC TyTN and get ready to go bankrupt when it gets released by end of July.
These days, I avoid posting anything that is non-technical in this website. This one is an exception since this is related to Apple, one of the most admired tech companies. Typically, almost all electronic devices are manufactured by ODMs (Original Device Manufacturers) and branded with big names like HP, Apple etc., For example, most laptop computers are manufactured by one of the two Taiwan based companies – Compal and Quanta. (They then get branded as HP, compaq, DELL etc.,) The bigger companies work with the ODMs to arrive at the design, components etc., which are then mass produced.
In the same fashion, Apple sources the iPod players from a company called Foxconn, which is again located in Taiwan. The article at Arstechnica shows the pitiable condition of the workers who manufacture the iPods. If what is claimed by the British daily is true, the labourers get only US$50 as their monthly salary. Yes, monthly salary. The pictures of the factory also show the poor environmental conditions in which they work. To add to their misery, half the salary is paid back to the company to take care of food and stay expenses! Thankfully, tech companies in India are not this bad. For example the new Nokia factory in Chennai is said to be of international class with good facilities and offer good pay packets for employees,
Recently, I needed to learn the C# language to quickly develop a mobile application (for my personal use). I started the worst way – I picked up a big fat book. Even before I could complete the first chapter, I lost all the interest and resorted to the web looking for some short tutorials. Even that turned out to be a boring task as most tutorials start with the syntax of the language along with some silly examples to illustrate points.
The approach suggested by Prashant in this article is interesting and no doubt, will help anyone to learn a language pretty quickly. Simple, yet very effective approach, which will make learning a new language a real fun.
As part of my experiments with Linux as the primary OS, I was looking for a good photo management application. I remembered that Google made a version for Linux a few weeks back. When I went to the Google site to get more details about it, there was a shock in store for me. Google's port of Picasa is not a native port – it is just a nice package of the Windows version running on top of Wine. Hmmm… I was not expecting this from Google.
That effectively means, any future Linux port of Google applications will only be running on top of wine rather than as native GTK/QT applications.
I am going to try f-spot and will post my finding here soon.
Update 13-Jun-2006: Google is not that bad by the way They released the Linux port of Google Earth yesterday. It is a native QT port available here