Sunday, 31 October 2010

Theta Music Trainer helps you develop musical hearing

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thetamusictrainer

I've always wanted to do something musical. But having received no musical education and not coming from a musically-inclined family, I find myself dreading the subject and feeling that it's all a bit too much for me. I'm speaking mainly of the theoretical side of it, which has to do with figuring out all of those scales and then telling them apart.

Theta Music Trainer has shown me that I might have a chance to grasp this music thing after all. It's composed of several Flash-based games, each of which is focused on an aspect of "educated listening." Here are three examples:

  • Paddle Pitch trains your ear to recognize "scale tones." It's basically Pong, but you use the number keys to move the paddle, and you need to move the paddle to whatever sound was played.
  • Melodic Drops plays two-note sequences, and you have to figure out the musical interval between the two notes (an octave, two identical notes, etc.).
  • Parrot Phrases is by far the hardest one. The game plays sequences of notes, and you have to play them back by ear on a virtual piano, keyboard, or guitar.

In its free form, Theta Music Trainer is a very limited demo; it lets you play only the first level of every game. But if you pay $7.95/mo, you get full access to all levels. That's what it says on the contact page, anyway, but I wasn't able to find out how to subscribe.

The idea is very, very good, and the execution feels solid. So, even if Theta Music Trainer isn't quite ready for prime time, this is definitely one to keep an eye on for your musical training.

Theta Music Trainer helps you develop musical hearing originally appeared on Download Squad on Sat, 23 Oct 2010 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/23/theta-music-trainer-helps-you-develop-musical-hearing/

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Firefox 4 to ship at the beginning of 2011

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Mike Beltzner, the Director of Firefox, has just confirmed that the Firefox 4 release candidates will appear at the beginning of 2011. The Firefox 4 Beta wiki has also been updated to reflect the goals, targets and deliverables of the last few months of the beta testing process.

The next release, Beta 7, which is due out in the next week or two, is the most important of them all. Mozilla has now ordered a 'code freeze' for Firefox, meaning no new features can be added -- Beta 7 will be, for all intents and purposes, Firefox 4. After its release it becomes a matter of getting the almost-finished browser into the hands of add-on developers, ironing out bugs, and ultimately delivering a stable release candidate.

In other news, Firefox 3.6.12 was released only a few minutes ago. It fixed a critical security vulnerability that was exploited earlier today on the Nobel Peace Prize website.

Firefox 4 to ship at the beginning of 2011 originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 27 Oct 2010 17:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/27/firefox-4-to-ship-at-the-beginning-of-2011/

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Office Mobile 15 job posting heralds "next wave of innovation"

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With Windows Phone 7 and Office Mobile 2010 only just now making their big debut, it's time for Microsoft to focus on what's next. And based on this job posting over at LinkedIn, that's precisely what they're doing.

The post seeks a test lead for Microsoft's business division in Hyderabad, and they hope to build on what they feel is already a "breakthrough for Microsoft in the mobile market." The Office Mobile 15 team's goal? To " define and build the next generation of software and services for mobile professionals."

Microsoft began recruiting new Windows Phone 8 team members as far back as April of this year, so it certainly makes sense to finish assembling the group who will be responsible for the OS' flagship app. [And, judging by that image, let's hope that WP8 will feature a landscape orientation... -Ed]

[via Windows8beta]

Office Mobile 15 job posting heralds "next wave of innovation" originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 26 Oct 2010 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/26/office-mobile-15-job-posting-heralds-next-wave-of-innovation/

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Get Ready to Kiss IPv4 Goodbye: Q&A With ICSA Labs' Guy Snyder, Part 1

The Obama administration has recently turned up the heat on moving to IPv6, the next version of the Internet protocol after the one currently in use, IPv4. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra issued a memo Sept. 28 instructing CIOs of executive departments and agencies in the federal government to take several actions, including enabling the use of native IPv6, by the end of 2012.

Source: http://www.technewsworld.com/rsstory/71118.html

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What's on Facebook's mind? Mobile event set for November 3rd

Facebook's made no official push into the smartphone universe -- to date, we've been left using various mobile apps to connect with J. Timberlake, Marky Z. and the rest of the crew, but it looks as if the preeminent social networking site of our generation (ahem) is just about ready to clear the air on at least one issue. The invite above recently landed in our inbox, requesting our presence at "a mobile event at Facebook HQ" in Palo Alto, California. Naturally, we'll be on hand from NorCal bringing you the blow-by-blow, and we're interested to know what you think will be on deck. Will we finally see the Facebook phone that it quickly shot down? The Nexus Two with a borderline-criminal amount of Facebook integration? The resurgence of using pastel colored tin cans to connect Jane and Joe? Whatever the case, we're sure It's Complicated.

What's on Facebook's mind? Mobile event set for November 3rd originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 30 Oct 2010 12:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/30/whats-on-facebooks-mind-mobile-event-set-for-november-3rd/

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Girl pretends iPod touch is an iPhone to scare away kidnapper

It turns out that the iPod touch is a kidnapper deterrent. In Stanton, Delaware, a 12-year-old girl was waiting for a ride outside Stanton Middle School when a man driving a white van pulled up next to her and yelled at her to “get in the van”. Instead of panicking, the girl pulled out her [...]

Girl pretends iPod touch is an iPhone to scare away kidnapper is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheIphoneBlog/~3/Y-G3ApLuyF4/

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Skype 5 with Facebook integration sheds beta tag

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Skype has just announced Version 5 for Windows. This version has been in beta for quite some time, and it's now officially out. Amongst the new features:

  • Group video - which is still labeled "beta," even though the app itself is final
  • Automatically recovering dropped calls - Skype redials the other party; from our experience, it sometimes intentionally drops the call when the connection is really bad, and then it redials to try and get a better connection.
  • Facebook integration -- you can call or chat with Facebook friends directly from Skype.

If you've been using the beta version, none of this is overly exciting. But if you're still using Skype 4.0, this is certainly a worthy upgrade.

Skype 5 with Facebook integration sheds beta tag originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 27 Oct 2010 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/27/skype-5-final-is-now-out-facebook-integration-is-out-of-beta/

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How would you change Motorola's Droid 2?

You've already told us (and the world, we might add) how you'd change just about every other Droid phone out there, so why not? Motorola's Droid 2 has been in the hands of loyal can-doers for a few months now, giving the user base plenty of time to nitpick and stew about things that aren't... quite... right. We had a few bones to pick with the handset during our August review, but as the regulars know, this space isn't about rekindling old flames. It's about you telling us how you'd change things if given the lead design position on this here phone. Would you have upgraded the camera? Changed the slide? Tweaked the Android build? Offered it on another carrier? Hit us with your best shot in comments below.

How would you change Motorola's Droid 2? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 30 Oct 2010 01:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/30/how-would-you-change-motorolas-droid-2/

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Deal of the Day ? Save $200 on an HP ENVY 17 Core i5 (or i7) Laptop with 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850

The LogicBUY Deal for Wednesday is the newly released 17.3? HP ENVY 17 laptop. �The base unit has a�Core i5-460M 2.53GHz cpu, 6GB memory, and a 500GB 7200rpm hard disk.� The 17.3? HD+ BrightView Infinity LED 1600X900 screen is powered with 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 graphics.� There?s a TrueBison HD webcam, Wireless-N, Bluetooth, [...]

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Deal of the Day ? Save $200 on an HP ENVY 17 Core i5 (or i7) Laptop with 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on October 27, 2010 at 6:30 am.

Source: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2010/10/27/deal-of-the-day-%e2%80%93-save-200-on-an-hp-envy-17-core-i5-or-i7-laptop-with-1gb-ati-mobility-radeon-hd-5850/

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#trickortreat: Show Off Your Halloween Costume On DailyBooth

Halloween is an exhibitionist's paradise, and nowhere do more (safe for work) exhibitionists congregate online than places like DailyBooth, a site which allows you to upload a photo of yourself, um daily. YC-funded DailyBooth has decided to get into the Halloween spirit this year (or is just really good at spotting opportunities for marketing itself) and is running a program that allows users to strut their Halloween stuff using the hashtag #trickortreat.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/N2M1aSaIraw/

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Will Resolution Independent Interfaces Ever Come to the Mac?

Resolution independence, or the lack of it, is one of those nagging problems most users don’t even realize have a name. But the concept is simple: user-interface elements like icons, buttons and window borders on the same OS should be the same physical size no matter what screen you’re using.
From the 1980s until just a [...]

Source: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/10/will-resolution-independent-interfaces-ever-come-to-the-mac/

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Is it raining in ... helps you answer one simple question

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isitrainingin

For a Web 2.0 application, Is it raining in ... follows the book pretty closely. It is:

  • Minimalistic: This thing couldn't possibly be more bare-bones. There isn't a single image on the page.
  • Simple: Just go to http://isitraining.in/ and type a city's name. It will try to figure out the country on its own.
  • Nerd-friendly: The app URL format is very friendly, obviously meant to be used right from the browser without going through the main page first. For example, http://isitraining.in/the-pas.

And for all those reasons, I love it. It doesn't let you see just precipitation information, either; you can see the local time at the destination, a general description of the weather ("partly cloudy", etc), as well as the temperature.

The one Web 2.0 trend the developer bucked was omitting vowels from the URL, and I'm grateful for that. I wouldn't want to use istrnng.in or some other annoying variation on that theme. The existing URL is pretty much ideal, if you ask me.

The service seems to be supported through a thin line of Google text ads at the bottom. That's fairly unobtrusive. All in all, definitely one for the toolbox.

Is it raining in ... helps you answer one simple question originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 29 Oct 2010 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/29/is-it-raining-in-helps-you-answer-one-simple-question/

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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Firefox Friday: Mozilla refuses to ban Firesheep, a more-Awesome Bar, delayed Firefox 4, and more

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Firefox FridayThis week has been a busy one for Mozilla, and not in a here-are-lots-of-awesome-toys-to-play-with way.

First of all, Firefox 4 was pushed back to 2011. We had originally hoped to see it launch before the end of 2010, but in all likelihood we probably won't see before March or April 2011. There are still a bunch of Beta releases to get through, and then the Release Candidates. On the flip side, FF4 is already very fast and a joy to use -- as long as you don't mind the occasional hiccup, it's well worth the upgrade from FF3.6!

Then there was Firesheep, a sidejacking add-on that gets its name from Firefox, which Mozilla has decided not to ban. Mozilla retains the ability to blacklist add-ons, but generally only blocks add-ons that cause browser crashes. There have been a few add-ons blocked for 'security issues', though, which raises the question: is Mozilla simply looking at the bigger picture -- a Web made all the more secure because of awareness-raising add-ons like Firesheep?

Finally, the Nobel Peace Prize website was hacked to exploit a 0-day Firefox vulnerability. The hole was summarily patched and new versions of Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 were released.

It wasn't all bad this week though! Mozilla Labs threw out a few of very fun toys to play with (an auto-complete Awesome Bar!), and I've found a few other goodies to show you, too.

Mozilla Labs brings you Awesome Bar word completion


This add-on, which is the first deliverable from Mozilla Labs' Prospector experiments, is all about enhancing the search experience inside Firefox. If you thought the Awesome Bar was good -- this will blow your mind! It's hard to explain exactly what 'word completion' does, but essentially it means you have to type less while searching -- just like Google's search suggestions!

Incidentally, this is yet another Chrome-like feature -- but hey, I don't think anyone's complaining.


Combine your address books and friends lists with Mozilla Labs' Contacts


Mozilla Labs has been quietly plugging away at the Contacts add-on for a while, and with release 0.4 it's definitely starting to become usable.

Contacts is part of Mozilla's continued efforts to make the browser a tool, rather than a portal. While Google's Chrome tries to get out of your way as quickly as possible, Mozilla wants Firefox to be part of the browsing experience. With Contacts you can import contacts and friends from a variety of services (Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, Yahoo, etc.) into your browser.

Having your contacts in your browser is great for two reasons: a) you always have an offline backup handy, and b) when registering for new Web services, you'll be able to give those sites access to your contacts directory. You won't have to give up your Facebook, Google, Flickr and Twitter credentials every time a site asks you to 'look for friends'!

[At the time of writing, this add-on doesn't seem to work -- I don't know if it's an issue with Contacts, or the latest builds of Firefox -- either way, I guess you just have to bookmark this one and hope Mozilla fixes it ASAP.]


Grab a faster, optimized version of Firefox 3.6 for Windows and Linux


The tenacious Mitch over at Firefox Facts dug up two gems this week: The Pale Moon Project and Swiftfox, which provide optimized versions of Firefox 3.6 for Windows and Linux respectively. Documentation for Swiftfox is lacking, but fortunately Pale Moon provides tons of details for why its build is faster than Mozilla's. The memory management runtime library has been custom-compiled for faster operation, and overall complexity has been reduced by removing unnecessary features (like accessibility and ActiveX). In general, it sounds like the Pale Moon build is angled towards speed, while Mozilla builds for compatibility.

The only real problem is that these are builds of Firefox 3.6. No matter how hard you tune it, 3.6 still languishes some way behind 4.0. Still, if you're not quite ready to transition over to the beta builds of Firefox 4, these two optimized builds should definitely give you a bit of a boost. Pale Moon also says it will build an optimized version of Firefox 4 when it's released -- and when that happens, Download Squad will be sure to review it.

Of course, neither of these optimized versions are overseen or ratified by Mozilla, so use them at your own risk!

Firefox Friday: Mozilla refuses to ban Firesheep, a more-Awesome Bar, delayed Firefox 4, and more originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 29 Oct 2010 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/29/firefox-mozilla-refuses-to-ban-firesheep-a-more-awesome-firefox-4/

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Pandoc is a Swiss Army knife text conversion utility

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I love Markdown. If you write any sort of content for the Web, you really should try it; it's a simple notation system for making text bold or italic, creating headlines and bulleted lists, and more. To make text bold, for example, you just need to surround it with asterisks.

Converting Markdown into valid HTML is a fairly common task, and there's no dearth of tools that do this. But Pandoc caught my eye because it can do this and a whole lot more. Plus it's free, open source, and cross-platform.

Pandoc understands Markdown, HTML, and several other formats, and it can output:

  • plain text - i.e., strip all HTML and give you just the text
  • Markdown - so you can convert HTML back into Markdown for editing
  • And a whole list of other formats, including HTML, LaTeX, ConTeXt, PDF, RTF, DocBook XML, OpenDocument XML, ODT, GNU Texinfo, MediaWiki markup, groff man pages, EPUB ebooks, and S5 and Slidy HTML slide shows

It even supports PDF output using a helper utility. So yes, it can convert Markdown to HTML (and vice versa), but it can do so much more, too. It's definitely one for the toolbox!

Pandoc is a Swiss Army knife text conversion utility originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 27 Oct 2010 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/27/pandoc-is-a-swiss-army-knife-text-conversion-utility/

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There?s Always A Bu.tt

This just landed in our inbox: a pitch for a new URL shortener with the slightly amusing name Bu.tt, which is of course described by its creator - John McKinnon - as a shortening service that "kicks it". If you think bit.ly or TinyURL or whichever service you fancy just seems too serious for certain linking occasions, Bu.tt is one way to get the job done.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/aQYdCjux4FY/

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Cuddle up with your very own angry bird

After a life of knocking down fortresses and shattering glass, this 8 Inch angry bird is ready to relax comfortably in your home.

Want to show your love for Angry Birds, or perhaps just console one of the avian kamikaze fighters who recently had their eggs stolen by cowardly green pigs?  Well then, my dear Android Central reader, you can.  I can't promise he won't attempt to destroy your house in search of golden eggs, so don't hold us responsible if your house is reduced to rubble.

The holiday season is right around the corner, and this would make a great gift for any Angry Birds fan.  Although the birds won't ship until sometime in December, we have no idea how many preorders they're taking.  So head on over to ToyWiz or shop.angrybirds.com and order yours for $14.99 while supplies last.

Slingshot and precariously built wooden fortress sold separately.

Posted originally at Android Central

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/REM_XR0KOMg/cuddle-your-very-own-angry-bird

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Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor Unveiled

Barnes & Noble just announced the next version of their Nook eBook reader. It’s the NOOKcolor. It has a 7″ 1024 x 600 color display. However, unlike the original Nook, the entire display is touch enabled. It’s also interesting to note that the display is 169 dpi. By comparison the iPad is 132, iPhone 3gs [...]

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Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor Unveiled originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on October 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm.

Source: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2010/10/26/barnes-noble-nookcolor-unvieled/

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LaCie slams 3TB drives into d2 USB 3.0 and LaCie 2big USB 3.0, ups performance numbers

Do you have The Need? For Speed? Yeah, so do we, and it just so happens that LaCie does as well. Just weeks after the company properly introduced the "now shipping" status on its d2 USB 3.0 and 2big USB 3.0 drives, it has now expanded the options with a 6TB model. So far as we can tell, it looks as if the outfit placed a rather sizable order for those 3TB HDDs that were just unleashed by Western Digital, and it has tuned up the performance all the while. The 2big has reached 306MB/sec in the lab, representing a 20 percent speed boost over the prior models while making it "the fastest 2-bay RAID solution on the market." As for the d2? It can hum along at 156MB/sec with the inclusion of a 3TB hard drive. Both units are slated to hit retail next month, but asking prices are being kept under wraps for now.

Continue reading LaCie slams 3TB drives into d2 USB 3.0 and LaCie 2big USB 3.0, ups performance numbers

LaCie slams 3TB drives into d2 USB 3.0 and LaCie 2big USB 3.0, ups performance numbers originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Oct 2010 02:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/29/lacie-slams-3tb-drives-into-d2-usb-3-0-and-lacie-2big-usb-3-0-u/

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Fortune: Verizon iPhone confirmed

iphone_4_verizon Fortune, in an article today describing the long and winding relationship between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Verizon’s Ivan Seidenberg, claims they’ve confirmed a Verizon iPhone is coming in “early 2011″. According to the story, Verizon passed on the iPhone in 2005 because Steve Jobs wanted too much control over where it was sold, too high a [...]

Fortune: Verizon iPhone confirmed is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheIphoneBlog/~3/6DpoBSJghQM/

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Padster iPad Bag Review

With iPads being more popular and apps being more diverse, the iPad has almost become a desktop replacement for your everyday life.� I carry my iPad 3G around with me everywhere since I can easily access my company network and pull up any information that I need.� But I always have a bad feeling of [...]

Filed in categories: Gear, Laptop Gear, Reviews, iPhone, iPad, iPod related

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Padster iPad Bag Review originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on October 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm.

Source: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2010/10/28/padster-ipad-bag-review/

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iRadar Device and iPhone App Provide Easy 360 Degree Laser and Radar Detection [Video]

The iRadar smart detection system integrates with its free app to provide visual alerts and notifications for speed and redlight cameras, dangerous intersections, and known speed traps. It detects all radar and laser guns, so no nasty surprises on your road-trip. More »


Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/deO3K8bQmQI/iradar-device-and-iphone-app-provide-easy-360-degree-laser-and-radar-detection

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A Giant Lego Map of Europe [Imagecache]

You could go to Barcelona and Paris, make out with foreign strangers, and post lots of Facebook photo albums about it. Or, you could check out this enormous, 157 square foot Lego map of the continent. It's at least cheaper. More »


Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/jnomobYs38U/giant-lego-map-of-europe-is-kinda-more-impressive-than-the-real-thing

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Yahoo! Mail Beta arrives, claims to be at least twice as fast, safer, easier to use

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Last month we brought you a sneak peek at the new Yahoo Mail interface -- and as of today anyone can sign up. Other than the usual slew of new features -- a virus scanner, spam protection, sexy mobile clients -- this launch also heralds the launch of a very purple theme... which you can't seem to change...

There's an accompanying Yahoo! Developer Network blog post if you want details of the technical changes behind the new Beta. Most notably, Yahoo deployed a bunch of efficient HTTP proxies around the world that significantly speed up connectivity if you're not based near Yahoo's mail servers in the U.S. They also overhauled the rendering of the website itself, utilizing YUI 3, CSS3, and anything else that could reduce the amount of clunky HTML required -- gone are <table> elements!

All in all, the changes make for a much smoother Yahoo Mail experience. A lot of the cruft has been removed -- so much so that it looks a bit like Gmail, but with a "social" landing page tacked on the front. Let's not forget that Yahoo Mail, at least as of last year, owns the U.S. email market -- it's twice the size of Windows Hotmail and almost three times the size of Gmail. This update will affect, in a good way, how the majority of U.S. Internet users send email!

Yahoo! Mail Beta arrives, claims to be at least twice as fast, safer, easier to use originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 27 Oct 2010 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/27/yahoo-mail-beta-arrives-claims-to-be-at-least-twice-as-fast-safer-easier/

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Deal of the Day ? Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard and Xbox 360 Game Bundle for $99.99

The LogicBUY Deal for today is short and sweet.� Pre-order the Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard and Game for Xbox 360 bundle and save $30.� The keyboard and game bundle is normally $129.99 – $30 savings = $99.99 plus free shipping. The deal expires October 26, 2010 or sooner.� Check the LogicBUY home page for [...]

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Deal of the Day ? Rock Band 3 Wireless Keyboard and Xbox 360 Game Bundle for $99.99 originally appeared on The Gadgeteer on October 26, 2010 at 6:30 am.

Source: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2010/10/26/deal-of-the-day-%e2%80%93-rock-band-3-wireless-keyboard-and-xbox-360-game-bundle-for-99-99/

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Friday, 29 October 2010

Google TV review

Google's taking a big leap with Google TV -- unlike its competitors, who've all focused on delivering curated video content with inexpensive streaming devices, Google's new platform brings Android, Chrome, and Flash directly to your TV in a variety of hardware configurations from Sony and Logitech. But whether you're adding Google TV to your existing rig with a Logitech Revue or starting from scratch with a Sony Internet TV, the basic experience of using each product is the same -- it's the web on your TV, in all its chaotic and beautiful glory. Is this the future of television? Can Google do what no company has ever managed to do in the past and put a little PC in your TV? Read on to find out!

Continue reading Google TV review

Google TV review originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Oct 2010 12:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/29/google-tv-review/

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