Saturday, June 26, 2010

Google Remotely Deletes Apps on Android Phones

12:40 PM - June 25, 2010 - By Jane McEntegart - Source : Tom's Guide US

Google has the ability to remotely remove applications from Android devices and yesterday the company did just that. 


In 2008, a hacker discovered that Apple could remotely uninstall apps from iPhones after they'd been paid for and installed. Just last year, Amazon remotely removed copies of 1984 from customers' Kindles. It raised eyebrows when we found out Apple could do it and it caused uproar when Amazon actually did it (without saying anything to paying customers). So how will people feel now that it's Google?

Google today announced that it has remotely removed two Android applications from users' phones. The applications in question were developed by a security researcher for research purposes and Google says they intentionally misrepresented their purpose in order to encourage user downloads. The apps were never designed to be used maliciously, and did not have permission to access private data — or system resources beyond permission.INTERNET. In fact, Google said the apps were pretty useless, and most people uninstalled it soon after the downloaded it, anyway.

The developer responsible for the applications is said to have voluntarily removed the apps from the Android Market Place, but Google made the decision to remotely remove the applications from users' phones "to complete the clean up."

Android Security Lead, Rich Cannings, said the remote application removal tool is a security measure to protect against malicious applications and while they, "hope to not have to use it," they know they can take swift action on behalf of their users' safety if they need to.

"This remote removal functionality — along with Android’s unique Application Sandbox and Permissions model, Over-The-Air update system, centralized Market, developer registrations, user-submitted ratings, and application flagging — provides a powerful security advantage to help protect Android users in our open environment," Cannings finished.

Check out his full post on the Android Developers Blog.

Sony Reveals PlayStation Network Plus Details

6:00 PM - June 25, 2010 - By Jane McEntegart - Source : Tom's Guide US
 
Sony has revealed some details of what gamers paying $50 per year for PSN Plus can expect for their money.


When Sony announced PlayStation Plus at E3 there was a lot of confusion as to what the paid version of PSN would offer users. Yesterday evening, Susan Panico, Senior Director for PlayStation Network, clarified the features of PSN Plus in a blog post to the PlayStation blog.

At launch subscribers will get full access to the PlayStation Network game WipEout HD; PSP minis; as well as PS One classics like Fieldrunners, Age of Zombies, Rally Cross; and a game trial of Infamous. There'll also be free monthly episodes of Qore.

Other features of PSN Plus are free monthly games that once downloaded, are yours as long as you remain a subscriber. If you delete the game and decide you want it back, you can redownload it for free (as long as you're still a subscriber). You'll also get exclusive PlayStation Store discounts ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent. Members will also be included in demos and betas before anyone else.
There'll be free trials for users, which will allow you to download an entire game and play it for a set amount of time (usually an hour) as a 'try before you buy' option. If you decide to buy, you can pick up where you left off when your free hour expired.

Lastly, Susan talking about a feature that will download patches and updates automatically if that's your desire.

Pricing is $49.99 for a year and $17.99 for three months of service. If you purchase a year, you'll get three months free.

Anyone interested?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Their List of the Best Free Mac Downloads

The below article is really useful.  I had most of the applications that is mentioned. Cool!  Please read on...

Looking to beef up your Mac with a few great—and free—apps that cover a whole lot of your productivity and computing needs? Our annual Lifehacker Pack for Mac rounds up the best free downloads for OS X.
 

Productivity

Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsQuicksilver: Quicksilver is an application launcher and then some, capable of browsing your file system, firing off quick emails, flipping through your iTunes library, and much, much more. It can be a bit difficult to wrap your head around, so rather than go into too much detail here, check out our beginner guide, settings tweaks, and video demonstrations. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsBean: You're on a Mac, and chances are pretty good you're not eager to shell out cash for Microsoft Office to open and edit the occasional Word document. Bean is an extremely fast, lightweight document editor (and written in Cocoa) that handles Word documents like a gem. It's not a replacement for Word, but if you don't need everything that word offers (and you don't want a bloated replacement like OpenOffice.org), Bean's a great option. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsNotational Velocity: This brilliant little note-taking application creates, searches, tags, and syncs plain text notes between desktops, the web, and even your iPhone (syncing takes place either through Dropbox [see below] or the excellent web-based Simplenote). If you're an obsessive plain text note-taker or to-do list creator, you won't regret giving it a test run. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Best Free Mac DownloadsTextWrangler: If you do heavier text editing than Notational Velocity offers—like, say, coding—free text editor TextWrangler is a great tool for the job. A good share of Mac fans pony up for premium apps like TextMate, but if you don't feel like shelling out $50 to get your coding on, TextWrangler's a great option. [Download]

Internet/Communication

Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsFirefox/Chrome: These two are fighting for default browser status on many a Mac, and frankly, they're neck and neck in our hearts at this point. Google just dropped the beta tag from Chrome for Mac and released their first stable build; meanwhile, Firefox still has a few features we'd sorely miss if we switched over to Chrome. For now, we'd happily recommend either. [Download: Firefox/Chrome]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsAdium: Adium is hands-down the best multi-protocol instant messaging client we've used on any platform. It's completely customizable, works with almost any chat network you'd want, and still outdoes iChat on most fronts. (Though if you're a big user of iChat's admittedly great screen sharing and video chat tools, it's unfortunately not up to snuff on those points.) [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsCyberduck: This excellent open source client can connect to and upload/download files via FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, and even Google Docs. Cyberduck's impressive feature list is a little too long to dive into, but if you thought you needed to pay money for a solid FTP client on your Mac, take a look at Cyberduck first. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Best Free Mac DownloadsFluid: If you turn to web applications more than you do desktop apps, this free, open source tool creates standalone "apps" for any web site you throw at it. With the right set of user scripts and tweaks, your Fluid-made site-specific-browsers (or SSBs) can display Growl notifications, Dock badges, and make your web apps feel more like they're running on your desktop. [Download]

Utilities

Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsThe Unarchiver: Your Mac's built-in Archiver Utility isn't bad, but if you regularly traffic in archive file types like the popular RAR format, it can't handle all your needs. The Unarchiver unpacks traditional ZIP archives along with RAR, TAR, 7Z, Stuffit, and most obscure archive types you could get your hands on. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Best Free Mac DownloadsuTorrent/Transmission: It used to be that when it came time to download something on your Mac via BitTorrent, you only really had one solid choice: the open source Transmission. But as of just a few days ago, uTorrent—the most popular BitTorrent client for Windows—upgraded to a 1.0 release. uTorrent for Mac still isn't up to snuff when compared to the Windows version, but we still think it's a solid alternative to Transmission—though some would argue that Transmission is more "Mac-like". [Download: uTorrent/Transmission]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsBurn: OS X's built-in Disk Utility is actually quite good at burning ISOs and other disk images to optical media like CDs and DVDs, but the aptly-named, open-source Burn is a great supplement for less esoteric burning duties. Burn handles data, audio, video, and disc copying in a very user-friendly interface. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Best Free Mac DownloadsGrowl: Growl is a universal system notification tool that displays attractive system notifications and integrates with nearly every really popular Mac application (including the majority of the apps on this list). As handy and popular as this universal notification application is, it's still hard to believe it hasn't been built into OS X already. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Best Free Mac DownloadsDropbox: This handy utility adds a Dropbox folder to your user directory and instantaneously syncs any file you add to, edit, or delete from that folder to Dropbox's cloud servers and to any other computer you've installed Dropbox on. If you regularly move around between a couple of computers or you just wouldn't mind a way to access and back up a few of your most important files, Dropbox is a must. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Best Free Mac DownloadsMozy: We regularly preach the importance of backup, and the newest release of Mozy is a double-threat of both on-site and off-site backup with impressive ease of use. You get the local backup and 2GB of online backup for free, or for $5 a month, you get unlimited online backups. We don't normally urge people to pry open their pocketbooks, but with Mozy's unlimited backup, we strongly believe it's worth it. [Download]

Media

Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsVLC: Throw any video or audio file you can find at VLC and it'll play it, no matter how obscure the format. While not necessarily as friendly on the eyes as QuickTime, VLC is a workhorse of a media player that we've turned to in many a dark hour when it looked like a file might not play. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsiTunes: iTunes may be one of the most controversial apps on this list. Some love it, some hate it, but the fact remains that if you're firmly planted in Apple hardware and software, iTunes is the glue that keeps all of your media together. And if you're an iPhone/iPod/iPad owner, it's still a must. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Best Free Mac DownloadsSeashore: Photoshop may be the gold standard for image editing, but if all you need to do is some basic photo editing and you don't want to fire up an industrial workhorse to get it done, Seashore is a handy tool to have on hand. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the 
Best Free Mac DownloadsPicasa: If you're unhappy with iLife's default photo management software, iPhoto—and many Mac users on the Lifehacker staff are—Google's Picasa offers a strong alternative. It handles many of the same features iPhoto does, plus it integrates like a charm with your Google account and Picasa Web Albums online. [Download]
Lifehacker Pack for Mac: Our List of the Best Free Mac DownloadsHandbrake: Got a DVD you'd like to rip to your hard drive in a high-quality, portable-device-friendly format? Turn to the extremely popular, always handy Handbrake. [Download]

We've done a fair amount of tweaking from last year's Lifehacker Pack for Mac, so check out our previous Mac Pack if you're still hungry for a few other options. Let's hear about your must-have apps (whether we listed them or not) in the comments.

Send an email to Adam Pash, the author of this post, at tips+adam@lifehacker.com.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Leica unveils V-Lux 20 digital compact with built-in GPS

April 20, 2010: Leica Camera AG has announced the LEICA V-LUX 20, a 12.1 effective megapixel digital compact camera with a powerful 12x optical zoom lens and built-in GPS tagging*, making it ideal for recording special memories when travelling – wherever you are in the world.
The integrated, high-performance LEICA DC-VARIO-ELMAR 4.1-49.2mm f/3.3-4.9 ASPH. zoom lens with a focal range of 25-300mm (35mm equivalent) means the V-Lux 20 is perfect for any photographic situation. Whether shooting expansive landscapes, detailed close-ups or shots of distant subjects using the super-telephoto setting, the V-Lux 20 captures them all in breath-taking quality.

The V-Lux 20 is the first Leica camera to feature GPS tagging. For anyone travelling regularly – whether on exotic safaris, family beach holidays or even those important business trips – this innovative feature allows photographers to record the exact geographical co-ordinates of their location (in the Exif data of each photo) automatically, as well as the local time for every shot, ensuring the user always has a useful and accurate record of their trip.  In addition, the V-Lux 20 can display the names of interesting sightseeing locations from a total of 500,000 ‘points of interest’ across 73 countries.
The built-in GPS feature also makes archiving and organising photos quick and easy, during or after a trip. Furthermore, for photographers posting images on social networks, image portals or map sites such as Google Maps or Google Earth, the data automatically reveals exactly when and where the photos were taken.*

For those who want to make movies as well as still images, the LEICA V-LUX 20 enables movie recording in HD quality. Its intelligent automatic features, such as face recognition, automatic scene modes and smart exposure, are all available in movie mode, together with the camera’s zoom functions.

The V-Lux 20’s generous three inch LCD display has a diagonal of 7.5cm and a resolution of 460,000 pixels, and offers an extremely bright, sharp view for precise composition and framing of shots, as well as accurate quality control for captured shots in playback mode.

Beautifully styled in a matt black finish, the V-Lux 20 has been designed with simple, ergonomic controls and user-friendly menus, and offers fully automatic functions for those who prefer to ‘point and shoot’. It also provides a complete range of manual shutter speed and aperture settings for more creative freedom and image control. In addition, the integrated image stabilisation assists the photographer by reducing the chance of blurred pictures, whether due to camera shake or difficult lighting conditions. The compact dimensions and light weight of the camera also make it easy to pack into a bag or rucksack, or simply carry in a pocket, so users can ensure the LEICA V-LUX 20 is with them on every trip.

Accessories and software
The LEICA V-LUX 20 includes Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for quick and easy image editing. A high quality brown leather case for the camera is available as an optional accessory from authorised Leica dealers.

* GPS tagging may not function in China and neighbouring regions. Strength of satellite signal reception depends on location, and when restricted, positioning data may be recorded inaccurately or not at all.

Friday, June 4, 2010

10 reasons not to buy Apple's new iPhone 4G

By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor
Published: 2:30PM BST 03 Jun 2010

When Apple first launched the iPhone in 2007, it was leaps and bounds ahead of its nearest rivals. But now the handset is a triumph of marketing over functionality. And it’s so ubiquitous it’s not even cool any more.
Here are ten reasons why, whatever is announced at the forthcoming launch, there’s no point buying the iPhone 4G:

1) It’s expensive: Buy the top-of-the-range Blackberry or Android handset and you will still pay a lot less than the extortionate prices Apple charge. If the iPhone weren’t made by Apple, networks would have had to start giving it away on £30 a month tariffs years ago.

2) It’s anti-technology: When the iPhone launched it was cutting edge – now as other manufacturers announce, for instance, that you can use their phones as shareable wifi hot spots, Apple says no. Not because of some spurious “user experience” argument, but because of economics. When will they learn that it’s customers – supply and demand – that should dictate feature availability?

3) No Flash: The iPhone, the phone that promised to put the web into everybody’s pockets, can’t even show you most of it, because it can’t handle Flash graphics. Google Android can, in the latest version (OS 2.2), and it’s going to be available free on a lot of budget tariffs.

4) No multitasking: Tried instant messaging on an iPhone? Oh yes, you have to open the app to see if you’ve got a message. Genius. If Apple announces multitasking next it will be an improvement – but there’ll be no apology for the way it’s treated customers in the past, and no guarantee it won’t behave similarly shoddily in the future.

5) Its battery life is terrible: This isn’t a problem unique to Apple, but look at phones by companies such as HTC – multitasking, better cameras, better screens, all draining their batteries far more – and yet the iPhone, with its undemanding technology, still only offers equal performance.

6) Developing apps for it is costing you money: The special version of the BBC iPlayer, of Natwest Phone Banking, of Eon’s meter reader – developing all of these came out of money that could have been channelled away from a self-important minority and towards more generally useful ideas.

7) It comes with offensively bad headphones: Sit next to somebody using the original iPhone or iPod headphones and you can hear everything they can. It’s another example of Apple charging premium prices, but delivering a dressed up, budget product.

8) It’s not very well designed: Use the iPhone as a phone and it’s not got great reception, nor is it particularly comfortable to use for long periods. It’s a computer that happens to have a phone bolted on – jack of two trades, but master of neither.

9) It charges for satnav: In an age when Nokia and Google Android provide completely free mapping and satnav facilities, the cheapest way you can turn your overpriced iPhone into a satnav is with a £19.99 app. Bargain.

10) Those iPod docks are holding back better technologies: As every hotel increasingly thinks it should provide iPod docks, the momentum behind this technology is only growing. But if it wasn’t for the iPod and iPhone’s ubiquity, there’d be more wifi radios, more new technologies and a range of different options, competing and driving innovation.