Saturday, September 29, 2012

Survey shows Windows 8 early adopters prefer Windows 7, but are they Microsoft’s target audience?

windows 8 desktop pc
A survey shows that half of those using Windows 8 prefer Windows 7, but are they the market at which Microsoft is aiming its new OS?
There’s just under one month to go before Microsoft puts Windows 8 on sale, and as most already know, it’s a dramatic change over previous editions of the PC operating system.
Radical changes to such an established product will inevitably divide fans, but one would expect Microsoft to still win over its dedicated, hardcore early adopters without too much trouble. This may not be the case though, and what’s more, it may not even want to.
A survey taken by, a large online community offering support for Windows 8 users, shows that out of 50,000 people, 53-percent rank Windows 7 as their favorite Windows OS, while just 25-percent choosing Windows 8. Windows XP followed closely, as it took 20-percent of the vote.

Windows 7’s success was always going to be a thorn in Windows 8’s side, and it’s going to be difficult to lure everyone away from the best-selling version of Windows yet.
So what’s wrong with Windows 8, according to the survey? Strangely, it’s price at the top of the list, with 35-percent saying it’s Windows 8’s biggest weakness. A downloaded Windows 8 upgrade has been given a promotional price of $39 until January 2013, which is reasonable, and no other price has been confirmed yet. Microsoft’s Surface tablets are also price-less, as are many other Windows 8 devices.
The list continues with system requirements, incompatibility and instability all hovering around the 20-percent mark. This is a little concerning, because three of the major complaints leveled at Vista were incompatible software, bugs and hardware not being powerful enough to support it.
Is there any good news? Yes, at least half of those surveyed rank Windows 8’s easy installation and quick startup and shutdown times as major benefits, but Microsoft’s new Metro interface only gains 22-percent approval.

Changing customer base

What’s not clear though is how many are using Windows 8 on a touchscreen, which is not only where Microsoft appear to think the software is at its best, but also the focus of a high percentage of third-party manufacturers hardware. Also, only 26-percent of the 50,000 say they’ve actually used Windows 8, well behind Windows 7 and XP, at 75-percent and 58-percent respectively.
Does’s survey show the effect of Microsoft shifting focus away from the established Windows way of doing things, to the more consumer-friendly approach offered by iOS and Android? Possibly so, as when asked, 35-percent of the surveyed members would buy a Surface tablet, 33-percent an Android and only 26-percent an iPad.
So how much weight does this survey carry? Well, judging by many of the posts, these are knowledgeable and tech-savvy folk, and you get the distinct impression that the respondents represent some of the most dedicated and valued members of Microsoft’s current customer base; but the definition of Microsoft’s most valued customer could change with the introduction of Windows 8, almost as drastically as the software itself.

Facebook Messenger for iPhone goes 2.0, includes iPhone 5 support


Facebook Messenger for iPhone has gone 4.0 and includes some UI improvements as well as support for the iPhone 5's larger display. The conversation view has a new design and now you can swipe left anywhere in the app to quickly see a list of who's available to send message. At the top of this list you can also mark the friends you message most as favorites. The speed and reliability of Facebook Messenger has also been noticeably improved.

I never thought the day would come where I started liking Facebook apps (no pun intended), but Facebook has been doing a great job with their recent updates. This update to Facebook Messenger is no exception.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Steve Jobs wax statue display opens up at Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong [Video]


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS Represents 75.12% of all Web Traffic from Mobile Phones, Study

Wall Street opened the final business day of the third quarter trading down Friday, as investors continue to suspicious about sluggish global growth and improved concerns about Spain. Investors are paying more attention on Europe after the release of Spain’s 2013 budget on Thursday.
The projected budget lifted U.S. stocks late Thursday, as many considered it as a sign the nation is ready to take austerity measures to avert a worsening crisis. But that relief may prove temporary as fears about Spain remain.

Among major movements in the U.S. stock markets, Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) is trading down at a high volume today after pricing of its 36.0 Million share secondary offering. Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) hit new high after releasing quarterly report. Its fourth-quarter earnings declined 55%, but adjusted profit came in ahead of estimates.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is down today, on track to suffer weekly as well as monthly fall after CEO said ‘Extremely Sorry’ for IPhone Maps frustration. In other news, recently an analysis of traffic from tablet computers to at-least 1,200 websites has shown that 98.1 per cent of the traffic source was the Apple iPad.
The study also disclosed that the iPad accounts for a 54.5 per cent stake of all web traffic from mobile devices, beating the iPhone, which represents 19.05 per cent. Onswipe has compiled the figures, showing that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS has a 75.12 per cent share of all mobile web traffic, and Android got second spot with 22.3 per cent.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares are flirting above and below the trend line as recently a news hit the market that Former Formula One boss Max Mosley is taking legal action against Google, claiming the search engine is violating German privacy laws by offering links to websites hosting a hidden-camera video of him.
Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) is down after hitting near 52-wee high today. Shares of this company traded up 3.40% during trading yesterday, hitting $2.60. The stock has a 52 week low of $1.27 and a 52 week high of $2.64. The company has a market cap of $9.91 billion and a P/E ratio of 4.88. The P/S ratio is 3.14 and P/B ratio 2.49. The beta value is 2.10. SIRI’s RSI amounts to 61.67.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) gapped sharply lower today after disclosing that it will lift the prices of all its models from October 1. The company has a market value of $35.81 billion. It employs 210,000 people, over the last 12 months has generated revenue of $150.08 billion and has a net income of $4.69 billion. The firm’s operating margin is 3.39 percent and net profit margin 3.13 percent. The latest closing price of its shares moved up 22.32% from the 50-day moving average.
Sealy Corporation (NYSE:ZZ) is flirting above and below neutral line after the release of Fiscal Third Quarter 2012 Results. Its shares rallied 27.33% so far in 2012. The stock most recently had a beta value at 1.42 and the percentage change in the price over the last fifty two weeks remained at 47.97%. The price range in that 1-year period had a best hit of $2.45 on Apr 17, 2012 while lowest level in the same period was $1.09 on Oct 04, 2011.
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) opened sharly lower Friday after reporting profit falls due to weak margins as overhead cost moved up. The stock’s price increased in the last trading session with a previous 52-week high of $114.81. The stock was trading on above-average volume. The stock traded at a volume of 4.85 million shares at a price gain of 0.53%. The share price is now down -0.56% for the past three months. Latest closing price was 96.93% above its 50-day moving average and 102.01% above its 200-day moving average.

Google Maps adds new 45-degree satellite imagery to take on Apple's Flyover

As Apple apologized on Friday for subpar performance of its new iOS 6 Maps application, Google introduced a new feature that competes with Apple's Flyover: 45-degree satellite images.

The new angled satellite images are now available in 37 U.S. and 14 international locations. Unlike Apple's Flyover in iOS 6 Maps, the images cannot be rendered in three dimensions, but they do allow a better look at satellite imagery from a new angle.

In one example posted to the company's official blog, Google showed a picture of Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa captured from the new 45-degree angle and in higher resolution.

Apple has pushed its own 3D recreations of major cities, a feature called Flyover as one of the hallmark features of its new iOS 6 Maps. Apple's new mapping solution for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch replaced the previous version of the software which relied on Google's data.

Google's new 45-degree satellite imagery in select cities arrives the same day that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook publicly apologized for the Maps application in iOS 6. The CEO not only acknowledged "the frustration this has caused our customers," but also recommended a slew of competing applications customers can use as Apple continues to improve its Maps application. Among those recommended by Cook was the Web version of Google Maps.

The full list of U.S. cities with Google's new 45-degree satellite imagery are:
  • Ames, Iowa
  • Anderson, Ind.
  • Billings, Mont.
  • Bloomington, Ill.
  • Carmel Valley, Calif.
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  • Corvallis, Oreg.
  • Danville, Ill.
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Detroit, Mich.
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Elizabethtown, Ken.
  • Enid, Okla.
  • Florence, S.C.
  • Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Great Falls, Mont
  • Gulfport, Miss
  • Hartford, Conn.
  • Kankakee, Ill
  • Kenosha, Wis.
  • Lafayette, Ind.
  • Lancaster, Calif.
  • Lansing, Mich
  • Lewiston, Ind.
  • Los Banos, Calif.
  • Madison, Wis.
  • Medford, Oreg.
  • Michigan City, Ind.
  • Olympia, Wash.
  • Pocatello, Idaho
  • Sheboygan, Wis.
  • Sioux City, Iowa
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • South Bend, Ind.
  • Terre Haute, IN; Utica, N.Y.

The following international cities also have the 45-degree imagery:
  • Angers, France
  • Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • Coimbra, Portugal
  • Dijon, France
  • Grenoble, France
  • Livorno, Italy
  • Lyon, France
  • Newcastle, United Kingdom
  • Oberhausen, Germany
  • Palermo, Italy
  • Pisa, Italy
  • Toulouse, France
  • Troyes, France
  • Winnipeg, Canada
Google has also updated some locations with new high-resolution aerial imagery. The following cities have the new enhanced pictures:
  • Florence, Ore.
  • Kellogg, Ind.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • North Platte, Neb.
  • Concordia, Kans.
  • Alva, Okla.
  • Austin, Tex.
  • Nevada, Missou.
  • Chilicothe, Missou.
  • Toulouse, France
  • Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • Angers, France
  • Nantes, France
  • Troyes, France
  • Lille, France
  • Thun, Switzerland
  • Lucca, Italy

And finally, the following areas have also been updated with new high-resolution satellite imagery: Canada, United States, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Antarctica, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Zambia, Angola, Malawi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Turkey, Iran, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzebekistan, Turkmenistan, China, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Apple CEO Apologizes for Maps App

In an extremely rare move, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook publicly apologized for the company’s new maps app, which replaced Google Maps on the iPhone.

Cook admits the new maps application “fell short” of the company’s commitment to providing the “best experience possible” and the CEO even goes on to recommend that customers try out other maps applications — including Google’s — while Apple works to improve its own.
The maps app has been widely panned by reviewers and customers alike online, for having many fundamental errors in 3D mapping and directions, and falling short of the standard set by Google Maps.
Here’s the full letter from Cook:
To our customers,
At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.
We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

Apple launches the iPhone 5 in 22 more countries

Apple launches the iPhone 5 in 22 more countries. Did you get one?
Apple today launched the new iPhone 5 in 22 additional countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. That brings the total to 30 + Hong Kong, and represents one of Apple most aggressive launch schedules in history.

Jetpack Joyride arrives on the Google Play Store

After being exclusive to the Amazon Appstore for a while, the developers of Jetpack Joyride have now released the game on Google’s Play Store. As you’d expect, the game is available free of cost.

In case you’re not aware of this game, Jetpack Joyride is a 2D side-scrolling game where you ride a jetpack and have to go as far as possible, thus getting a higher score. You collect coins during the game, which can be used to upgrade your jetpack and the special vehicles that you get in the game. You also collect spin tokens, which let you spin the slot machine at the end of each game.
I haven’t played the Amazon Appstore version so this is the first time I’m playing the Android version of the game. Compared to the iOS version, the Android version is not as smooth, with occassional stuttering although overall, it is still playable. The stuttering should hopefully be fixed in future versions. The sound and the graphics are similar to the iOS version and are just as good.
Jetpack Joyride is a fun game and offers a lot of value for $0.00. If you haven’t played the game already, download it from the Play Store now.

Facebook 'Gifts': Send Real-Life Gifts To Your Virtual Friends

 NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is launching a new service called Gifts which, as its name suggests, lets users send chocolate, coffee, socks and other real-life presents to one another. Facebook Gifts will be available Thursday to a subset of users in the U.S. Users will be able to click on a "gifts" link on their Facebook friends' pages.

This will display presents they can purchase, such as a Starbucks gift card, cupcakes or a teddy bear. The recipient will be notified through Facebook to enter a shipping address for the presents. Facebook Inc. will take a cut from each item sold. Facebook Gifts is the result of Facebook's May acquisition of Karma, a startup based in San Francisco. Karma's mobile app let people send gifts to their friends on the go.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Silk-cocooned electronic devices do medical task, then dissolve in body


A water droplet dissolves an electronics circuit. Researchers have created a tiny device sealed in silk from cocoons that do their work, then dissolve in the bodies of lab mice.

A water droplet dissolves an electronics circuit. Researchers have created a tiny device sealed in silk from cocoons that do their work, then dissolve in the bodies of lab mice.

NEW YORK — Scientists have succeeded in creating tiny medical devices sealed in silk cocoons that did the work they were designed for, then dissolved in the bodies of lab mice.
The new work is aimed at making devices that dissolve, without the need for surgical removal or the risk of long-term side effects.
It’s an early step in a technology that may hold promise for both medicine and disposal of electronic waste.
The U.S.-funded research was reported online in the journal Science.

In the experiment, the devices — which look like tiny computer chips — were designed to generate heat, a potential strategy for fighting infection after surgery by killing germs, said John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, an author of the study.
The devices worked in the mice for more than a week, until their silk coatings dissolved enough for bodily fluids to erode key parts of the devices. After three weeks, the tiny gadgets had basically disappeared.

Someday for people, similar devices might be programmed to monitor the body and release drugs accordingly, or produce electric current to accelerate bone healing, Rogers said.
The researchers used the protective cocoon envelope because silk can be processed to stay intact for varying periods of time — from seconds to weeks and potentially for years, he said. The device’s circuitry itself was built from other materials that degrade in the body, such as magnesium and silicon.
Apart from medicine, the technology offers a way to cut down on electronic waste if portable consumer devices could be made with decomposing components, the researchers wrote.
And there are other potential uses, Rogers suggested. For example, such devices could be scattered near a chemical spill to monitor things like chemical concentrations without any need to retrieve them later.

Google Launches FieldTrip, A Location-Aware App That Helps You Find Cool Stuff Around You

Google just launched FieldTrip, a new location-based app that, as the company says, is meant to be “your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.” Just like Google Now can show you location-based information on Android 4.1, FieldTrip runs in the background and will automatically show you a card with relevant information as you walk around. The app, says Google, “can help you learn about everything from local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat, and have fun.” FieldTrip is currently only available for Android (2.3+), but the developers say that an iOS version is “coming soon.”
The product was developed by NianticLabs, a small group inside of Google that, according to the New York times, specializes in building location-based and social mobile apps. Talking to the New York Times, NianticLabs’ John Hanke said that “the idea behind the app was to build something that would help people connect with the real, physical world around them.”
The data is sourced from publication like Thrillist, Food Network, Eater, Cool Hunting, Arcadia and Google’s own Zagat. These, says Google, will “help you uncover hidden gems no matter where you are.” Users can choose how often they want to alerts and what topics they are interested in. Currently, the app focuses on architecture, historic places, lifestyle, food, drinks and “cool and unique” places.
For each one of these sections, users can choose the publications and information sources they want to include (so if you’re not a fan of Sunset Magazine, you can turn those alerts off, for example). You can also set FieldTrip up to read alerts out aloud when your phone is connected to a headset or in a car dock.
Interestingly, there is also an “offers and deals” section, which will show deals from Google Offers and Vayable’s selection of travel experiences. So far, Google hasn’t offered these kinds of ambient location-based alerts for deals in its own Offers app or through Google Now, but it’s clearly an area that could become very profitable for the company in the long run.
Here is a summary of the app’s highlights, according to Google:
★ Discover thousands of interesting places/experiences that fall under the following categories: Architecture, Historic Places & Events, Lifestyle, Offers & Deals, Food Drinks & Fun, Movie Locations, Outdoor Art and Obscure Places of Interest around you.
★ Choose from three different modes to set frequency of Field Trip notifications. See “Field Trip” worthy places around you on a map, by tapping on cards in map view to pull up enthralling points of interest around you.
★ Go on a Field Trip while you drive. Field Trip can detect when you’re driving and automatically “talk” about interesting places and experience around you.
★ Capture the memory of a special place, by sharing a wondrous discovery through email and social networks such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
★ Wondering where the gem that you recently discovered is? Find your discovered field trip cards in the “recent’ section.
★ Field trip learns what you love. Thumbs up or down to tune the information discovery engine.

Google Introduces An Easier Way To Sync Gmail Contacts To Your iPhone

No need to let Facebook and Twitter have all the iOS-integration fun: today, Google announced a new, easier way for Gmail users to sync their Google Contacts to their iOS devices. The company is introducing support for an open protocol called CardDAV, which will allow third party clients, including, most notably, the native iOS Contacts app, the ability to sync with Google Contacts.
There are already a number of ways to get your Google Contacts onto your iPhone. For example, the Apple app stores on iOS and Mac contain several third-party clients which offer the ability to sync Google contacts to your device. I’ve been enjoying the Mac app Cobook. Plus, you can configure iTunes to specifically sync your Google Contacts, if you’re eschewing iCloud, or you can set up Google Sync. But the new CardDAV support means you can quickly set up contact sync directly on your phone in just a few steps, if you have yet to import your Google contacts through another means.
Google has posted the detailed instructions here, and they’re fairly straightforward:
  • Open the Settings application on your device.
  • Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  • Select Add Account…
  • Select Other
  • Select Add CardDAV Account
  • Fill out your account information in the following fields:
    • -Server: Enter “”
    • -User Name: Enter your full Google Account or Google Apps email address.
    • -Password: Your Google Account or Google Apps password. (If you’ve enabled 2 Step verification, you’ll need to generate and enter an application specific password.)
    • -Description: Enter a description of the account (e.g. Personal Contacts).
  • Select Next at the top of your screen.
  • Make sure that the “Contacts” option is turned to ON.
When you’ve finished the setup, the sync will automatically begin.
Google already supports IMAP for email and CalDAV for calendar, which enable mobile users on iOS and Android the ability to access Gmail and Calendar, respectively.

Apple investigating inductive charging mat for docking portable devices

Apple has shown interest in building an inductive charging mat that would allow users to dock, charge and sync their portable devices by simply placing them on top of the accessory.
Patent 2

The details come from a newly published Apple patent application discovered on Thursday by AppleInsider. The filing, entitled "Device Orientation Based Docking Functions," describes a "docking device" that would allow devices to be placed on top of it.

The mat would accomplish docking functions such as charging, data transfer, syncing, diagnostic checking, or any other potential use based on the physical orientation of the user device on the surface.

The filing notes that smartphones, like the iPhone, as well as digital cameras and media players like iPods can all be built to utilize inductive charging surfaces. Circuitry in these devices would respond to a magnetic field provided by the charging surface that would also allow data to be transferred while the device is docked.

While inductive charging surfaces are not new technology, Apple's application brings a new twist to the concept with the idea of interpreting the device's orientation for specific purposes. For example, a future iPhone with inductive charging capabilities could be placed face down on the mat for charging only, while placing the handset face-up on the mat could initiate syncing with a computer or iCloud as well as charging.

Patent 2

Once a device is placed on the mat, its current docking mode may be indicated to the user by either a sound, a graphic displayed on the device's screen, an electronic message notification, or a vibration of the device.

Beyond a local computer for syncing, the inductive charging mat could also be connected to a host of devices throughout a person's home. In one example, the mat is connected to speakers for audio output when docked.

Patent 2

Apple's proposed invention was first filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in March of 2011. It is credited to Jorge S. Fino.

How to grant or revoke app access to your contacts with iOS 6's new Privacy controls

How to restrict an app's access to your contacts on iPhone and iPad
iOS 6 brings a lot of new features with it, including granular Privacy controls in Settings. Given previous controversies surrounding apps accessing your contacts, it's important to make sure that only apps you specifically allow have access to your contacts, and only for as long as you allow it. With Privacy, you can grant and revoke permission to access your contacts at any time.

How to grant an app access to your contacts

If an app is requesting to access your contacts, it'll normally present you with a pop-up. Some apps legitimately require access to your contacts to function properly. For example, Skype needs to access your contacts to place calls to the people on your contact list. If you deny access, you may find a time later on that you need to grant it. Y
  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Privacy.
  3. ios 6 privacy settings
  4. Tap Contacts.
  5. privacy options in ios 6
  6. Find the app that you'd like to be able to have access to your Contacts app. Tap the slider next to the app name to the On position.
  7. grant contact access ios 6

How to restrict an app's access to your contacts

If you accidentally granted an app access to your contacts or decide later on that you don't want that app to have access, you can easily disable it as well.
  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find the Privacy section and tap into it.
  3. ios 6 privacy settings
  4. Tap into Contacts.
  5. privacy options in ios 6
  6. Find the app that you'd like to revoke access to your Contacts app from. Tap the slider next to the app name to the Off position.
That's all there is to it. You now have very good, very granular control over your contacts and the private information contained therein.

iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X in camera shootout


The iPhone 4S had one of our favourite phone cameras of last year, providing shots that would give even some dedicated compact digital cameras a run for their money. Apple claims the iPhone 5's snapper has even better tech, so let's pit it against its closest smart phone rivals -- the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3 -- to see which is the serial shutterbug's smart phone du jour.
All the shots were taken on the full 8 megapixels offered by each phone, with all other settings set to automatic. All the example images below can be clicked on to view the full-sized versions.

Outdoor test

All three phones did an admirable job of tackling this outdoor scene. It's not an easy one to capture, as it combines dark areas in the buildings on the left and bright skies surrounding London's Shard.
HTC camera test
HTC camera test
The difficulty in properly exposing was particularly noticeable on the HTC One X and to a lesser extent on the Galaxy S3. Both cameras produced quite strongly blown-out highlights in the sky and the S3's attempt, in particular, resulted in a rather cold colour cast to the scene.
HTC camera test
The iPhone 5, meanwhile, gave a much more even exposure overall, avoiding the blown-out clouds, while retaining plenty of detail in the buildings and pavement.
Winner: iPhone 5

HDR test

If the scene you're shooting has a strong mix of bright and dark areas and your phone can't accurately expose by itself, then try setting it to HDR mode. HDR stands for high dynamic range and combines multiple photos, each taken to expose for the bright and dark areas, which are then combined to create an even exposure overall. At least that's the theory.
All three phones offer HDR functions but the results vary considerably. I tested them using the same outdoor scene as before for easy comparison. The HTC One X's approach appeared overly processed, which resulted in a very unrealistic -- and unimpressive -- photo.
HTC camera test
The Galaxy S3's was much better, with the previously blown-out highlights in the sky rescued, but the overall scene looking a little dull. The once white, fluffy clouds appear like a grey splodge on the skyline.
HTC camera test
The iPhone 5 maintained the even exposure it captured without HDR, but managed to brighten up the pavement, bringing out some of the detail in brickwork and on the surrounding buildings. It also provided richer colours than the S3 and the One X. So the iPhone takes the top spot in this category.
HTC camera test
I've also included a 'before and after' shot I took using the iPhone 5's HDR function as a reference, as I think its ability to deliver a well-balanced shot in this scene is particularly impressive. The S3's attempt at the same scene is below. I sadly wasn't able to take the shot on the HTC One X, so I'm not including this scene in the conclusion.
iPhone 5 without HDR
iPhone 5 with HDR
Here's the S3's effort, without HDR and then with.
Samsung Galaxy S3 without HDR
Samsung Galaxy S3 with HDR
Winner: iPhone 5

Low-light test

With their small sensors and tiny optics, phone cameras are never that great at taking low-light shots as they're unable to let in enough light to do the scene justice. If a phone is going to be your main snapper, you'll want a decent performance in low-light situations.
HTC camera test
The iPhone 5 gave the worst performance overall. Its photo lacked detail and clarity. A large amount of image noise also crept in, which is particularly evident on the white walls.
HTC camera test
The Galaxy S3 came second in this round, providing a sharper, cleaner image than the iPhone 5, although it again suffered from a rather cold colour cast.
HTC camera test
The HTC One X put in the best performance, with its photo not only sharper than the others but also displaying much less image noise. It produced warmer tones than the S3.
Winner: HTC One X

Low light with flash test

If you don't want your subject shrouded in darkness when taking low-light shots, then turning the flash on is essential. All three phones boast LED flashes on the back, so let's take a look at what they can do.
Where previously the One X had excelled, it now falls to the back of the pack. Its shot not only lacks the definition offered by its rivals, but it also suffers from a huge case of blues. If you were using the flash to take a romantic picture of your significant other, I doubt they'd be too flattered by the results.
HTC camera test
The Galaxy S3's attempt was much clearer, with sharper lines visible around each object. It too suffers from a blue hue, but it's nowhere near as bad as the One X's.
HTC camera test
HTC camera test
The iPhone 5 takes the prize here as its shot is not only clear and well defined, but it also provides natural, warm tones that are significantly more appealing than its two Android rivals.
Winner: iPhone 5

Panorama test

The iPhone's update to iOS 6 brought with it the ability to take panorama pictures, simply by pressing the shutter button and moving the phone from one side to the other. This feature was already present on the S3 and One X though, so let's see how the results stack up.
HTC camera test
The HTC One X's attempt was mostly good, without too much distortion visible from the automatic stitching. There was some visible on the trees just left of the middle though, and the over-exposure of the sky was so strong that it had quite a negative effect on the edges of all the foliage.
HTC camera test
The iPhone 5's attempt just snuck in front though, as it was almost entirely free of stitching errors and did a better job of keeping the bright sky under control.
HTC camera test
The Galaxy S3's attempt was frankly laughable. A panorama is made up of multiple photos stitched together and it's evident that the S3's camera has re-exposed for each individual shot. It's all too clear to see how it has attempted to lower the exposure in the middle to avoid over-exposing the sky, which doesn't fit at all with the rest of the scene.
Winner: iPhone 5

Interface and features

If you want to get all arty and creative with your shots, you'll need a phone that lets you tweak the camera as much as possible.
The iPhone 5 has the most stripped-back camera interface you're likely to see on a phone. Its only customisable features are turning the HDR and panorama functions on or off. There's no option to change the image quality, scene mode or add any in-camera effects.
Both the Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X, however, add a truckload more to the mix, letting you tweak not only the resolution, but also use scene modes for better capturing action events, nighttime shots or close-up objects. It also has a bunch of filters for giving your snaps vintage tones or vignette effects.
Of course, a lot of these features can be achieved -- with perhaps better results -- with downloadable apps such as Instagram, which are available across iOS and Android. But it's certainly a helpful extra to have these settings built in as standard, so you don't have to load up a separate app.
Winner: HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 -- there's very little difference between their interfaces.

Overall winner

While the iPhone 5 might not cope quite as well in low-light situation as its rivals, and its interface certainly doesn't offer the same level of customisation, it gives a stronger performance in most other areas, particularly with its HDR skills. For those reasons, the iPhone 5 takes the prize for having the best camera.

Bad Piggies now available on iOS, Android and Mac OS X

Rovio’s next anticipated title – Bad Piggies – is now available for download. The first platforms to get it are iOS, Android and Mac OS X.

The gameplay of Bad Piggies is closer to Amazing Alex puzzle game, rather than the Angry Birds platformer.
Bad Piggies (SD, HD) is free on Android, costs $0.99 (SD) and $2.99 (HD) on iOS, while the Mac version will set you back $5. Rovio is preparing Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 versions as well, but the pricing and the availability is yet to be announced.


To Facebook ξεκίνησε τη διαγραφή των ψεύτικων likes

Facebook ξεκίνησε ήδη τη διαγραφή των ψεύτικων likes και των πλαστών λογαριασμών του κοινωνικού δικτύου έπειτα από την πρόσφατη αποκάλυψη εταιρείας ότι το 80% των επισκέψεων στη σελίδα της από τα Facebook Ads προέρχονταν από bots και όχι από πραγματικούς χρήστες.

Ο ακριβής αριθμός των διαγραφέντων λογαριασμών δεν έχει προσδιοριστεί ακόμη αλλά πολλά Facebook Pages έχουν χάσει τεράστιο αριθμό fans. Ενδεικτικά αναφέρουμε ότι η σελίδα της Rihanna μετρά 22.000 fans λιγότερους, της Lady Gaga 32.000 ενώ του Texas HoldEm 97.000.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

iPhone 5 Review: Apple Has The Closest Thing To A Perfect Phone, Ever

    white and black iphone 5
    Apple's iPhone 5 fulfills the true potential of everything a smartphone should be able to do.
    The iPhone no longer feels like a device with compromises.
    In the past, the iPhone was great for everything but making phone calls. It is now good for making phone calls. It was a good camera, but struggled in low-light situations. It's now good in low-light situations. It was great for checking the web, but it took forever to get the web to connect on 3G. With LTE, that's not an issue.

    After using the iPhone 5 for five days, I feel like it is pretty much a perfect smartphone. I upgraded to a Verizon iPhone 5 from an AT&T iPhone 4 and the difference is almost night and day.


    The iPhone 5 is slim, light, and solid. It looks good, but compared to the iPhone 4 design, it's somewhat pedestrian.
    The iPhone 4 with its all glass back and silver band around the edge was a much more striking design. I would pull out the iPhone 4 and admire the design even after I had owned for more than two years.
    The iPhone 5 looks great but I don't feel compelled to stare at it in awe of the design. It's almost like a really nicely designed remote control for a TV. It's all black and flat.
    That said, I still think it looks better than any other smartphone on the market.

    The Screen

    The new four-inch screen on the phone is great. It makes the old iPhone's screen seem tiny and old.


    It's the speed of the phone that makes it feel like the most significant upgrade to the iPhone yet.
    When the iPhone 4 came out I couldn't come up with a particularly strong argument for why people should upgrade other than, it's new and it looks great.
    The iPhone 5 is so much faster than the iPhone 4, it's mind-blowing. The speed of the iPhone 5, which is the fastest smartphone on the market, makes it worth the upgrade.
    The web loads lightning-fast on LTE, the "4G" wireless network on Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T (where available). Apps like Tweetbot, Foursquare, and email load fast and pull in data as quickly as a desktop computer.
    This is how an iPhone is supposed to work. You're not supposed to try to check-in on Foursquare only to see it spinning its wheels for a minute. You're supposed to get tweets instantly. You're supposed to have web pages load in a second.


    Apple's decision to kick out Google-based maps for a new maps app using a blend of data from TomTom and other companies has overshadowed the launch of the iPhone 5. While some people say they're having problems with the maps, I have only good things to say about the new maps app.
    I think the new maps app looks much better. It moves more smoothly. The integration with Yelp is fantastic. Turn-by-turn directions work very well and look better than any turn-by-turn app I've ever seen.
    I live in New York City, and it seems like the New York metro area has been thoroughly mapped out, so I could be an exception. Basically, you're going to have to use them and find out if they suck where you live. If they do, then use Google's web-based maps.
    A lot of complaints about Apple's maps seem to center on its 3D maps. The 3D images don't look all that 3D in some cases. That's embarrassing, but it has close to zero impact on your ability to get around the world. 3D maps are a lot of fun to play with when exploring New York City, but I see no practical use for them. If they don't work, it's really not a big deal.
    No public transit is a bit of a drag, but jumping from Apple maps to a transit app like Embark is pretty simple.


    siri weather
    Siri is not a great product. But I don't think it's a disaster. It just needs work.
    My first experience with Siri was asking for the weather in New York City. I got the weather in New York, Texas.
    I use my iPhone as an alarm. Every night I put in airplane mode so it's not buzzing and blerping in the night to wake me up. I told Siri, "Turn my phone to airplane mode." Siri said, "I can't do that." Siri should be able to do that.
    It's not all bad. I've used Siri to send text messages while I'm on my bike, to set an alarm, to set reminders, to give me driving directions, and to tell me sports scores. It works 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time Siri just spins and spins and then craps out.

    Phone Calls

    If you're on AT&T and you can afford to switch to Verizon, do it. I've had no dropped calls, and the call clarity has been off-the-charts great. For the last four years I've struggled to hear people on my cell phone. I was worried something was wrong with my ears. Now I hear people easily. It's better than a land line.


    The camera is huge upgrade over the iPhone 4, but in normal lighting it's not much better than the iPhone 4S. In low light, the iPhone 5 demolishes the iPhone 4. It also beats the iPhone 4S.
    Here are some comparisons between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 I took at dinner the other night.
    Business Insider
    Here's one more comparison shot:
    iphone comp
    Business Insider


    Battery life is about the same as the iPhone 4. It would be nice if Apple could figure out a way to make a big leap with battery life in the future.

    iOS 6

    Apple made some nice tweaks to iOS. I like the new look of the music app. The App Store looks great and updating apps is easier than ever. There's also Facebook integration, if that's your cup of tea. Aside from Maps, it doesn't feel like a huge upgrade, which is a good thing. The last thing Apple needs to do is add a bunch of features that are pointless.


    The iPhone 5 is pretty much a perfect phone.
    I've asked around the office for complaints from people with an iPhone 5 and the only thing they've come up with is the new cord. Yes, the new cord is annoying, but Apple had to make it smaller to fit everything into the phone. Plus, at some point in our lives, we had no iPhone charging cords. We're back at square one. It doesn't affect the actual phone's performance.
    The number one reason this phone feels like a significant leap forward is the speed. Now that Apple's on LTE it feels like I'm using the iPhone as I've always wanted.
    I'm sure in two years I'll think this thing is a hunk of crap. But for now I couldn't be happier with the phone.