Friday, April 30, 2010

Consistent EC Droppers - April

April is over, so its time to thank all those who have visited my blog (even if only once) and those who re-visit often, specially my EC droppers. I just completed 1 month after rejoining EC, and it was a nice feeling to see my blog in the top 3 under "Technology". Here's the list of my Top 15 Droppers for April. There were five more blogs with the same stats, so I thought it to be fair to increase the list from 10 to 15.

Small Town Mommy (31)

Opportunities Knock (31)

The Horror Movie Show (31)

Bible Examples (31)

Seek No More (30)

Confessions Of A Fitness Diva (30)

Fledgling Blogger (30)

A Little Boy's Blog (30)

Mutual Love (29)

Serian Man (29)

Second Trial (29)

Doing Business (29)

Momspective (29)

Funky Town Disco Music (29)

Fact Of The Day (29)

I will put up the badges of the 4 Top Droppers with 31 drops till April 30 in two of the 125x125 slots for 15 days each. Small Town Mommy and Opportunities Knock (May 1 - May 15). The Horror movie Show and Bible Examples (May 16 - May 30). And once  again, a BIG Thank You to everyone.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Get, Slate, Go - I

This is a sort of second coming that ageing film-stars and out-of-work models would long for. The tablet was an all-but-dead product category, one that never really got off the ground sales-wise, despite the big push from Microsoft way back in 2002. But with the iPad, Apple's wiped the slate clean, opening up the flood gates for a slew of contenders that promise to revitalize an almost obsolete form factor, or to say, completely change the way we interact with our computers. Here's a small peek at what on the cards in 2010.

HP Slate :
HP Slate Squint a little, and you could easily confuse the HP Slate with the Apple iPad. With a similar sleek profile and a large 8.9 inch capacitive display, it almost is. But it runs on the touch-enabled Windows 7 platform. Along with the netbook specs, it supports Flash and has got multi-tasking capabilities which the iPad lacks. It also packs in 2 built-in cameras (front and back) along with video recording. Looks like HP has all he iPad's bases covered, and then some more.
[Update : This was the specs and info that was available before. But HP has shown dissatisfaction with the capabilities of Windows 7 for a tablet, so it might put off all plans for the Slate. Otherwise, it might surprise everyone by going forward with the plan with the newly acquired Palm WebOS. ]

                                                      Notion Ink Adam :
Here's one from my country, India. Notion Ink, a small Indian start-up is talking big with the Adam. This Android based slate not only boasts of a sleek design, but also of the 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 chip that acts both as a chip and a graphics card, allowing you to playback videos at 1080p on the 10 onch display. The real genius is he Pixel Qi screen  which can switch from backlit LCD mode for web browsing to a low-power electrophoretic reflective mode for power saving (16 hours) and becomes easier on the eyes.

Fusion Garage JooJoo :
This is from the Singapore-based Fusion garage. Other than iPad, JooJoo is the only other slate that is commercially available  at the moment. With a 12 inch screen this Intel Atom/Nvidia ion powered  tablet promises full Flash HD and a decent interface over the custom Linux platform. But it misses out in many things - No Apps, no multi-tasking, no e-books and a 5 hour battery life.

More models to come in the next post.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Changes...Sorry For The Inconvenience

There are some changes going on at the moment with the template, so please bear with me. Sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cravendale "Magic" Jug

There's nothing like having a glass of fresh milk in the morning, along with some cornflakes or whatever. But what if you had left the milk out in the kitchen overnight and you are wondering whether the milk is still safe to drink or not. Worse, you throw it away even it was good enough to drink, or consume it when it was not fit for drinking.

Cravendale milk jug

To help you out in this situation, the guys at Cravendale Research and Development have created a "magic" jug which warns when the milk poured into it is sour. Not only that, the jug has got a LCD screen that displays the state of the milk, either FRESH or SOUR.

How does it do that? Magic? Well, nah. The jug's base has got a unique pH sensor which measures the acidity of the milk. It also has a alarm system which alerts when the milk turns sour. According to the guys at Cravendale, by using this "magic" jug, a huge wastage of milk can be reduced.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wow ! I Won At YouSayToo

SO here's another post that is not related to the title of the blog, but I just thought of posting this. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that I was one of the winners of the YouSayToo Social Bookmark Challenge. Actually this is the first time that I have won something of this kind, that's why I am over-excited. :-P

Congrats to RedAmethyst (I am a regular visitor to your blogs)  and Anuj Agarwal too. Here's the screen shot.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lainy's Musings' 2nd Blogoversary

Lainy’s Musings’ 2nd. Blogoversary Contest

 Lainy at Lainy's Musings is celebrating her 2nd Blogoversary, and as a resullt, has got a contest running till 26 April. The rules are pretty simple. All you have to do is subscribe to her blog with your email and make a comment within 20 words, giving a reason as to what made the baby (in picture) react in that manner.
Check out the above banner for more info.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Desk Phone Dock

Talk about mixing the latest in technology with some honest-to-goodness old world charm and practicality, and here's a gadget that does exactly the same.

The Desk Phone Dock is a gadget which allows you to use your iPhone as the one and only wired phone in your office or home environment. Just slot in your iPhone in the Desk Phone Dock, and not only will the dock charge and sync the device, it will also let you pick up the handset and use the phone just like a wired landline.

It can also function as a speaker phone with its dual stereo speakers, in case you need some handsfree conversation. Other features include volume control, instant mute and USB and AC power dual source.

So, no more of multiple cables, bunch of cables and other accessories on the desk.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fujifilm Finepix Z700 EXR - For Pet Lovers!!

The Finepix Z700 EXR from Fujifilm is the first in the class of EXR touch screen digital cameras, combining beautiful styling, Fujifilm's award-winning EXR sensor technology and a gorgeous 3.5" wide 16:9 touch screen.

The Z700 comes with a 12 megapixel Super CCD EXR sensor, 5x optical zoom and ISO levels of upto 1600 at full resolution. It also has the capability to record HD videos at 720p.

The best features of this camera are the following two...

Face Detection : The Z700 allows you to identify the people in a picture by name! Fujifilm’s Face Recognition Technology gives you the ability to pre-program 8 people into the camera. For this, when you take a picture of the person you want to program into the camera, tell the camera who that person is (e.g. son). You also have the option of inputting the category she belongs to (e.g. family) and the date of his birthday. The next time you take a photo of her, the camera will cleverly recognize “son” and optimize the settings to ensure that exposure and focus are best suited to him, rather than the other people in the picture.

Pet Detection : This camera is also capable to detect upto 10 cats and dogs in one photo. There's an extensive list of breeds it can detect, and if your pet is one of them, their face is guaranteed to be properly in focus. But if you have a bird, then.....mmmmm.... sorry. Better luck after a few years I guess. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mafia Wars by Zynga (Facebook) Part - II

In my last post, I had mentioned the basics of the game, how to start from the beginning and all that. In this post, I am going to go a bit deeper.

First of all, I would like to mention that Mafia wars is not a male-dominated game at all. It might seems to be like that because of its name, but it is not. Out the the 4700+ friends that I have on Facebook (all for Mafia Wars), I think almost 40% of them are females, if not more.

Coming back to the topic, I had mentioned that MW requires a bit of strategy. The strategy here is the timing strategy. There's a thing known as "Energy Pack" which boosts the energy by 25%, and is available once in 24 hours. Using this Energy Pack at the right moment is very important. Further, the timing of the job help requests from friends is also crucial in fast leveling up.

Zynga is trying to incorporate many new and interesting things in the game. They are including special edition jobs, collections and loots. Recently, there were the Easter and St. Patrick's special edition jobs and collection. These kind of inclusions increases the interest a lot more and removes any boredom that creeps in.

Apart from the official Zynga features, there are many unofficial things related to Mafia wars. Two such things are clans and trading groups. Clans are like families. Being a member of any clan has many advantages like backup and protection against bullies, help in completing collections etc.  As you can see in the picture, I am a member of {A4L} clan. Trading groups are for trading loots and items with others. This can be real fun if you can get a hold of it, and understand it properly. But be aware of scammers. I was the admin of a trading page, namely MWTC, for quite a few months, but due to some unavoidable circumstances, I had to leave the group.

Nothing is perfect in this world, and one thing which I hate the most about MW are the bugs and errors. Every now and then a new bug pops up...links don't work as they should...and so on. There were many times when MW was down....maintenance problem. But if you can bear with these issues, then you would just love the game...its so addictive. But, addiction is not good for people like me, the college students. Where's the time to study???????? :-P
And by the way, don't forget to check out ZuneZach's 100th blog post celebration.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mafia Wars by Zynga (Facebook) - Part I

Finally I have managed to complete the writing, in spite of frequent power failures. After I messed up with my previous blog, I started playing this game on Facebook, and very soon I got addicted to it. So I was thinking of writing this post for quite a few days, even though this one will be a bit off-topic. This is a small review of the game Mafia Wars by Zynga, on Facebook. I have been playing that game for almost some months now, and the following are my views about the game.

To start with, all Zynga games are very popular, be it the poker, or the farmville, fishville, cafeworld etc. And so, Mafia Wars, aka MW, is no exception. 
I don't know why, but I had the feeling that Farmville requires a lot of work, specially after crossing level 30, I mean ploughing and harvesting requires a lot of clicking....on the other hand, MW is more about strategy and less about clicking. Yes, even though its only "click-click", it requires a lot of strategy in MW. 

To begin with, you have to choose your type, ie, Maniac( regenerate energy faster),  Mogul (regenerate money faster), and Fearless (regenerate stamina faster). Now what are these energy, stamina etc? These are the attributes that each player has.There are 5 attributes in total -- (a) Attack skill (b) Defense skill (c) Health (d) Energy - required to do jobs (e) Stamina - required to fight and rob.
There are 4 regions in the game (more to come in the future), namely New York, Bangkok, Cuba and Moscow. In the beginning, only NY and Bangkok will be unlocked. Cuba will unlock at level 35 while Moscow at 70. 

You will have to do some very simple jobs in the beginning. Other tabs like "Fight" and "Properties" will be locked now. The jobs are divided into different tiers. Each tier has got about 7 to 8 jobs, and each job has 3 mastery levels (4 for Bangkok). You will get experience points by doing jobs, which in turn will help you to level up. Given the number of experience points required  to level up at the beginning, it is easy to reach  level 20 on the very first day.
The most important thing about MW is your mafia strength, which means, the total number of other FB users who are your friends and also in your mafia. The maximum strength allowed is 501, but it is better to have much more than that. This is required in fights. Items will be used in fights. There are 3 categories of items, namely, weapons, armors and vehicles. Each member of your mafia will use 1 weapon, 1 armor and 1 vehicle. So its better to be a full strength (501) as soon as possible. 
Apart from fighting, Zynga has brought back robbing. You will need to rob the properties of other people. 

In the properties tab (NY) and Business tab (other 3 regions). you will need to collect money from them.
The inventory is the place where you can buy items required for doing the jobs, to store the items you have looted from jobs and fights and also to check your collections. To talk about collections, each regions has got different collection sets each of 7 items. you need to collect all the 7 items in order to vault the set and receive a bonus. No worries if you don't get any can always ask your mafia to help you out with this. And that's what the wishlist is made for. enough for now, I will continue this in my next post. Till then, I would like to know if anyone here plays MW? Your views and comments would be nice. Have a great time blogging. And a reply to the question in my previous post would be very much appreciated.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coming soon...something off-topic

I had thought of posting something (my views) about a game today, but I am facing a few problems with my internet connection and power supply.So I will do it when the I get the chance...till then, happy blogging.

By the way, can anybody please help me??? How to view the robots.txt of this blog? I know I can't change it because it is not a self-hosted blog, but I need to see its content.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

GW Is Now On FB And Twitter

After being a bit lazy for a few days, I have finally managed to create a Fan Page for this blog on FB and add it to Networked Blogs (widget in the sidebar column). The fan page is completely new, but I will try to update my blog regularly.

And here's the Twitter link...oops..I will have to get a good looking "Follow Me" button for Twitter. This text link is looking pretty boring :(

Search is on for a nice looking button....till then, have a great day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Phones That Stand Out From The Rest

New phones are launched each and every day, and most of them go unnoticed. After all, every company is not Apple, right??? Still, there are a few launches from companies other than Apple with does create some hype. So here's a few of the recently launched or to be launched products from the mobile world.

Google has managed to produce a great phone this time. Running on the latest version of Android 2.1, the Nexus One is a killer product. It looks more like the iPhone but is slightly slimmer and lighter. It flaunts a huge and gorgeous 800x480 OLED capacitive touchscreen, the best mobile display in the market today (according to reviews). It os powered by the Snapdragon 1 GHz processor which is cpable of handling multiple apps at the same time, 3-D graphics and anything...

This phone is the successor to the 12.1 MP Satio. With an 8.1 MP camera, the Vivaz is also capable of HD video recording at 720p. The Vivaz is ergonomically designed to fit nicely in the hand. Even though the touchscreen is a resistive one and lacks the smoothness of the capacitive ones like the iPhone's or the HTC's, but its one of the best among those out there. SE has packed a lot of social-networking and multimedia features in it...but the main feature, as said before, is its HD video recording capability.

SONY ERICSSON XPERIA 10 (to be launched) : 
The Xperia 10 is Sony Ericsson's first attempt at an Android phone. SE has manipulated the Android interface in the Xperia 10, with the Timescape and the Mediascape. The Timescape overlay combines all the notifications and missed calls and social network updates into one 'spine'. The Mediascape is a similar feature, but its for all the media files stored in the phione. Its quite a handy feature. It has got a huge 4 inch (800x480) capacitive touchsceeen (unfortunately, its not OLED, but looks pretty good). And with such a hige screen, the size of the phone too is quite big, but thanks to the design, it looks slicker than it actually is. Finally, even though the Xperia has not yet been launched, it has got the best camera from the Android family, a 8 MP one.

Will try to post about some other phones in my next post. Till then, enjoy these. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

myLot Blog Claim

This post is to claim this blog at myLot, just like the Technorati blog claim. I may/may not delete this post once the process is over   :-P   . myLot User Profile

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Micro SIM for iPad

It seems that Steve Jobs is playing a mind game with the hackers and code-breakers. He has thrown down another challenge to the so-called "jailbreakers" (a term for the code-crackers) with his new gizmo - the iPad.

The suspicions back in January about the micro SIM format for the iPad has come out to be true. This SIM is different from the regular SIM used by the telecom industry. The SIM card for the iPad will have a 12mm by 15mm dimension, roughly half the size of the telecom industry's SIM, measuring 15 by 25. This micro SIM format is only used in the US in a GPS watch for children.

This is a bad news for the code-crackers and hackers who might have been hoping to snap up a grey market device and pop their 2G SIM cards into it, and hope to crack the code. Even though there are whispers that the normal SIM could be re-sized to make it compatible with the iPad, but it might have technical issues regarding the usability of such SIM cards.
So it won't be easy this time for the "jailbreakers".

Friday, April 2, 2010

Apple iPad for Techies and Regular Users

" In 10 years of reviewing tech products for The New York Times, I've never seen a product as polarising as Apple's iPad, which arrives in US stores on Saturday. ", thus goes the saying of David Pogue, the product reviewer for The New York Times News service.

As I have already mentioned in my previous post about the hype that the iPad has created, it is now evident from the above mentioned quote that the iPad has attracted comments from all kinds of people, some 'for' it and some 'against' it.

So here I am going to divide the pros and cons of the Apple iPad as per user reviews from various sources. Let’s have a look at the cons first :
i)       The Apple iPad is basically a gigantic iPod Touch.
ii)       There’s an e-book reader app, but with 60,000 titles for now, there’s not much to select from.
iii)      Reading in direct sunlight is poor, and at around 1.5 pounds, the iPad gets heavy in the hand after a while.
iv)      When the iPad is upright, typing on the on-screen keyboard is a horrible experience, and when its turned 90 degrees the keyboard is just about usable. A keyboard dock will be available later, but then the user needs to carry two pieces.
v)      The iPad cannot play flash videos. Even though Apple has already provided a list of “iPad-ready” sites like the CNN and some other, but still flash is the web’s most popular video format.
vi)       No USB ports, no camera. That means no more Skype video chat.

That’s enough for the negative points. Now let’s look at the pros :
i)        The bigger size of the multi-touch screen changes the whole experience. Maps become real, paper like maps.
ii)       The e-book reader is filled with endearing grace notes. On turning a page, the animated page edge follows the finger position and curls, just like a real page. Tapping a word gives its dictionary  definition or the option to look it up on Google or Wiki.
iii)       Apple products are all about apps. The 150000 existing iPhone apps will run on the iPad, either in actual size or doubled to fill the screen. But the real fun will be with the apps made specially for the iPad.
iv)       The battery life is excellent. According to Apple, the iPad can play video continuously for 10 hours, but reviews have confirmed that its more than 10 hours...thats almost 4 times of a portable DVD player.
v)       Finally, the best thing about the iPad is that, it will give a whole new experience to the users.

The iPad will be available in the stores from 3 April, Saturday.
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