Intel unites the internet with TV

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Intel has signed a deal with Yahoo to enhance the way people use their TVs by adding internet applications.

The collaboration will produce a Widget Channel that lets viewers e-mail friends, trade shares or check the weather while watching programmes.

The internet-based services will run on a new set of Intel chips designed specifically for web-connected devices.

"This is not a copy of a PC on TV," said Eric Kim, head of Intel's digital home group.

"We are setting a new bar and delivering a richer internet experience to TV like never before," he said.

Unveiling the alliance at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco, Mr Kim said previous efforts to unite the net and TV had failed because the internet stopped people using their set for its prime function - watching programmes.


Google Simplifies Olympics Calendar on Cell Phones

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Google has tweaked its mobile web site to make browsing the Olympics events schedule extremely easy on cell phones.

By simply searching the name of the event in addition to "Olympics," (e.g., "Olympics Archery") Google will display a schedule of the event on your phone. The page is clean and minimal, making it load pretty quickly (even on EDGE). Mobile users can also point their browsers to to browse through all the events in a simplified list.


Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Now Available

Microsoft Corporation India has announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft SQL Server 2008, the new version of the company’s data management and business intelligence platform. This version of SQL Server provides new capabilities such as support for policy-based management, auditing, large-scale data warehousing, geospatial data, and advanced reporting and analysis services. With this, SQL Server 2008 will be available to ISVs and computer manufacturers for the product's final physical replication and distribution.
“Microsoft developed this release of SQL Server with the customer in mind,” said Ted Kummert, corporate vice president, data and storage platform division, Microsoft. “SQL Server 2008 is the only major database that includes comprehensive, tightly integrated functionality for data management as well as advanced business intelligence out of the box. By offering a complete solution, we save customers time and money and allow them to focus on deriving the most value from their data assets.”

"We have seen great success for SQL Server during our last financial year, with SQL Server revenue growing at an amazing 54 per cent - much faster than the market itself. This is testament to the fact that SQL Server is a mission-critical, enterprise-ready database solution that is seeing wide scale deployment across India and with the availability of SQL Server 2008, we expect to continue building on this great momentum," said Pallavi Kathuria, director, server business group, Microsoft India.

She further added, "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is the only major database that includes comprehensive, tightly integrated functionality for data management as well as advanced business intelligence - all out-of-the-box. By offering a complete solution, we save customers time and money and allow them to focus on deriving the most value from their data assets."

SQL Server 2008 is available in six editions - SQL Server 2008 Enterprise, SQL Server 2008 Standard, SQL Server 2008 Workgroup, SQL Server 2008 Web, SQL Server 2008 Express and SQL Server Compact. The new version will allow users to store data from structured, semi-structured and unstructured documents (such as images and music) directly within the database.

SQL Server 2008 Enterprise is a comprehensive data management and business intelligence platform that provides enterprise-class scalability, data warehousing, security, advanced analytics and reporting support for running business-critical applications. With this edition, it is possible to consolidate servers and perform large-scale online transactional processing.

SQL Server 2008 Standard is a complete data management and business intelligence platform that provides ease of use and manageability for running departmental applications. SQL Server 2008 Workgroup is a reliable data management and reporting platform that delivers secure, remote synchronisation and management capabilities for running branch applications. This edition includes core database features and is easy to upgrade to the Standard or Enterprise edition.

SQL Server 2008 Web is designed for highly available, Internet-facing Web-serving environments running on Windows Server. SQL Server 2008 Web provides the tools necessary to support low-cost, large-scale, highly available Web applications or hosting solutions for customers. SQL Server 2008 Developer allows developers to build and test any type of application with SQL Server. This edition features all of the functionality of SQL Server Enterprise but is licenced only for development, test and demo use. Applications and databases developed on this edition can easily be upgraded to SQL Server 2008 Enterprise.

SQL Server 2008 Express is a free edition of SQL Server that features core database functionality including all of the new SQL Server 2008 data types, in a small footprint. This edition is ideal for learning and building desktop and small server applications, and for redistribution by ISVs. SQL Server Compact is a free embedded database designed for developers and is ideal for building stand-alone and occasionally connected applications for mobile devices, desktops and Web clients. SQL Server Compact runs on all Microsoft Windows platforms, including the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems, and on Pocket PC and smartphone devices.

SQL Server 2008 is now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers and also for evaluation download. SQL Server 2008 Express and SQL Server Compact editions are available for free download. SQL Server 2008 will be offered for the same price as its predecessor.

Users looking to try out SQL Server 2008 can download a fully functional copy free of charge and run it for up to 180 days.


Cloud computing

I was goin through Australian IT website and found an interesting article about Cloud computing.

A US military computer science professor has warned that a trend to push software into the "clouds" exacerbates privacy risks as people trust information to the Internet.
Websites routinely capture data that can reveal pictures of users' lives, US military academy professor Greg Conti told an audience at the annual DefCon hackers gathering in Las Vegas.

The danger is being heightened by a growing Internet trend toward "cloud computing," software being offered online with applications hosted on outside computers instead of programs being installed on people's machines.

A common example of the practice is Web-based email services such as those offered by Google and Yahoo.

The world of cloud computing is expanding to include software for documents, accounting, spread sheets, photo editing and more.

"With cloud computer looming on the horizon it is important for us all to think of the privacy threats there as well," Conti said.

"The tool resides with someone else and the data is stored somewhere else. Generally, that is a bad idea."

Internet users are already giving away copious amounts of information using online search and mapping software.

Prime examples are social networking websites where people post personal videos, pictures, and thoughts that supposedly can only be viewed by selected friends.

The potentially revealing data in people's profiles is stored on computers maintained by the social networking firms.

If someone does an Internet search of their own name and then maps a route from their home, who they are and where they live is on record indefinitely in data bases of the firms that provided the services.

With cloud computing, copies of documents, spreadsheets or other files created using outside applications could be stored by companies providing the services.

"When information is in the public domain, it is game over," Conti said.

"Information on your computer may get protection under the law, but on someone else's it gets less protection."

The US Department of Justice has tried to pry search data from Google, and China pressured Yahoo to reveal the identities of pro-democracy advocates voicing opinions online.

"The information we are all giving to online companies is massive and dangerous and it's going to get worse before it gets better," Conti said. "Giving them our data is a clear and present risk."

Records of email and text messaging are routinely saved and it is common for websites to use software that tracks where online visitors came from and where they go next, according to security specialists.

Software used to post online ads collects information on people's online activities to more effectively target messages.

"How hard would it be to target someone as a political activist or a person with AIDS?" Conti asked rhetorically.

And even if Internet firms champion privacy for users, there is no guarantee they won't be forced to yield to courts or get new owners with different ideas.

"Companies consolidate but also companies die," Conti said.

"This is heresy, but one day Google will die. What happens to data when a company dies is a big question."


Infosys Plans It Big In Hyderabad

Infosys Technologies has commenced work on its second campus at Pocharam in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. The Infosys campus at Pocharam will be spread over 447 acres with a total investment of Rs 1,250 crore. This campus is expected to seat over 25,000 people and will be completed over a period of 10 years, developed in three phases. Work is commencing for the first phase with a seating capacity of 10,000 people and an initial investment of Rs 600 crore, spread over three years. Once completed, the Pocharam campus will become the company's largest facility in the world, the company said.
While speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the campus, N. R. Narayana Murthy, chairman of the board and chief mentor, Infosys Technologies, said, "We are delighted to commence work on the new campus. The state government has worked at enhancing infrastructure facilities at Hyderabad to make it a premier IT destination globally. We are very encouraged by this development and the support provided to Infosys."

He added, "Once completed, the Pocharam campus will become the world’s largest software services campus employing 25,000 associates."

As a part of its drive to become carbon neutral, Infosys is designing this campus on sustainability principles to achieve energy efficiency, water sustainability, preservation and promotion of biodiversity and effective waste management.

The existing campus at Gachibowli has been operational since 2001. The campus has a seating capacity of over 10,000. An investment of Rs 522 crore has been made in it as of 30 June 2008. This campus exported Rs 2,279 crore and contributed 8.7 per cent to the total state exports in the financial year 2007-08.

The Gachibowli campus includes video conferencing facilities, network connectivity and over 10,000 workstations. The campus also houses the Enterprise Solution (ES) Academy which focusses on competency enablement for entry-level and experienced consultants in the ES practice.


Rajan Anandan Is Now Microsoft India MD

Microsoft India will see a change at the top, with Rajan Anandan set to take over as the company's managing director of its sales marketing and services business in India; and Jaspreet Bindra as the head of the entertainment and devices (E+D) division, India. Rajan Anandan, who will report in to Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India, was till recently vice president and country general manager for Dell India.
The high-profile exit of Neelam Dhawan created a vacuum in the company for almost two months, who quit Microsoft India to join HP India in June this year. A 22 year veteran in the IT industry, Dhawan's departure from Microsoft came amidst the opposition from India and three other countries to the ISO's decision to declare the OOXML file format as an international standard.

Welcoming Anandan on board, Venkatesan said, “I believe that Rajan is one of the most talented executives in the India IT industry today. He has the right mix of strategy and execution which is essential for our continued growth and also brings a very energising combination of passion, belief in people, and most importantly, an appetite for big challenges. I am confident that Rajan will help lead Microsoft India to new heights of excellence.”

Anandan, who joins Microsoft on 1 September 2008, will have the key responsibility of growing the sales and marketing operations for Microsoft India. He will be responsible for growing Microsoft's products and services businesses and also play a key role in driving the company's partnerships and strategic alliances.

Speaking on the occasion, Anandan said, "Microsoft as a company has shaped the evolution of the global computing industry over the past 30 years and is poised to play a leading role in every major new technology arena over the coming decade. I am thrilled to be joining the Microsoft India team at such an exciting time.”

Jaspreet Bindra, who has been with Microsoft India since 2005, will transition from his current role of country manager, online services group (OSG). Bindra will now be responsible for the Microsoft E&D products, services and solutions – including XBox – in the country.

Bindra, who will transition into his role in September, said, “I believe this to be a very exciting time to move into E&D. Gaming is on a exponential growth track and the retail environment continues to develop rapidly. Both are areas which are increasingly important for the success of Microsoft.”


Oracle Pushes The Linux Envelope

Friday, August 8, 2008

Oracle has announced continued momentum across its Linux partner ecosystem with new partners adopting the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support Program, by certifying with Oracle Enterprise Linux and participating in the Oracle Validated Configurations testing programme. In addition, Oracle has also announced an enhanced Linux partner programme provided through the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN).
key component of the programme is Oracle Enterprise Linux. Available as open source, Oracle Enterprise Linux is fully compatible -- both source and binary -- with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). For decades, Oracle has been supporting customers' enterprise-class software deployments for mission-critical data centres around world. As a Linux leader, Oracle is committed to delivering high quality, comprehensive and integrated support solutions to help drive the adoption of Linux in the enterprise and reduce the IT infrastructure costs.

Oracle said in a press statement that it "continues to demonstrate exceptional momentum with partners, including independent software vendors, hardware vendors and system integrators, supporting the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Program and certifying with Oracle Enterprise Linux."

"Oracle remains a leading contributor to the Linux community -- both from a technology and support perspective and is dedicated to broadening the partner community to provide tested, proven and cost-effective enterprise Linux solutions for customers," said Monica Kumar, senior director, Linux and Open Source product marketing, Oracle. "Continued adoption amongst our valued partner community will further provide customers the choice to deploy and optimise Linux within their respective organisations."

Partners can easily and rapidly support their applications on Oracle Enterprise Linux because Oracle Enterprise Linux is fully compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Available as a free download, Oracle Enterprise Linux can also be freely distributed, enabling partners to easily create low-cost solutions for their users (terms, conditions and restrictions may apply). New partners and certifications in the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support Program include: 3PAR, ActiveState, Bakbone, FalconStor, Likewise Software, Mellanox Technologies, SGI, SteelEye Technology, Inc., Quest Software, Tripwire, TeamQuest, Trusted Computer Solutions, Voltaire, Zeus and Zmanda.

Members of the Oracle PartnerNetwork can now join the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Product Focus Area on the OPN portal and align themselves with the Linux opportunities offered. Previously housed within the Database Product Focus Area on OPN, partner interest in Oracle Unbreakable Linux has accelerated the move to offer a specific Product Focus Area for partners to join.

Through this alignment, partners can now also embed Oracle Enterprise Linux and offer enterprise-quality support to customers. Oracle Unbreakable Linux accelerates the Linux market opportunity for partners and helps lower their cost of bringing high quality, fully supported, solutions to users. Other Oracle Unbreakable Linux opportunities available to partners include: resell Oracle Unbreakable Linux support; certify applications on Oracle Enterprise Linux; Access best practices via the Oracle Validated Configurations Program; order Enterprise Linux development support; promote their Linux offerings in the Oracle PartnerNetwork Solutions Catalog; and leverage joint marketing opportunities.

"The enthusiastic interest and support of Oracle Enterprise Linux by our partners highlights the value Oracle is bringing to the Linux market," said Judson Althoff, group vice president, worldwide alliances and channels, Oracle. "Our partners' demand for more Linux opportunities further demonstrates the power of our growing partner ecosystem to bring tested, supported and reliable enterprise-class Linux-based solutions to our customers through the Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support programme."


Stay Connected With IBM's New Software, Mobile Devices

IBM has introduced new software and services for mobile devices that closely mimic desktop features formerly found only on the PC. Designed for both business users and consumers, the new offerings can help individuals make better business decisions faster, while connecting friends, work colleagues and teams beyond what has been available in the PC era.

The new software includes products with business intelligence, collaboration, social networking and business performance capabilities. In addition, IBM is providing developers with new tools to make existing software applications run on mobile devices. IBM's software is built on open standards so it can be used with most mobile platforms including BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile and Symbian.

IBM is announcing new business consulting services to help companies manage a mobile work environment. Called Mobility@Work, the consulting and implementation services can help employers increase productivity by as much as 30 per cent and cut real estate costs, the second largest corporate expense after salaries and benefits. Mobility@Work helps increase the flexibility, efficiency, resiliency and employee satisfaction of companies by providing a mobile work environment that allows employees to collaborate across business and geographic boundaries while providing secure access to applications and connections to colleagues.

Automating services capabilities is a critical part of IBM’s strategy. The strategy includes analytical software developed in IBM Research coupled with high-value consulting services to help organisations in different industries get up and running faster with tested methods to more quickly align resources to market conditions.

Using a combination of the new software and services, employees and executives on the go can have an instant view of how their business is performing, either at a company-wide or a very detailed business process level, depending on the person’s role within the enterprise. Using collaboration software, that information can then be shared across a team and action can be taken, all using a mobile device.

Combined with business event processing software from IBM, companies can identify patterns and establish connections between events and then initiate a trigger when a trend emerges. A business event represents a slice of time, down to the millisecond and could be something like a stock trade or online purchase. The role of event processing is becoming increasingly important because it enables companies of all sizes and industries to analyse and respond to minute market changes based on information being collected from millions of mobile devices.

To keep up with this exploding demand for new and more powerful mobile applications, IBM is taking advantage of recent advances in cloud computing, a paradigm in which tasks are assigned to a combination of connections, software and services accessed over a network. Using any type of device like an iPhone, BlackBerry or laptop, users can reach into the cloud for resources as they need them. Cloud computing allows users and companies to pay for and use the services and storage that they need, when they need them and, as wireless broadband connection options grow, where they need them.

“The mobile Web presents one of the largest emerging market opportunities we've seen in a decade as billions of people look to access a wide range of services both for business and personal use,” said Drew Clark, director, strategy, IBM Venture Capital Group. "Utilising software assets from IBM Research combined with our services offerings provides unique opportunities to help companies quickly adapt to the mobile environment.”

The new IBM mobile software products include: IBM Rational Business Developer, IBM Rational Host Access Transformation Services (HATS) and WebSphere Business Monitor. These new products build on IBM's existing mobile software offerings including IBM Cognos 8 Go! Mobile which provides users with access to timely, secure and personalised information on their mobile devices and operating systems, including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 wireless. The software let users view and interact with business intelligence (BI) content on these devices to increase their productivity and improve their decision-making when working remotely by accessing operational and strategic information about customer orders, product performance, and more.

Tivoli provides the service management software that is a key foundational element for managing the delivery of mobile-based business services. This includes the full range of capabilities that allow for the management of the entire mobile network backbone, including the mobile network, mobile devices, as well as mobile-based services.

A combination of Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus, Tivoli Monitoring, Tivoli Network Assure and Tivoli Storage Manager with the capabilities of Cognos Go! Mobile, for example, provides the ability to create a mobile 'executive dashboard' reporting on key management data about a mobile-based service, providing responsible executives the data and backbone alerts, where and when they want them and on any device they want to receive them on.


Try Hands At Fedora 10 Alpha

Fedora 10 Alpha has been released by Red hat . The next version of the community-supported, free and open source Linux distribution features enhancements to the audio, security and wireless-connection features of the operating system. Fedora 10 (Cambridge) is due out in November 2008, and the Alpha release provides a chance for the whole community to weigh in.
Red Hat engineers working in Fedora and upstream communities have been developing several new features slated for Fedora 10. Here are just a few of the features: glitch free audio -- the PulseAudio stack has been enhanced to use timer-based scheduling. This means that it uses less power, is more hardware independent and adjusts dynamically to keep audio data flowing without interruption — minimising drop outs.

Fedora 10 will feature a brand new security auditing and intrusion detection system -- Sectool. It has both text and graphical front ends, features highly configurable groups for adjusting test runs, and is completely modular and extensible. Administrators and the community at large can write their own tests to extend its functionality even further.

Fedora 10 delivers on the promise of NetworkManager’s 'create new wireless network' tool, with easy setup of an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network on any machine with a network connection and a spare wireless card. If the machine has primary network connection (wired, 3G, second wireless card), routing is set up so that devices connected to the ad-hoc wifi network can share the connection to the outside network.

There are more great features on the way. As always, everything that goes into and comes out of the Fedora Project is completely open and free for anyone to use, modify and redistribute.

Get involved in testing the new features – check out the Fedora 10 Alpha release notes and then download the Alpha.


Eye Of The Terminator

Researchers have succeeded in developing a camera which imitates human eye.
The gap between science fiction and reality is narrowing further. Scientists always desire to replicate nature, and they at times come close to doing it. The latest being an effort by the researchers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University who have developed a high-performance, hemispherical 'eye' camera using an array of single-crystalline silicon detectors and electronics, configured in a stretchable, interconnected mesh. By combining stretchable optoelectronics and biologically inspired design, scientists have created a remarkable imaging device, with a layout based on the human eye.

The work opens new possibilities for advanced camera design. It also foreshadows artificial retinas for bionic eyes similar in concept to those in the movie 'The Terminator' and other popular science fiction.

''Conformally wrapping surfaces with stretchable sheets of optoelectronics provides a practical route for integrating well-developed planar device technologies onto complex curvilinear objects,'' said John Rogers, the Flory-founder chair professor of materials science and engineering at Illinois, and corresponding author of the paper which was published in the the 7 August issue of the journal Nature.

The camera's design is based on that of the human eye, which has a simple, single-element lens and a hemispherical detector. The camera integrates such a detector with a hemispherical cap and imaging lens, to yield a system with the overall size, shape and layout of the human eye.

To make the camera, the researchers begin by molding a thin rubber membrane in the shape of a hemisphere. The rubber membrane is then stretched with a specialised mechanical stage to form a flat drumhead. Next, a prefabricated focal plane array and associated electronics -- created by conventional planar processing -- are transferred from a silicon wafer to the tensioned, drumhead membrane.

When the tension is released, the membrane returns to its original shape. This process compresses the focal plane array, causing specially designed electrical interconnects to delaminate from the rubber surface and form arcs, pinned on the ends by detector pixels.

These deformations accommodate strains associated with the planar to hemispherical transformation, without stressing the silicon, as confirmed by mechanics modeling performed by researchers at Northwestern.

The array package is then transfer printed to a matching hemispherical glass substrate. Attaching a lens and connecting the camera to external electronics completes the assembly. The camera has the size and shape of a human eye.

Over the last 20 years, many research groups have pursued electronic eye systems of this general type, but none has achieved a working camera.

''This approach allows us to put electronics in places where we couldn't before,'' Rogers said. ''We can now, for the first time, move device design beyond the flatland constraints of conventional wafer-based systems.

So, keep an eye on the eye of The Terminator!


Sony's New Cyber-shots Won't Let You Blink, Frown

Here is what you want . Stop saying cheese coz your cam never gonna take a pic unless u smile.
Sony's latest Cyber-shot point-and-shoot cameras, the DSC-T700 and DSC-T77, introduce an anti-blink function and improved Smile Shutter technology. In anti-blink mode, the camera snaps two photos of a subject, scans them for closed eyes and only stores the one with eyes open. The Smile Shutter technology, which was introduced 2007, automatically snaps a photo once your subject cracks a grin. The camera doesn't say "Say cheese" for you though. That'd be pretty creepy.
Both cameras' resolutions are 10 megapixels; they also both feature touch-panel LCD screens. The main distinction between the DSC-T700 and DSC-T77 is the former features 4GB of internal memory, so you don't even need to go out of your way to buy a Memory Stick card if you don't want to. Both cameras will be available late September for $400 and $300, respectively.
Pretty smart camera. You know what else would be cool? Automatic break-up detection, so it'll delete all your photos of your ex-girlfriend a week or two after you break up. That'd be useful.


Alcatel-Lucent Chairman, CEO To Resign

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Following the sixth consecutive quarter of losses, the chairman and chief executive officer of Alcatel-Lucent will both resign later this year. Serge Tchuruk, the non-executive chairman of the company, will step down on 1 October 2008, whereas the CEO Pat Russo will resign 'no later than the end of the year', the company said.
The company's board also added that a search for a new non-executive chairman and chief executive officer will begin immediately. "The board is also initiating a process to change the composition of the Board to a smaller group that will include new members," said Alcatel-Lucent.

"The merger phase is now behind us. It is now time that the company acquires a personality of its own, independent from its two predecessors," said Serge Tchuruk.

"I am very pleased with the progress we are making especially in light of a difficult market environment," said Pat Russo. "The company will benefit from new leadership aligned with a newly composed Board to bring a fresh and independent perspective that will take Alcatel-Lucent to its next level of growth and development in a rapidly changing global market."

Now that the French telecommunication giant has moved beyond the transitional phase of the merger, the board has determined to restructure itself in a way consistent with the company's needs going forward. As part of this process, the board will reduce the size of its membership over time while adding several new members with strong industry expertise, the company added.

To initiate this process, Henry Schacht also announced to resign from the board immediately believing that, being a former CEO, he should not remain beyond the transitional stage of the merger.


KDE 4.1: Better Than Any Mac Or Vista

KDE 4.1 has some of those cool features that make Vista and Mac look like kids!

This is going to give a hard time to any Vista or Mac. KDE brings to GNU/Linux the cool and bling factor with a complete arsenal of applications and tools with which you can conquer even Mars. While Windows enjoys the rich ecosystem where third-party players sell applications at a heavy price for the platform, in the world of Linux, everything is being created by a huge community which may outnumber the entire workforce of Microsoft. And all these applications and tools in Linux are available for free (free in terms of cost as well as freedom to modify it the way you want).

Several years ago, people used to complain that Linux was not much user-friendly. But today they find using Linux to be as simple as taking a walk in a park. For a non-Linux user, KDE or GNOME is a desktop environment which he actually uses to interact with programs. In layman's terms, for example, XP's desktop environment is different from that of Vista or Mac. This desktop environment typically consists of icons, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpapers and desktop widgets. In addition, it also includes full set of applications like movie player, Internet browsing, music player, word processors and many more.

Now, let's come to the KDE 4.1.0 release. This release is the second feature release of the KDE 4 series, sporting new applications and newly developed features on top of the pillars of KDE 4.

KDE 4.1 is the first KDE 4 release to contain the Personal Information Management suite, KDE-PIM, with its E-Mail client KMail, the planner KOrganizer, Akregator, the RSS feed reader, KNode, the newsgroup reader and many more components integrated into the Kontact shell. Furthermore, the new desktop shell Plasma, introduced in KDE 4.0, has matured to the point where it can replace the KDE 3 shell for most casual users.

While KDE 4.1 aims at being the first release suitable for early adopting users only, some features you are used to in KDE 3.5 are not implemented yet. The KDE team is working on those and strives to make them available in one of the next releases. While there is no guarantee that every single feature from KDE 3.5 will be implemented, KDE 4.1 already provides a powerful and feature-rich working environment.

Now, for those who have already been using KDE, while stabilising the new frameworks in KDE 4.1, more emphasis has shifted towards end user visible parts. Read on for a list of improvements in KDE 4.1.

The new features include the return of KDE-PIM which contains the applications necessary for your personal information and communication. It also includes Dragon Player, an easy to use video player enters the stage; Okteta, the new well-integrated and feature-rich hexeditor; Step, the physics emulator makes learning physics fun and easy; KSystemLog, which helps you keep track of what is going on in your system; New games such as KDiamond (a bejeweled clone), Kollision, KBreakOut and Kubrick make taking a break from your work irresistible. That is not all. There is now Lokalize which helps translators make KDE4 available in your language (if it's not amongst the 50-odd languages KDE4 already supports) and then KSCD, the resurrection of desktop CD player.

OpenSolaris support in KDE is currently straightened out. KDE mostly works on OSOL, although there are some showstopper bugs left. Windows developers are able to download previews of KDE applications for their platform. The libraries are relatively stable already, although not all features of kdelibs are available on Windows yet. Some applications already run quite well on Windows, others might not. Mac OSX is another new platform KDE is entering. KDE on Mac is not yet ready for production use. While Multimedia support through Phonon is already available, hardware and search integration is not finished yet.

For KDE 4 series, it is just the beginning of the journey, currently it is for those users who want to use bleeding edge technology or experience, but we hope soon KDE 4 series will take on the world.

For full list of features, please visit:
To download your free copy of KDE 4.1.0, check


Microsoft Getting Ready For Non-Windows Era

Can you imagine a world without Windows? Even if you may not, Microsoft is contemplating just such a world. According to reports, the software giant is working on a project code-named Midori which will be an Internet-centric, non-Windows OS. The report was broken by David Worthington of Software Development Times, who wrote, "Microsoft is incubating a componentised non-Windows operating system known as Midori, which is being architected from the ground up to tackle challenges that Redmond has determined cannot be met by simply evolving its existing technology."

He further added, "Midori is an offshoot of Microsoft Research’s Singularity operating system, the tools and libraries of which are completely managed code. Midori is designed to run directly on native hardware (x86, x64 and ARM), be hosted on the Windows Hyper-V hypervisor, or even be hosted by a Windows process."

This is good news as Microsoft's current OSes have stagnated and the company needs to develop 'new' products, instead of just 'stuffing' them and then doing some 'face lifting'.

Reportedly, the project is so critical to Microsoft that the company has chosen Eric Rudder to head the project. In September 2005, Microsoft appointed him as senior vice president to work directly with Bill Gates. Rudder focusses on some of the company's key advanced development efforts as well as overall technical strategy.

Microsoft is said to be building everything from ground up because when its engineers first designed their OS, there was no such Internet; so keeping that in mind it was designed. Today Internet has become more pervasive so they need to keep in mind cloud and thus build the OS focussing on the fact that "users move across multiple devices, consume and share resources remotely, and the applications that they use are a composite of local and remote components and services. To that end, Midori will focus on concurrency, both for distributed applications and local ones."

However, don't expect Midori to be out in another 2-3 years; right now it's time for Windows 7.

GNU/Linux and Mac guys, are you listening?


Big Yahoo shareholder demands review of board vote

Capital Research Global Investors, which owns a 6.2 percent stake in Yahoo, demanded the review Monday, Capital spokesman Chuck Freadhoff said. Capital World Investors, a related fund that owns nearly 10 percent of Yahoo's stock, didn't make the same request.

The unusual inquiry was first reported on the technology blog, "All Things Digital."

Capital Research wants independent vote counter Broadridge Financial Solutions to make sure the fund's votes on the Yahoo directors were accurately transmitted, Freadhoff said. He declined to discuss how Capital Research intended to vote or what prompted the request for a review.

Lake Success, N.Y.-based Broadridge didn't immediately return calls left late Monday.

Capital Research's manager, Gordon Crawford, has publicly scolded Yahoo's leadership for its response to a $47.5 billion takeover bid from Microsoft Corp., which withdrew the offer three months ago after Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang demanded more money.

Crawford had indicated he might vote against some Yahoo directors - particularly Yang and Chairman Roy Bostock - to punctuate his displeasure with the failed Microsoft negotiations.

Since Microsoft walked away, Yahoo shares have plunged 32 percent, closing Monday at $19.38, down 42 cents.

Yahoo stood by the results certified by an independent inspector after its annual meeting last Friday.

"Yahoo did not participate in the execution of the votes and was not a party to any errors which may have been made either by a voting institution or a proxy processing intermediary acting on behalf of banks, brokers and institutions," the Sunnyvale-based company said in a statement.

Despite shareholders' lingering anger about the Microsoft talks, Yahoo's board only encountered a mild backlash at the annual meeting.

All nine directors were backed by at least 78 percent of the voting shareholders, faring better than last year when the outcry against the incumbents wasn't as intense. Three directors, including Bostock, were opposed by more than 30 percent of the directors last year.

Just over 20 percent of the shares went against Bostock. Yang was opposed by 15 percent of the voting shareholders.



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