Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Iphone outnumbered by its own sibbling, the ipod touch

According to The Inquirer, APPLE'S IPHONE TOY is being upstaged by the outfit's second generation Coldplaying Ipod.

TouchArcade reports that the second-generation Ipod touch’s processor runs at 532 MHz, while the Iphone 3G’s processor runs at 412 MHz if it is going down hill with the wind behind it.

Both fruit-flavoured toys use an ARM processor which is theoretically capable of running at 620-667Mhz.

It seems that, in a bid to save battery life on both bits of kit, Apple decided to under-clock the processors.

While this dumbing down of the Iphone makes sense when, as it is, it runs out of juice faster than a bloke wandering in the Sahara in summer, it does mean that sometimes Apple gets some embarrassing benchmarks. This one, which says that the smartphone can be beaten in processing ability by an MP3 whose sole function is to play Coldplay and U2 singles, is one.

Still it seems that Apple is slowly getting the hang of speeding up its processor speeds while keeping the battery drain to a minimum.

According to a Polish site iPod info benchmarks between the first generation Ipod Touch and the original Iphone, and the second generation Ipod Touch and the new 3G Iphone, is steadily increasing.

Microsoft searches for solution to Cyberchondria

The inquirer says web surfers are all a bunch of Cyberchondriacs (according to Microsoft), which published the results of a study on health-related Internet search yesterday. The study, which looked at searches on popular search engines and at Volish employee searches, reckons those who look to the Internet for self diagnosis, often end up clinging to the worst case scenario about what may be wrong with them, in other words, Cyberchondria.

Volish boffins are now prescribing features for Mighty-Soft’s search service which could help put such medical queries into context and retrieve less dire results.

Eric Horvitz, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Redmond Giant’s Research labs, told the New York Times, "People tend to look at just the first couple results," explaining "If they find 'brain tumor' or 'ALS', that’s their launching point."

Horovitz and his colleagues found that searching for terms like 'headache' and 'chest pain' were likely to bring up terrifying results with the same frequency as less serious ailments, even though the chances of having a brain tumour or tuberculosis were ridiculously small compared to just suffering from a caffeine overdose or having a bad cough.

The research also found that at least two per cent of all Web searches were health related and about 250,000 of the million people polled admitted to having searched at least once for something medical whilst in the study. A third of these went on to say they had then "escalated" their search to more serious illnesses they thought they may have as a result of the first search results.

Looking for any excuse to pull a sickie, half of the 500 Microsoft employees polled admitted to performing medical searches whilst at work.

Horovitz noted that it would soon be possible to make search engines which were capable of offering advice rather than scaring the bejesus out of people, modeled on a health advisory system for pregnancy and child care built in the 1990s by another team of Volish boffins.

Apple releases Safari 3.2.1 in two weeks

According to The Register, Apple has pumped Safari with yet another update less than two weeks after version 3.2 of the browser was released.

The Cupertino-based company has been scurrying to fix a host of bugs in Safari that left many Mac fanboys in a spin, with the revamped browser consistently crashing on launch.

Safari 3.2.1 was shoved out the door yesterday by Apple, which offered a vague maxim about “stability improvements” being added to the browser.

Version 3.2 landed on 13 November and immediately got a frosty reception from Safari users who complained that the update, which came loaded with improved anti-phishing protection and the latest security fixes, caused frequent crashes.

Yesterday's stealth patch, which had no Apple fanfare whatsoever, is now available for download both for Mac OS X and Windows XP or Vista.

Apple closed a number of security holes with the release of Safari 3.2 including an update to the framework that underpins the browser – Webkit, and a bug in its autocomplete feature.

However, many have grumbled that Safari 3.2 had not been scrutinised and tested enough prior to release. Whether Safari 3.2.1 will right those wrongs remains to be seen.

Tony Blair's private calls were bugged all these years by US agents

Accoring to Dailymail, American spymasters snooped on the private life of Tony Blair, according to reports in the U.S.

Mr Blair was given the code name 'Anchory' as his private telephone calls were routinely listened into and recorded.

A file containing personal information about him is said to have been compiled at a giant U.S. listening post run by the secretive National Security Agency.

The extraordinary claim was made by a former Navy communications operator who worked at a listening post in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

David Murfee Faulk told American TV network ABC News that he had seen a file on the 'private life' of Mr Blair in 2006.

He said his security clearance at the National Security Agency base allowed him access to top-secret information.

Faulk declined to reveal the exact contents of the file, other than to say it contained information of a 'personal nature'.

Faulk said U.S. spymasters also 'bugged' telephone calls made by Iraq's first interim president, Ghazi al-Yawer.

Mr Al -Yawer and Mr Blair were considered two of America's biggest allies in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The admissions will cause huge embarrassment to the U.S.
Read the whole thing at Dailymail page.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Free PC security software from Microsoft in 2009

According to Dailymail, technology giant Microsoft has shocked the industry by announcing it will stop selling its OneCare security software and offer a free alternative instead.

Dubbed 'Morro', the no-frills product will support Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and is expected to launch in the middle of next year.

Shares in rival anti-virus protection firms dived at the news, amid fears the new program would hit their sales.

But Microsoft executives insist their software was targeted at users with low-bandwidth connections and basic notebook computers.

Morro only offers software that protects from malware such as viruses, spyware, and trojans. But security suites from Symantec and McAfee include encryption, firewalls, password protection, parental controls and data backup programs.

'It is really focused on the 50 to 60 per cent (of PC users) who don't have, or won't pay for, anti-virus protection, anti-malware protection,' said Microsoft's Amy Barzdukas.

'This new, no-cost offering will give us the ability to protect an even greater number of consumers, especially in markets where the growth of new PC purchases is outpaced only by the growth of malware.'

The PC leader appears to be cutting its losses after OneCare only managed to garner two per cent of the security software market since its launch in 2006.

But why offer security software at all? Analyst Jon Oltsik told cnet.com he suspects Microsoft would take a massive PR blow if they walked away from such a large section of the computer market.

As a trusted brand name, consumers are more likely to opt for Microsoft's anti-viral software than other less well-known free products such as Clam AV.

However, Anti-virus firms are remaining defiant following the announcement.

'It's simply not in Microsoft's DNA to provide high-quality, frequently updated security protection,' Symantec's Rowan Trollope said.

One year free digital edition of PC magazine

Amit at digital Inspiration says that the print edition of PC Magazine will be discontinued from January 2009 as the magazine publishers have decided to go 100% digital. That means you will still be able buy a copy of PC Magazine like before but the mode of delivery will change – the monthly issue will land in your email inbox instead of the mailbox.

Now here’s a more interesting offer – you can grab a one-year subscription of PC Magazine (Digital Edition) for free using this link. Type in your email and they’ll send you the download link as soon as a new issue of PC Magazine becomes available. If you are not too excited about PC Magazine, there are other options as well including Adobe Layers, Men’s Journal, iPhone Life, Parenting, MIT Technology Review, Yoga, US News, Penthouse, Playboy and Popular Science. You can subscribe to any of them for free.

This offer is part of the Read Green initiative where they’re giving away one-year subscriptions of several digital magazines for free to make people realize the benefits of this environment-friendly magazine format. The only catch is that you can subscribe to one magazine per email address which is the same as your Zinio Account.

Chainless bicycles

According to CNN, pedalers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains. If you've ever been riding down the street and had your pants cuff ripped asunder, there may be a revolution at hand.

Trek Bicycle is part of a movement to bury the finger-pinching, pants-munching, rust-prone sprocket and chain, and usher in an era of belt-driven bikes that might have the inventors of the self-propelled transportation Schwinning in their graves.

Wisconsin-based Trek is introducing two models this holiday season that are chainless, instead using technology most often found in things like motorcycles and snowmobiles. While some smaller custom bike makers have used them before, Trek is the first to use the technology for mass-produced bicycles.

The largest U.S. domestic bike manufacturer is hoping to capitalize on a new group of urban pedal-pushers who are trading their cars for a more low-tech way to get around because of gas prices as well as health and environmental concerns.
Read More.

Gadgets to avoid buying this holiday season

According to Pegoraro at Washingtonpost, It's pretty much all negativity, explaining why five kinds of gadgets aren't worth your money this holiday season: Blu-ray high-definition players, XM and Sirius satellite radio receivers, set-top Internet video boxes, phones running Google's Android software and e-book readers like Amazon's Kindle.

My inbox has yet to fill up with "how could you?!" or "Ugh" e-mails from publicists for the companies that make these things, but I'm pretty sure those messages are being composed as I write this.

I understand why they might feel a little blindsided -- I've said complimentary things about all of these things in the past. See, for example, my assessments of such Internet video receivers as Apple's Apple TV and Roku's Netflix Player; T-Mobile's G1 Android phone; and Amazon's Kindle.

(Then again, I've long been a Blu-ray skeptic, and I thought the Sirius-XM merger was a dumb idea from the start.)

If you ask me about these five gadgets again in late 2009, I might be far more optimistic about them -- almost all of their failings are not the result of any technological limits, but business decisions made by companies who could do better. Android phones, for example, should be a much better choice once more than one carrier and manufacturer offer them. On the other hand, companies can be awfully stubborn about admitting they've made a mistake (Apple comes to mind in particular). So I'm really not sure. How about you? How do you think these five gadgets will be doing a year from now?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A submersible airplane

According to Layer 8 at Networkworld, this sounds like something straight out of a James Bond movie but no, it's real and it's your government: Those way out engineers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) want to build an aircraft that's as capable of zipping through the sky as it is underwater.

The agency's Submersible Aircraft research project is exploring the possibility of making an aircraft that can maneuver underwater with the goal of revolutionizing the US Department of Defense's ability to, for example, bring warfighters and equipment to coastal locations or enhance rescue operations. DARPA said that the concept being evaluated here is for a submersible aircraft, not a flying submarine. It is expected that the platform will spend the bulk of its time in the air and will only spend short periods of time submerged according to the agency.

According to DARPA: "The difficulty with developing such a craft come from the diametrically opposed requirements that exist for an airplane and a submarine. While the primary goal for airplane designers is to try and minimize weight, a submarine must be extremely heavy in order to submerge underwater. In addition, the flow conditions and the systems designed to control a submarine and an airplane are radically different, due to the order of magnitude difference in the densities of air and water."

Replacing the lost eyeball with a webcam

According to Joe Gould at NYdailynews, A one-eyed San Francisco artist wants to replace her missing eye with a Web cam - and tech experts say it's possible.

"I'd always given thought to using cameras to restore sight to the blind," said Dr. William Danz, whose patient, Tanya Vlach, wants the groundbreaking device. "This is a little different, more like James Bond stuff."

Vlach, who lost her eye in a 2005 car accident, wears a realistic acrylic prosthesis, but she's issued a challenge to engineers on her blog: build an "eye cam" for her prosthesis that can dilate with changes of light and allow her to blink to control its zoom, focus, and on/off switch.

"There have been all sorts of cyborgs in science fiction for a long time, and I'm sort of a sci-fi geek," said Vlach, 35. "With the advancement of technology, I thought, 'Why not?'" The eye cam could allow her to record her entire life or even shoot a reality TV show from her eye's perspective. Vlach said she will let inspiration strike once she has the device.

"There are a lot of ideas floating around...nothing too exploitative," said Vlach. "I don't want to be a spy and infringe on people's rights, and at the same time, there are amazing possibilities."

Vlach's challenge, first reported by tech blogger Kevin Kelly, has inspired blog posts from around the world and e-mails to Vlach from dozens of eager engineers.

Mobile computing expert Roy Want told the Daily News the technology exists.

"It is possible to build a wireless camera with the dimensions of the eyeball," said Want, a senior principal engineer at Intel. "You can find spy cams or nanny cams designed to fit into inconspicuous places in the home."

Want said the camera, which would be encased in Vlach's prosthesis to avoid moisture, could link wirelessly to a smart phone.

The smart phone could send power to the camera wirelessly and relay the camera's video feed by cell phone network to another person, a TV studio or a computer.

In a world where eye cams are common, they might serve as a kind of computerized backup to people's memories, Want said.

"You'd never need to forget anything again," he said. "You'd never lose anything. You could ask it, 'Where was the last time I saw my keys?'"

Is Blackberry Storm a threat to iphone?

The Storm is a striking device. From the second you lay eyes on it, it's clear that a lot of time and care went into crafting this phone. The majority of the front panel is display, a large 3.25-inch (480 x 360) touchscreen sitting just shy of flush with a silver bezel that runs around the sides, top, and bottom of the device. The bands seem to be plastic, not metal, and trace the outline of the moderately thick (0.55-inch) phone, looping around the back, while the rest of the surface is a high gloss, piano black plastic. Below the screen are four familiar BlackBerry keys (phone, menu, back, and end / power), along the left is a convenience key and a micro USB port (RIM has eschewed the more common mini USB slot for the lower profile of the newer variation, though that seems to be the way the industry is headed), and on the right side is another convenience key, volume rocker, and (yay!) 3.5mm headphone jack. Around back, the battery cover is made from solid piece of brushed aluminum, and the camera and flash sit atop the plate, covered by a glossy plastic strip. Along the top of the phone there's a single LED to the right, and lock and mute keys incorporated into either side of the casing like soft rockers -- a nice touch. Generally, the construction of the hardware and components used seem higher in quality than previous devices from the company, with buttons that click tightly and a heft that tries (and succeeds) to communicate an understated class.
Catch the whole review here.

A free copy of learning CSS

If you are looking for some offline resourcs to learn CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), here’s an offer that you should not miss.

The Art & Science of CSS is a good CSS book (read reviews at Amazon) packed full of practical examples. You’ll learn about CSS techniques like making rounded corners, creating navigation tabs, styling web forms and list, designing web page backgrounds with images and so on.

The book costs around $40 but you can download this for free as a PDF ebook. All you have to do is either follow @sitepointdotcom on Twitter or put your email address at SitePoint.com.

If you are worried about sharing your email, go with the twitter approach – as you soon as follow sitepoint, they’ll send you a direct message with a link to download the free CSS book. Thanks Amit.

Google advise on building a better blog

According to Digital Inspiration, last week, Google released an helpful SEO Guide [PDF Book] that discusses factors which are often responsible for improving the rankings of your websites in Google and other search engines.

Now there’s a new document from the same Google Webmaster Central team that offers tips on how bloggers can improve their blogs.

It suggesting publishing full feeds, using tags and getting readers though comments on other blogs. If you have a blog, you probably know all of this already but for those in a hurry, here’s a quick summary:

1. Provide full-text RSS Feeds: Rich, full-content feeds make users happy because they can view your content with minimal effort. They may result in a short-term decline in visits to your actual blog, but the long-term gains of increased readership and mindshare are typically worth it.

2. How often should you blog: A frequently updated site encourages people to return - as long as your content remains relevant and engaging. A useful post once a week is better than low-quality content published daily.

3. Leave thoughtful comments on other blogs: Visit these blogs, comment on posts, and participate in the discussion. Thoughtful comments with useful information will make readers more likely to visit your site.

4. Use Categories & Tags in your blog: Labels and tags are a great way to organize your content, and encourage users to browse your blog.

5. What should your write about: A great idea is to search Google for subjects of interest in your field. If you can’t find a good answer, create a blog post about the subject - chances are that other people are searching for the same thing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gmail to turn into different shades

Gmail fans have been building unofficial extensions to spice up their inboxes for a while, but up til now themes haven't been an integral part of Gmail. We wanted to go beyond simple color customization, so out of the 30 odd themes we're launching today, there's a shiny theme with chrome styling, another one that turns your inbox into a retro notepad, nature themes that change scenery over time, weather driven themes that can rain on your mailbox, and fun characters to keep you in good company. There's even an old school ascii theme (Terminal) which was the result of a bet between two engineers -- it's not exactly practical, but it's great for testing out your geek cred. We've also done a minor facelift to Gmail's default look to make it crisper and cleaner -- you might notice a few colors and pixels shifted around here and there.

If u don't see it, then just wait for it to work. Its not finished in all parts of the world.

Nasty ad of Microsoft Zune

Follow this link to see this video

Worlds biggest photo archive online thru google

One of the biggest photo collections in the world is now available to the public online, thanks to Life Magazine and Google. Most of the photographs, which range from the 1750s through the present day, have never been seen before.

As of Tuesday, 20% of Life's approximately 10 million image library of photographs is available; according to the Google press release, more will be added until all are available. Follow the story for details.

Reduced prices of Zune from Microsoft

Microsoft introduced its latest Zune models, as well as the version 3.0 update of its software in September. And here we are, already facing a price cut, and a pretty good one at that. Although Microsoft would like to call it a holiday price cut, one would have to wonder if the difficult economy, which has led to some pretty sad forecasts from retailers, has anything to do with this.

Just FYI, these cuts are only for flash-based Zunes and accessories. According to the official Zune blog, the prices, starting tomorrow, will be as follows:

Zune 4GB - $99.99 (-$30)
Zune 8GB - $139.99 (-$10)
Zune 16GB - $179.99 (-$20)
Car Pack - $69.99 (-$10)
Home/AV Pack - $59.99 (-$20)
Dock Pack - $39.99 (-$10)

More can be found from Techexpert.

Walmart to sell iphones along with Bestbuy

Wal-Mart is set to join Best Buy as yet another retailer selling the iPhone, outside of the obvious Apple and AT&T locations. According to a report by BGR, they have internal communications that indicate the retail giant will begin selling the iPhone 3G on December 28th.

Yes, that is weird. That's the first thing I thought. Why start selling it after Christmas? You'd think, particularly in such a poor retail economy, Apple would want the iPhone 3G in Wal-Mart stores during the holiday shopping season, if possible. On the other hand, this is forecast to be an extremely poor season, anyway.

Some 2,500 Wal-Mart locations will offer the device, according to the site, as well as 69 Sam's Club locations. Catch full story from Techexpert.

Breaking the petaflop barrier

A new crop of supercomputers is breaking down the petaflop speed barrier, pushing high-performance computing into a new realm that could change science more profoundly than at any time since Galileo, leading
researchers say.

When the Top 500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers was announced at the international supercomputing conference in Austin, Texas, on Monday, IBM had barely managed to cling to the top spot, fending off a challenge from Cray. But both competitors broke petaflop speeds, performing 1.105 and 1.059 quadrillion floating-point calculations per second, the first two computers to do so.

These computers aren't just faster than those they pushed further down the list, they will enable a new class of science that wasn't possible before. As recently described in Wired magazine, these massive number crunchers will push simulation to the forefront of science.

Scientists will be able to run new and vastly more accurate models of complex phenomena: Climate models will have dramatically higher resolution and accuracy, new materials for efficient energy transmission will be developed and simulations of scramjet engines will reach a new level of complexity.

Read the rest of the article including a video at wired.com

Doctors to visit patients online

American Well aims to reinvent the house call.

If Roy Schoenberg, the start-up’s co-founder and chief executive, has his way, patients will no longer have to wait a month to see a doctor for an urgent sore throat, wait all day for a doctor to return their call or leave work midday and drive a long distance for a routine appointment. Instead, patients will log on to their computers and find themselves face-to-face with physicians over Webcam.

Consumers are bombarded with health information from their insurance companies and from the Web, often full of advice from writers or fellow patients, not physicians. “What we’re missing is the very bare-bones health care: talking to a doctor. That’s why I started American Well,” said Dr. Schoenberg, a doctor who has founded two other software companies. He co-founded American Well with his brother, Ido Schoenberg.

Read full story from NYtimes here

Send large files online easily

Once you build a brand on the Internet, you try different ways to build upon that brand. That’s exactly what Scott Adams, creator of the very popular Dilbert comic strip, is trying to do with his new service "Dilbert Files".

Dilbert Files lets you send large files on the Internet without having to attach them in an email message. You can either upload the file using the Dilbert app for desktop, through Microsoft Outlook or just use the web browser.

And yes, you got that right. Dilbert Files looks like a clone of existing services like YouSendIt and RapidShare sans any free component. For instance, you need to shell out around $10 per month for sending files up to 250 MB per month.

Techies, who know about services like DropBox, Box.net or Windows Live Skydrive, will definitely find the price of Dilbert Files a bit steep but for millions of other Scott fans, this may just be another way to get more of their daily Dilbert dose – you can read coming strips even while the file is uploading.

Dilbert cartoons appear in some 2,000 newspapers in 70 countries but as the number of traditional newspapers continues to shrink, Scott Adams says that "this is the sort of thing that will help keep Dilbert free online." Am sure die-hard Dilbert fans won’t be complaining here.
This was a tip from labnol.org again.

Great tip on how to read popular magazines for free

Amit at labnol.org has a great tip on reading magazines for free.
This is a very simple & non-geeky trick to help you read the latest issue of popular magazines like PC Magazine, MIT Technology Review, Popular Mechanics, MacWorld, Lonely Planet, Reader’s Digest, etc without paying any subscription charges.

You will also get to read adult magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. Best of all, these digital magazines are exact replicas of print and served as high-resolution images that you can also download on to the computer for offline reading.

How to Read Online Magazines for Free

safari-magazines Step 1: If you are on a Windows PC, go to apple.com and download the Safari browser. Mac users already have Safari on their system.

Step 2: Once you install Safari, go to Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced and check the option that says "Show Develop menu in menu bar."

Step 3: Open the "Develop" option in the browser menu bar and choose Mobile Safari 1.1.3 - iPhone as the User Agent.

Step 4: You’re all set. Open zinio.com/iphone inside Safari browser and start reading your favorite magazines for free. Use the navigation arrows at the top to turn pages.

For people in countries like India who are already subscribed to Zinio Digital Magazines, this hack is still useful because you get access to certain magazines which are otherwise not available for subscription via Zinio (e.g., Penthouse and Playboy).

Geeks may write a AutoHotKey script or create a "scrolling capture" profile in SnagIt that will auto-flip magazine pages and save all the images locally.

Get your last copy of PC magazine

This month and next one will be your last chance to get ur hands on PCmagazine print edition. It will be completely online from Jan of 2009.

Blu-ray player for $128 in walmart

According to DVDtown.com, Wal-mart is believed to take the Magnavox Blu-ray Disc Player, NB500MG9 down to a $128 price tag.

The price is expected to be announced around Black Friday. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving (November 27) and marks the beginning of the traditional US Christmas shopping season.

The new price was disclosed on Bargainlist.com, one of several Web sites reporting Black Friday pricing from select big box retailers, and first reported by DVDTOWN last weekend.

The Magnavox Blu-ray player is one of the Funai-manufactured clones that can be found under various brands.

Improving your laptop battery life

According to Rick Broida at PCworld.com, these are the three ways one can save their laptops battery life.

Like chocolate and episodes of Mad Men, there's no such thing as too much battery life. Alas, it's the rare notebook battery that'll give you more than a few hours-unless you know some tricks for squeezing extra juice. Remember these three tips the next time you travel:

Disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Few airplanes offer Wi-Fi (yet), so turn off your notebook's power-sucking Wi-Fi radio. Same goes for Bluetooth.

Drop the screen brightness You can afford to keep screen brightness cranked up when your notebook is plugged into an outlet, but not when you're flying coach. Drop the brightness setting a few notches, then get back to work. Chances are you'll hardly notice the difference. Then drop it a few more notches. The lower, the better.

Watch downloads, not DVDs Notebooks are great for watching movies, but DVD drives consume a considerable amount of power. Therefore, leave the DVDs behind and choose digital downloads instead. Stock your hard drive with movies from Amazon or iTunes and you'll be able to watch longer. Don't want to pay for movies you already own? Use a tool like Handbrake to rip your DVDs, creating MPEG-4 files you can store on your hard drive (or put on your iPod, thus saving your notebook even more power)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Motorola VE240 coming to metroPCS and Cricket

According to Engagdget, the scrappy little VE240 candybar from Moto is destined for a pair of regionals -- Cricket and MetroPCS. It's got stereo Bluetooth, MP3 support, expandable memory up to 4GB, and that's about it; nothing to get terribly excited about, but the light spec sheet should keep things affordable. It's available now in Cricket's Tulsa market with wider availability coming to both carriers in the next few weeks.

LG Incite from AT&T

Engagdget noticed this on AT&T's web store in the wee hours this morning, and sure enough, they've gone ahead and announced the LG Incite in all its official glory today (normally the announcement comes before the web store stuff, but whatever). It's got WiFi, a 3-megapixel camera, a 3-inch touchscreen equipped with haptics and 400 x 240 resolution, AT&T Navigator, microSD support up to 16GB, triband HSDPA, and Windows Mobile 6.1 -- in other words, LG's produced a nice QWERTY-less foil to the Fuze here. It's available straight away in stores, too, as long as you're willing to shell out the $199.99 on contract after rebates.

New GPS models from goodyear

According to Engagdget, The folks over at The NCC just hit us with details and pictures of their five new Goodyear-branded GPS models, three of which are due out in time for Christmas. Starting at $179.99 for the entry level, 3.5-inch GY130, and working their way skywards to $499.99 for the GY440 4.3-inch widescreen with Bluetooth and 12 months free MSN Direct, all models feature touchscreens, Instant Rerouting (the device calculates all alternate routes in a one-mile radius of the vehicle, so recalculation isn't needed if you get off course), a SiRF GPS receiver, turn-by-turn spoken directions and 3D view. There is plenty more to these units, however -- hit the gallery for plenty of truly breathtaking renders and check out pricing and stats after the break.

Blog add-ons and tools one should need

According to Amith at labnol.org, these are the amazing tips one should consider.

Have a blog? Earn revenue from relevant ads - Try Google AdSense www.google.com/adsense
Here’s a collection of most useful blog add-ons or extras that can be easily integrated with any website and will help in enhancing your visitors’ experience.

All these 15 add-ons are free and you don’t have to be a geek to use them on your site.

1. Google Talk Badge - This badge will enable site visitors to get in touch with you quickly. They won’t need a Google account and the badge is enabled only when you are online. Alternative is meebo me.

2. Web2PDF Online - Love this. People can download your articles as PDF files with a click. The PDFs are free of any advertising and you also get full access to stats so you know what articles downloaded most, etc. (example)

3. Zoho Creator - If you ever need to create web forms for your blog, use Zoho Creator. It lets you customize the form layouts, there are no data limits and best of all, readers can upload file attachments while submitting the form.

4. HP Blog Printing - This makes your blog printer friendly. Visitors can pick blog posts that they want to print and only the text + images get printed. Everything else including banners, sidebars, etc. are cut off from the printed version.

5. Outbrain Ratings - The is the best way to add ratings to your blog posts. Outbrain offers two extra advantages as well - your readers can find more stories related to the one they are currently reading and two, they can rate stories even from feed readers.

6. ShareThis or AddThis - They help reduce clutter on your blog by neatly arranging icons in a CSS drop-down that appears only on mouse hover. Both are similar though I prefer AddThis as it is loads faster and allows branding.

7. Google Feed Wizard - This is useful if you have to embed RSS feeds in your blog - you can create blocks in either horizontal or vertical format. If your need options other than AJAX, try these RSS widgets or the static Google Gadgets.

8. Skribit - This is again a great tool to get feedback and opinions from your site visitors.

For instance, you can put up a question like "What should I write about" or "How Can I improve" in the sidebar and readers can add opinions anonymously. They can even vote on suggestions left by other visitors. See example.

9. who.amung.us - This helps you and your readers know how many people are currently on the site and what pages are they reading. No sign-up required and amung.us will even tell you the exact location of different visitors on a map.

10. Eco Safe Badge - This badge allows website visitors to send a full copy of your web page to any email address in HTML or PDF format. Alternatively, they can download a PDF version of the page in a click. The whole idea is to discourage visitors from printing web pages.

11. Meebo Rooms - This allows visitors on your website to interact with each other inside a chat room. Other options worth exploring include Google Lively but again, Lively requires installation at the client’s end.

12. Scribd iPaper - If you frequently link to PDF files and Microsoft Office documents like doc or xls, the Scribd iPaper add-on will make sure that your content remains accessible even to readers who don’t have Microsoft Office or Adobe Reader.

You simply copy-and-paste a small block of code into your webpage, and QuickSwitch converts all the documents in your blog into Flash Paper format hosted on Scribd. If you only link to PDF files, try PDFMeNote script.

13. Yahoo! Media Player - If you have an audio blog or frequently link to MP3 files, integrate the Yahoo! media players in your blog template - this auto-detects any MP3 links and creates an embedded player so you are saved from all the hard work.

14. Translate Gadget - This lets your non-English speaking visitors translate articles from your website in their native language using Google Translation.

Alternatively, you can create your own translation box with language flags or through a different translation service.

15. Digg Your Blog - A good Digg widget that doesn’t get much attention.

Unlike the regular "Digg This" buttons, this widget creates a list of posts from your own blog that are currently getting votes on Digg. Put it in your sidebar to highlight "recently popular" content.