Saturday, 30 April 2011

Install the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update regardless of your carrier

windows phone 7 nodoSome of you who own Windows Phone 7 devices are still waiting for your pre-NoDo preparation update -- never mind NoDo itself. A few workarounds have been posted, but unfortunately they didn't work unless your carrier had completed testing and was ready to schedule the update.

Now, however, the Chevron WP7 team's Chris Walshie has delivered a handy little utility that will allow you to update any Windows Phone 7 device -- regardless of your carrier.
  1. Download and install the Windows Phone Support Tool (x86 or x64) and the ChevronWP7 Updater (x86 or x64)
  2. Launch ChevronWP7 Updater and select your language. If your language isn't listed, stop and do not update.
  3. If were running WP7 build 7004 (you can verify in Zune) then run the updater twice.
Once the process completes, you should be able to copy and paste to your heart's content. Let's just hope all this update foolishness gets sorted out before we're supposed to receive Mango.

Install the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update regardless of your carrier originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SIM-sized satellites to lift off with Endeavour this afternoon

They won't be beaming GPS or radio signals back to Earth anytime soon, but these one-inch-square satellites could one day travel to distant planets -- without fuel. Developed over a period of three years by a team of undergraduates at Cornell University, the Sprite chips could eventually be used for communication, flying in clusters like tiny space plankton. After hitching a ride on-board the final space shuttle Endeavour mission this afternoon, the three prototype satellites will be mounted outside the International Space Station, where they'll sit for the next few years, exposed to conditions found only beyond our atmosphere. Perhaps someday we'll even see some "Spprite" KIRFs by the time China's own space station is ready to hit the launchpad in 2020.

Continue reading SIM-sized satellites to lift off with Endeavour this afternoon

SIM-sized satellites to lift off with Endeavour this afternoon originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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App review: Seamless for iOS and Mac (video)

If you're the kind of person who's always listening to music and wouldn't be caught dead headphone-less, pause that song for a quick second and check out Seamless. This lightweight app links your iPhone's Music player to iTunes on your Mac in a pretty clever -- not to mention Cupertino-esque -- fashion. The whole crux of it is the "transition," which simultaneously fades out a song on one end while bringing it to full blast on the other. All it takes to get started is a quick $1.99 download for your i-device and free Mac-centric companion app. Does it work as advertised, or is it really just a gimmick? Head past the break for a quick rundown of just how seamless this utility really is.

Continue reading App review: Seamless for iOS and Mac (video)

App review: Seamless for iOS and Mac (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 30 Apr 2011 13:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask DLS: What's your favorite mobile app at the moment?

askdls
The mobile app marketplace is exploding; there are now hundreds of thousands of apps on the iOS, Android and BlackBerry app markets. Heck, even Windows Phone 7 just crossed the 10,000 mark!

But alas, not all apps are created equal; some are way, way better than others. Which leads me to today's Ask DLS question: What is your favorite mobile app at the moment?

We don't necessarily mean the latest craze; we'd like to hear about apps that have stood the test of time on your device, apps that are among the first you install on a new smartphones, apps that have earned their place on your home screen and in your heart.

So, what are some of these apps? Bonus points for links to screenshots in the comments!

Ask DLS: What's your favorite mobile app at the moment? originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 17 Mar 2011 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Intel touts 50Gbps interconnect by 2015, will make it work with tablets and smartphones too

Woah there, Mr. Speedy. We've barely caught up with the 10Gbps Thunderbolt interconnect, debuted in the new Macbook Pro, and now Intel's hyperactive researchers are already chattering away about something five times faster. They're promising a new interconnect, ready in four years, that will combine silicon and optical components (a technology called silicon photonics) to pump 50Gbps over distances of up to 100m. That's the sort of speed Intel predicts will be necessary to handle, say, ultra-HD 4k video being streamed between smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes and TVs. Intel insists that poor old Mr. Thunderbolt won't be forced into early retirement, but if we were him we'd be speaking to an employment lawyer right about now.

Intel touts 50Gbps interconnect by 2015, will make it work with tablets and smartphones too originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 06:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Backup and restore of your data when switching ROMs - a primer [from the forums]

All that data

If you've rooted your Android phone, you probably have flashed a ROM or two.  Or 20.  If you haven't, you will.  That's how it works; you get sucked in and its too much fun to quit.  While Nandroid backups from a custom recovery are great for a full system restore, what about the equally important things like migrating text messages over to a new ROM?  Or all those bookmarks you've collected?  Or God forbid you lose your Angry Birds save with all gold eggs and three stars!

Android Central forums member PvilleComp has you covered.  He's laid out a very nice post that explains all the whats and hows of backing up your data, including whats safe to re-use and what isn't.  If you're new to the whole custom ROM game, or just were never sure what is safe to do and what isn't, this one is for you.  And you seasoned experts out there -- don't be shy -- you can jump on in and lend a hand if needed.  We're one big happy family.

Hit the source link below for the great tutorial.

Source: Android Central forums

Backup and restore of your data when switching ROMs - a primer [from the forums] posted originally by Android Central

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Shot Shot Pirate is a fun, simple physics game

shotshotpirate
Shot Shot Pirate is very satisfying, because each level is short and to the point. You know what you have to do and you just do it.

As you may have gathered from the name, you're cast in the role of a pirate. Your goal is to shoot at a diamond and make it fall off a tower of bricks. The height of the tower changes as you progress through the levels. It's not enough to just make the diamond fall off the tower of bricks - it has to fall below a certain line (drawn on the screen) for the level to be completed.

There are also different kinds of bricks, with some heavier than others, and different kinds of ammo. You only get a certain amount of ammo for each level, and when it's gone, you lose. But don't worry! If you don't make it on the first try, it's very easy to restart the level and just give it another shot (or three).

All in all it's a cute game. I've seen similar games with better graphics and music, but the game delivers on its main promise - a few minutes of pure time wasting!

Shot Shot Pirate is a fun, simple physics game originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 24 Feb 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Scrabble Helper helps you improve your Words With Friends gameplay

scrabblehelper
If you play Scrabble (or a scrabble-like game) from time to time, you may want to check out Scrabble Helper. This simple website is a godsend when you're at a loss for words. Simply enter whatever letters you have, and the word you'd like to connect with. Scrabble helper comes up with a whole bunch of suggestions sorted by score.

The site lets you select one of five dictionaries - Scrabble International/US, Lexulous International/US, and Words With Friends. Some people might say this constitutes cheating -- I think if the other side knows you're doing it, it's definitely not cheating. And it doesn't take the challenge out of the game, because implementing Scrabble Helper's suggestions and deciding which words you'd like to connect with still takes a fair bit of thought.

Very handy, though perhaps not one for the Scrabble puritans in the crowd.

Scrabble Helper helps you improve your Words With Friends gameplay originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 14 Mar 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ask DLS: What's your primary Web browser?

Competition is a good thing, and the browser arena has been a fierce arena for years now. There are at least four "major" browsers each vying for your attention, along with lots of smaller spin-offs (SRWare Iron or Flock, anyone?).

While the browser usage charts we share from time to time show overall browser usage amongst the Web at large, Download Squad readers are not exactly the average bunch in terms of browser use. So today we have one simple question for you:

What's your primary Web browser?

View Poll

Ask DLS: What's your primary Web browser? originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This Week's Top Web Comedy Video: Girls Watch Porn, Too [Video]

Consider it a public service announcement: while it may seem like pornography is entirely for men, women watch it too! At least, they do if this video is entirely sincere and in no way whatsoever intended to be ironic or facetious or anything that dispels the fine notion that ladies are every bit as into adult material as you are. Which is how I choose to watch it (some NSFW language): More »


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HTC bringing a Sensation successor with NFC in Q3 2011?

HTC NFC enabled phone mockup

Rumors are always just rumors, but a current one flying around the Internet has an unnamed HTC sales manager outing a 4.3-inch successor to the HTC Sensation, with NFC capabilities, to hit in the third quarter of 2011.  Yes, a new phone will be better than an old phone -- shocker -- even though this particular old phone hasn't even hit the shelves yet.

So far the only Android phone to have NFC on-board is the Nexus S, and that's because Google wanted it available for developers.  NFC technology is something Nokia's been doing forever, yet still hasn't caught on for most of the world.  Maybe a bigger push from Google will have the same result that putting a front facing camera on the HTC Evo 4G did, and bring it mainstream.  Or maybe not -- consumers, especially us American ones, are pretty fickle.

Finally, there's been a bit of speculation that this will be the next Nexus phone.  While that's possible, and the time frame fits, I think it's way to early for anyone to be jumping to those conclusions.  But if it is, and has a similar curvaceous unibody design, tell me who to throw my money at now please. 

Source: Bright Side of News; via IntoMobile

HTC bringing a Sensation successor with NFC in Q3 2011? posted originally by Android Central

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Is This That Thing You Lost In the Tornado? This Lady Found It. [Tornado]

After the surviving the tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and the rest of Alabama on Wednesday night, Patty Bullion began to notice random photos and documents washing up in her front yard. Figuring they belonged to somebody, she began posting them in a public Facebook group to see if anybody would claim them. They did. More »


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Friday, 29 April 2011

Shot Shot Pirate is a fun, simple physics game

shotshotpirate
Shot Shot Pirate is very satisfying, because each level is short and to the point. You know what you have to do and you just do it.

As you may have gathered from the name, you're cast in the role of a pirate. Your goal is to shoot at a diamond and make it fall off a tower of bricks. The height of the tower changes as you progress through the levels. It's not enough to just make the diamond fall off the tower of bricks - it has to fall below a certain line (drawn on the screen) for the level to be completed.

There are also different kinds of bricks, with some heavier than others, and different kinds of ammo. You only get a certain amount of ammo for each level, and when it's gone, you lose. But don't worry! If you don't make it on the first try, it's very easy to restart the level and just give it another shot (or three).

All in all it's a cute game. I've seen similar games with better graphics and music, but the game delivers on its main promise - a few minutes of pure time wasting!

Shot Shot Pirate is a fun, simple physics game originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 24 Feb 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Buzz Off, Google Buzz

Two days ago, we removed the Google Buzz button from the top and bottom of each post on TechCrunch. No one noticed. Not a single person said a word about it. It wasn't until earlier today when I tweeted�about it that we got some feedback on the change (most of it being: "oh, I didn't even notice"). As I tweeted, that in and of itself says a lot. The issue of Buzz being a viable sharing platform used to be somewhat of a hot-button issue. When I wrote a post last March noting that traffic coming our way from Buzz appeared to be less than that of a dead man, FriendFeed, many folks got up in arms. It turns out, my data was flawed ? but it wasn't necessarily wrong. You see, since Buzz runs within Gmail, which defaults to HTTPS, it scrubs the referrer data before sending the traffic our way. So,�conveniently, the only way to measure Buzz traffic was to infer it. Like a black hole.

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