Archive | December 15, 2010

Tether for Android / Droid – a How To guide

There are several ways of tethering from your Android smartphone, each of them with various degrees of risk and also various prices. We’ll try to detail them in this article.

1. The first and probably one of the most used methods is just going the easy way and sacrificing some money in the process. PDAnet comes initially from Windows Mobile smartphones and iPhone devices, costs about $23.95 (although you can get it for less, around $15.95 for now) , requires no fancy rooting or hacking and it just works. PDAnet also offers USB tethering as well as Bluetooth tethering, it is free for pure HTTP traffic and the paid version adds HTTPS traffic as well.

Pros: Easy, no configuration needed, works well Read More…

You can now Facebook Like the Bing results (SERPs)

In an effort to improve the SERPs (Search Result Pages) Microsoft showed a new way for the internet users to participate in the search results with their own opinion and experience during today’s Bing Search Summit Event in San Francisco. People will be able to use Facebook “LIKE” links over their search results and influence this way the very own results.

This Bing update is very significant because until now, the user had no way of actually shaping the search results, the social aspect being limited to sharing a certain article on Facebook, Twitter or other social sites.

The new update should be live before the end of the year and will allow people to discover results that are trendy using the social number of recommendations. One issue that I see is that bigger websites will push their articles even higher in the SERPs simply because they have more visitors and they’ll receive more “LIKEs” by definition. It will be interesting to know if Microsoft can and intends to balance this out, otherwise, the smaller websites even the ones sporting brilliant articles will remain in obscurity.

Beside the Facebook “LIKE” improvements, Bing searches will also add a better visually organized experience, a focus on task, search intelligence that focuses on search based on location and time of day, etc. Currently Bing has approximatively 11.5 percent search market-share while Google has over 66 percent.

Adobe claims Flash 10.2 uses 10 times less power than 10.1 version

The new Flash version 10.2 uses 10 times less CPU power than version 10.1 in some cases says John Nack, Adobe product manager on his blog. How is this done? By relying heavily on the GPU power to do the heavyweight the the calculations needed to process the Flash video streams. Not all the devices will show such difference and not all the GPUs are created equal, but the performance is impressive nonetheless.

The first website to show the marked improvements is the larger video host in the world – YouTube but the technology will soon penetrate to other web video providers as Vimeo and DailyMotion. After Flash 10.2 will come out of beta and will start to trickle down to many providers and clients we’ll wonder again why iOS still doesn’t get it (not that we really don’t know the answer to it…)

Check after the break for a video clip demo-ing the performance difference between Flash 10.2 and 10.1 version. Read More…

New Netflix, updates, Android Remote come to Google TV

We complained a lot about the simplistic Netflix interface (just your movie queue, no categories, no search, come on, Google…) in our in-depth Google TV review and I am pretty sure we weren’t alone. Google listened and released a very important update today that tries to keep Google TV devices still in the game. Here are the main changes:

  • The new Netflix UI is based on HTML 5 just like the PS3 one that we reviewed not too long ago. The new interface enables searching and browsing by categories and even allows you to add DVD in the DVD queue.
  • Dual View is improved and the picture in picture can be resized and moved anywhere on the screen
  • Android Phones get a shiny new Remote Control App with voice search and movie sharing from your Android Phone on the big TV
  • You can now search for Movies and the Google TV will find them wherever they are available (live TV, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, etc)

Check after the break for a video demo-ing the Android Remote. Read More…