Quantcast Tech Addicts: September 2008 Archives

September 2008 Archives

By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.NET MANILA, Philippines â Yahoo! Philippines launched September 30 the Yahoo! Open Strategy to rewire itself and open up its assets to third-party developers and help drive innovation and differentiation in terms of its products and services . Yahoo! Open Strategy product management Cody Simms on the Yahoo! developer b log that the new initiative is âYahoo!âs big bet to deliver open, industry- leading platforms that attract the most publishers and developers." Sau Sheong Chang, head of engineering of Yahoo! Southeast Asia explained during an interview with INQUIRER.net that the Y! Yahoo! Open Strategy âaims to marry the best of the Web with what Yahoo! has internally. This will provide a holis tic and consolidated platform for developers to grow applications in the curren t Yahoo! backdrop.â Currently, the Yahoo! developer group is very much US-centric but with this new initiative, the company aims to tap developers and grow strongly in many count ries, including the Philippines. This means a huge opportunity for the local developer community who can develop applications built on Yahoo!âs existing products. Chang said: âI think the Phi lippines has a very strong developer community. The skill set is very suitable to what is needed by Yahoo! and to what the company is providing to the communi ty.â Filipino developer Andrei Mariduqui Navarro proved this when he joined the Yaho o! Open Hack at Silicon Valley earlier this month. At the cradle of technology innovation, Navarro joined Web developers from around the world to develop APIs and Web services for Yahoo! With his experience at the event, Navarro believed that âFilipinos who have the passion for innovation can develop their ideas an d present it in a global platform.â For him, technology is universal and is an open avenue for everyone with creative ideas for Web applications. Though specifically targeted at open source developers, the Yahoo! Open Strateg y is said to benefit users. âYahoo! users can benefit by having more variety in the services available to them and within this singular âstarting pointâ, they can access an Internet gateway to additional services and functions for other providers,â said Chang. This singular starting point aims to provide users a more social, more customiz able and personally relevant Yahoo! experience. This will also mean more local offerings to countries like the Philippines. Chang noted that these localized a dd-on feature to the Yahoo! services are currently in the works. At present, the companyâs top two applications in the Philippines are the Yahoo ! Mail and the Yahoo! Messenger. Jojo Anonuevo, general manager of Yahoo! Phili ppine Operations, said the Philippines alone captures âabout more than a quarte r of the total mail trafficâ generated by the six countries in the Southeast As ia. In terms of Yahoo! Messenger usage, the country ranks second in the region. âYahoo! does not have the monopoly of ideas for our Web services so we want use rs and developers using our products develop their great ideas to enhance the Y ahoo user experience. Ultimately, this benefits the consumer,â said Chang. The Southeast Asia Yahoo! Developer Network site can be accessed at http://developer.yahoo.com
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net SAN Francisco, California -- Oracle announced its entry in the storage and data base hardware business with Hewlett Packard (HP) as partner, Oracle CEO Larry E llison said here at Oracle Open World. Oracle will enter the storage server and database server market in hopes of pro viding a technology solution to the growing and complex database and storage de mand from enterprises. Working with computer company HP, Oracle expects to rival products of existing storage and database server players, Ellison said. Mark Hurd, Chairman of the Board and CEO of HP, said the computer giant is exci ted to work with Oracle in delivering these two joint products. "This is a great thing for Oracle and HP and for our customers," said Hurd who joined the announcement over a video feed beamed into Moscone Center. Ellison said HP and Oracle have co-developed these new products for three years , adding select customers are already running these systems for a year. Ellison said Oracle's storage server, dubbed Exadata Storage Servers, aims to s olve the growing database requirements of organizations. Meanwhile, Ellison said the HP Oracle's Database machine will compete directly with existing rival products. The HP Oracle Database Machine is made up of a grid of Oracle Database Servers and a grid of new Oracle Exadata Storage Servers packaged in a single rack orde red as a complete system from Oracle. The latest offering is a result of Oracleâs and HPâs long-time engineering rela tionship, Ellison said. Ellison explained that Oracle Exadata Storage Servers intend to solve the "data base bandwidth problem" that occurs between database servers and conventional s torage. The Oracle CEO said the HP Oracle Database Machine is a powerful machine config ured for data warehousing. Hurd said the two new products runs on HP Proliant technology combined with Ora cle software and Intel's latest microprocessors. HP Oracle Database machine includes a grid of eight database servers, 64 Intel processor cores and Oracle Enterprise Linux; and a grid of 14 Oracle Exadata St orage Servers that include up to 168 terabytes of raw storage and 14 Gigabits p er second data bandwidth to the database servers. "I know you have a burning question. How much music can this hold," Ellison qui pped as he introduced the Oracle Database machine to attendees of Oracle Open W orld.
SAN FRANCISCO, California -- Talking to attendees of the Oracle Open World here , Intel Corp. President and CEO Paul Ottelini challenged the technology industr y to help the energy industry embrace technology that could help reduce the glo bal "carbon footprint." The Carbon footprint measures the impact of human activities on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced. It is measured in units o f carbon dioxide. Ottelini said Intel and other industry leaders like Oracle are now driving vari ous initiatives to reduce energy consumption in the manufacture and the develop ment of their products, as well as in the running of their operations. The Intel chief executive said Intel has recently been able to save $2 billion in electricity as it implemented initiatives to reduce energy consumption. Intel is now a member of the Green Grid, an information technology industry initiati ve to reduce power consumption. Citing a study by Garnter, Ottelini said that the technology industry presently contributes 2 percent to the global carbon footprint. Intel, for its part, has recently been pushing more programs to reduce the glob al carbon footprint. Ottelini revealed that Intel is now the largest purchaser of renewable energy i n the United States. Meanwhile, Intel, Oracle and other companies have established an organization t hat leverages on technology to transform the energy industry. This recent proje ct hopes to have a bigger impact on green movement, especially on the reduction of the global carbon footprint, Ottelini said. âWhat can we do as an industry to improve energy consumption? The global IT was responsible for 2 percent of global CO2. This 2 percent is likely to go up bec ause IT is one of the fastest growing industries. At Intel, weâre focused on en ergy efficiency. Last year, we introduced the biggest change in transistor tech nology by introducing lower power consumption in our new processors,â the Intel executive added. Ottelini said Oracle has also been driving the reduction of energy consumption by using its technology. âYou can now see how technology can have a large impact on the 2 percent of the global CO2. Question is how we can impact the 98 percent?â he said, posing a c hallenge to the high-tech industry.
Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net SAN FRANCISCO, California â Amid the highly technical sessions and talks here a t Oracle Open World, there are sessions, exhibits, and non-event related initia tives dedicated to promoting the global green movement. Talking during the Oracle Open World opening day, San Francisco mayor Gavin New som said the city has been host to this major technology event for several year s. Recently, both the city and Oracle have made strides to implement green init iatives. Newsom stressed San Francisco is one of the cities that have the best recycling programs in the United States. The city currently recovers 69 percent of the m aterials it discards, with the goals of 75 percent landfill diversion by 2010 a nd zero waste by 2020. He also pointed out that the power that lights Moscone Center, the venue of Ora cle Open World, is a result of their solar energy program. In its website, Oracle added that San Francisco's Moscone Center, wh ich has been instituting green programs for years, has replaced all disposable food and beverage products with biodegradable items. It is also evident this year that Oracle has been using less paper, as most of the materials given to attendees, the press and bloggers are now available in e lectronic copy through its website or through electronic kiosks found all over the venue. According to Oracle, it has launched the OpenWorld Green Program this year to f ocus on sustainability and helping customers and partners attending the show to also become more aware of green movement. âOracle is committed to using online methods of communication wherever possible and appropriate in its drive toward paperless meetings and events. This includ es taking advantage of electronic ticketing and reservation systems and using o nline registration, online agendas and exhibitor kits, digital and recyclable s ignage, downloadable speaker presentations and handouts and electronic event ev aluation,â the company said. In 2007, Oracle said that 57 percent of all waste was diverted from landfill, 2 ,000 pounds of food was donated to San Francisco charity, 80 percent of exhibit ors used online kits, print materials used 10 percent post-consumer recycled-co ntent paper and soy-based inks, and shuttles and other transportation focused o n using âgreenerâ vehicles. About 43,000 people are attending this yearâs Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco . This international event runs from September 21 to September 25 at Moscone Ce nter. This year's conference will feature 1,800-plus educational sessions; 450- plus partner exhibits including the Intel-sponsored Inside Innovation; 300-plus live Oracle product demos in the Oracle DEMOgrounds and 200-plus industry sess ions.

Intel paves road to virtualization

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By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.net THE recent launch of Intelâs multi-core Xeon 7400 server microprocessors (codenamed Dunnigton) has been dubbed to set the stage for virtualization 2.0. Virtualization is touted to enable very low power and improved performance proc essingâthe chips offer up to 50 percent processing improvement when compared to the previous 7300 series, according to Intel. Other performance records claime d by the chip are available from Intelâs Web site. (To view the presentation, click here.) By 2010, virtual machines will hit 7.9 million units worldwide, up from 1.4 mil lion units in 2005. This steep rise of the segment according to research firm I nternational Data Corp. signals the need for more powerful chipsets to come aft er the 7400 series. And that will surely happen, suffice it is to say that we h ave enough time to harness the power of Dunnington chips. So what are the benefits? intel dunnington chip die According to Intel, the new processor integrates six cores per chip and 16 mega bytes of shared cache memory -- now how about that? You have six cores that can enable you to run simultaneously high processing, power- and memory-hungry app lications without putting too much stress on your system. Think about downloadi ng files, playing high-definition videos, editing high-res photos while playing some games on the side -- go ahead, add on to the list. But if you think that âs sweet already, wait until you here this: Intel tipped that you can integrate up to 16 Dunnington processors in your system -- translating to 96 processing cores. Let me say it again: high processing, huge memory and low power. Isnât t hat sweet? One may ask if there is really a need for a high-processing machine with huge m emory. Indeed, there is. For one, networking would be the prime benefactor as v irtualization capacity improves over time. Servers which run 24/7 will greatly benefit from the launch of smart solutions to enable high processing while main taining low energy draw. With the slew of personal applications requiring high performance, high memory and low power, Intelâs Dunnington makes virtualization one step closer to us.
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia t o have a local edition of the Google News service, executives of the search com pany said Wednesday. The news servic e sources content from more than 4,500 English-language news sources, inclu ding major news outlets in the Philippines including INQUIRER.net. "The Philippines is a very important market in a very important region," said R ahul Roy-Chowdury, product manager for Google News, based in Bangalore, India. Roy-Chowdury expects more than 24 million Filipino Internet users by the end of the year. "We want to make sure we can provide value to this growing audience, " he said in a teleconference with local press. According to him, the service ranks stories and news sources accordi ng to Google's algorithms and likewise based on what he refers to as "aggregate editorial interest,â which basically refers to how often publishers carry part icular stories. The local Google News site carries no advertisements although Roy-Chowdury poin ted at an indirect revenue model both for Google and content publishers. Some u sers can enter search items on Google after reading new stories or go to a publ isher's site. "We are trying to create an ecosystem here that allows publishers to monetize ( traffic) thru (Google) AdSense or any other content monetization system," Roy-C howdury said. There are more than 50 regional editions of Google News available in 20 differe nt languages, Google said.
Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net MU MBAI, India -- As a motivational speaker, Guy Kawasaki is blessed with a funky name, a charming smi le and sense of humor perfect for delivering slide presentations. Yet he calls himself a "bozo." (Photo shows Kawasaki's business card). No wonder, business intelligence and analytics software firm SAS timed his pres entation after lunchtime. Kawasaki wowed the Mumbai crowd with his presentation entitled "The Art of Innovation," eliciting plenty of chuckles and applause. In his speech, he gave advice on what he refers to as the Holy Grail for any en trepreneur: coming up with a unique product that has great value. To illustrate this point, he talked about how companies like Nike, Apple, Federal Express an d Breitling are doing it. So what exactly are these types of products? A flashlight that can run on diffe rent types of batteries and an outdoor watch that comes with a built-in SOS sig nal are among his examples. But his most profound piece of advice for would-be entrepreneurs: Make meaning, not money. "Based from my observation, companies that really are successful change people' s lives. Most companies that set up just to make money eventually fail," he tol d me during a short interview after his talk. Kawasaki who was born on Honolulu, Hawaii and considers himself half-American h alf-Japanese, was appointed Apple Fellow during the 80s. He is credited as one of the earlier "evangelists" responsible for the success of Apple's Macintosh c omputer. He is also a noted venture capitalist in Silicon Valley as managing director of Garage Technology Ventures. Recently, he founded alltop.com, a website that ag gregates news based on topics. I asked if his "make meaning, not money" ethos applies more (or maybe less) to entrepreneurs in places like the Philippines where there isn't as much access t o venture capital. Kawasaki said it applies to everyone, while saying it's now a "different world out there" for entrepreneurs in the technology industry, tha nks to open source. "Now, because of things like MySQL, Rails, PhP, you can do things so much cheap er than before. It's a great time to be an entrepreneur, you can delay venture capital funding for a longer period, get further and therefore you have higher valuation," Kawasaki said. "Before, the first step was sort of try to raise money and build your product. Now you build your product and then try to raise money. It's a very different w orld," he added. And in the same vein, he had another advice for would-be CEOs: Make a mantra, n ot lengthy mission statements. And to observe his personal "10-20-30" rule: 10 Powerpoint slides, 20 minutes tops (he takes a crack at Windows for booting up longer thus, less presentation time) and size 30 font (which also applies to hi s business card below). Also, he took note of bozos (or slang for stupid) who are either out to make mo ney (who, according to him, drive cars and wear clothes ending in "i" like Ferr ari, Maserati and Armani) or who fail to see where technology is heading. So why does he call himself a bozo then? He tells his story about how he was on ce offered to become a CEO of a then start-up but was too lazy to drive all the way to his new office and after looking at the company's website, dismissed it as "just a collection of their these guys' favorite websites". That company turned out to be Yahoo!

First look at HTC Touch Pro

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By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MAKATI City, Philippines -- Just three months after releasing the HTC Touch Dia mond in the Philippines, mobile handset manufacturer HTC launched its Touch Pro , the companyâs most powerful business mobile phone yet. The Touch Pro is the fourth generation of the HTC Touch series and is very simi lar to the Touch Diamond with the addition of a sliding QWERTY keyboard and a g lobal positioning system (GPS). The Touch Pro also has a much improved Touch FLO 3D, the touch screen interface that is unique to the HTC Touch series. The Touch Pro shares several similarities to the Touch Diamond, such as a 2.8-i nch screen, 3.2 megapixel camera, and Qualcomm 528 megahertz processor. Just like the Touch Diamond, the Touch Pro also has quadband cellula r network capability, EDGE, UMTS, and HSDPA. It also runs Microsoft Windows Mob ile 6.1. Touch Pro, however, has bigger RAM (288 MB compared to just 192 MB for the Touc h Diamond, including a microSDHC memory card slot), longer battery life, an int egrated GPS antenna and a wireless fidelity antenna. Even with the inclusion of a sliding QWERTY keyboard, the Touch Pro is only sli ghtly heavier than the Touch Diamond at only 165 grams. At P50,800 the HTC Touch Pro is also more expensive than the Touch Diamond, whi ch only cost P42,000 when it was launched in the Philippines in June. It is pri marily targeted at business users since it also includes several business appli cations such as Internet Explorer Mobile, Opera Browser, and Microsoft Office M obile. Despite the higher price, HTC Southeast Asia Managing Director Kevin Hou is co nfident that the new HTC Touch Pro will sell in the Philippines, especially as more business users choose handsets with touch screen interfaces. Hou said that the entry of touch screen mobile phones have enabled the developm ent of more efficient user interfaces and more interactive applications. Hou is optimistic that the business for mid-level to high-end business phones w ill continue to grow as phones become more like computers.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines â A Wordpress lead developer has described the Philippine b logging community as "impressive and very organized," admitting WordCamp Philip pines is one of the biggest Wordcamp he has attended About 400 Filipino bloggers attended the WordCamp Philippines 2008 on September 6 at the College of St. Benilde, which is considered a landmark event for the country since it was the first WordCamp in Southeast Asia. Visiting the Philippines, Matthew Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPres s, said the Philippine version was comparable to WordCamp events in San Francis co. WordCamp is an annual event where users of the widely popular, open-source blog ging system Wordpress, talk about the latest technical aspects of Wordpress and the global blogging community. During the Wordcamp Philippines, Mullenweg gave the local community a preview o f the Wordpress 2.7, codenamed "Crazy Horse." Visiting the Philippines for the first time, Mullenweg said he has been learnin g more about the Filipino blogging community. "I'm here to see the Philippines. I've always wanted to go here," he said. Aside from the Philippines, Mullenweg said he will be flying to Beijing and Sha nghai in China to attend other Wordcamps being organized. Japan is also in his sights and hopefully an event there will happen before the end of the year. Mullenweg admitted that he did not expect Wordpress to become a huge hit among bloggers and open source software users worldwide. He believed that Wordpress' user-friendly graphical interface and ability to in tegrate third-party applications attracted users worldwide. Mullenweg said it is the active development community of Wordpress users that w ill ensure the application's future. "I get suggestions from people everyday on how to improve Wordpress. It's commu nity driven. I synthesize [suggestions] and erect communities for Wordpress fut ure releases," he said.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net THEY'RE small, fast and inexpensive. They're also among the first truly ultramo bile PCs that are based on the new Intel Atom processor. We test them side by s ide to see which comes out the best in the litter. Not surprising, they're all made in Taiwan. MSI, Asus and Acer are among the strongest Asian computer brands in the market today. They are also among the least expensive compared to more established Wes tern brands like HP and Dell. When Asus introduced the Eee PC in 2007, it point ed to a new direction that few computer manufacturers dared to go: small form f actors notebook. Among, if not the first, true ultramobile PC (UMPC) is the Toshiba Libretto, wh ich used an Intel Pentium processor, a Microsoft Windows operating system and a hard disk drive. Its small size, equally small keyboard (about 60 percent of a full size keyboard), and less than 1 kilogram weight made it appealing to peop le who wanted mobility. However, it was priced much higher than a full-size lap top. Since then, many manufacturers have attempted to create small form-factor notebooks at less than stellar prices but most opted to go for powerful electro nic personal digital assistants. The archetypal RIM Blackberry also led to a re volution of PC-like mobile devices, which pushed back motivation to create UMPC s. However, Asus's Eee PC generated a huge demand in the market that some manufact urers have started going small. MSI, Redfox, Blue, HP, and Acer took notice and launched their own UMPCs. Via and AMD also got into the fray as it tried to go after Intel's Celeron processor. Intel eventually moved on to develop the Atom . In mid-2008, notebook manufacturers like MSI and Asus took the plunge and imm ediately deployed their first Atom-based "netbooks," as Intel would have wanted to call them. For this review, we test the Asus Eee PC 1000H, the first generation Acer Aspir e One and the MSI Wind, three of the first UMPCs that incorporate the Intel Ato m. However the Acer Aspire One will be given a different set of tests since the unit provided by Acer did not include Microsoft Windows XP and a hard disk. We 'll get to that later. Configuration The Asus Eee PC 1000H is the third generation of Eee PCs but is the second to h ave an Intel Atom-based processor (the first one was the Eee PC 901) at 1.6 Gig ahertz. This UMPC comes with a configuration of 1 Gigabyte RAM module, an 80 Gb 2.5-inch laptop hard disk (the first model to have a hard disk as previous mod els used solid state drives), and Windows XP operating system. This UMPC's scre en is 10.2 inches, which makes it easier to view Windows. The MSI Wind comes with similar hardware and software configuration as the Eee PC: 1.6 GHz Atom processor, 80 Gb hard disk drive partitioned to 40 Gb each, 1 Gb RAM, a 10-inch LCD screen, and Windows XP operating system. The Acer Aspire One, the first UMPC from Acer, is much closer to the original c onfiguration of the Eee PC 701. Other than its 1.6 GHz Atom processor, the Aspi re One uses an 8 Gb SSD, 512 megabyte RAM module, a fairly smaller 8.9-inch mon itor and a Linpus Linux operating system. Acer will be launching a Windows XP v ersion of the Aspire One that will be more competitive with the MSI Wind and Ee e PC 1000H soon. Dimensions, weight Size and weight is a major consideration when it comes to UMPCs. Of the three, the Acer Aspire One is the smallest at 170 millimeter (width) by 249 mm (depth) by 29 mm (height). It also has an 8.9-inch screen. It is lighter at just about 0.900 kilograms. The gleaming plastic surface of the Aspire One also makes it more appealing compared to the three Atom UMPCs, giving it a stur dy look. However, the plastic is also prone to hand smudges, which become obvio us when handled by moist hands. Even the dark screen is prone to smudges so use rs would need soft cloths to constantly wipe clean the entire unit. Meanwhile, the MSI Wind is larger due to its 10-inch screen. It is 180 mm by 26 0 mm by 19 mm, and weighs 1.18 kg. Its entire body is made of plastic although the top cover has a much thicker plastic surface to protect the LCD components. The unit INQUIRER.net tested also comes in pink color! Not surprising, the once small Asus Eee PC 1000H is now noticeably bigger and h eavier. Its "vital statistics" are 265.9 mm by 191.3 mm by 38.1 mm. It weighs 1 .450 kg due to a standard 6-cell battery pack. Keyboard, screen, and webcam Despite the varying dimensions of these three UMPCs, there are minute differenc es in the keyboard sizes of each. The Eee PC and the MSI Wind keyboard have the largest key sizes at about 98 percent ratio to a full-size keyboard. This is f ollowed by the Acer Aspire One at 95 percent keyboard size -- this is despite h aving smaller dimensions, the Aspire One managed to fully utilize the entire le ngth of the lower half of the notebook. Using almost normal-sized keys is a boo n for most users. Keyboard size is often an issue among users, even those used to detachable keyboard for pocket PCs or handheld devices. The LCD screens of each UMPCs differ. The Aspire One had the smallest at 8.9-in ches, but it was the brightest at the highest settings. However, there is a not iceable flicker when we tried it at lower the brightness levels. Acer has alrea dy released a BIOS that can solve this problem but this can be a problem especi ally for ordinary users who do not know how to âflashâ their BIOS. Too bad beca use units like these are supposed to be for people who do no want to do anythin g with little notebooks other than work or play with it and not bother with its configuration. The Asus Eee PC 1000H and the MSI Wind share nearly the same screen size. The E ee PC has a slightly bigger screen size at 10.2-inches, while the MSI Wind uses a 10-inch LCD screen. Both handle resolutions at 1024x600 pixels but the Eee P C has a better brightness control scheme than the Wind. All three units come with webcams but with different resolutions. Both Eee PC a nd MSI Wind use a 1.3 megapixel webcam, while the Acer Aspire One only uses a 0 .3 megapixel webcam. While this does not pose any problems for users especially those using it for Yahoo! chat or other similar applications, some users might want to use bigger webcam screen sizes that does not compromise quality of res olution. Graphics and sound The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 is the primary graphics processo r for the MSI Wind, Asus Eee PC 1000H, and Acer Aspire One. The GMA 950 is laud able for being equally power-efficient as the Intel Atom processor. However, li ke all components intended for low-power consumption, this graphics processor h as its shortcomings. This is not a graphics accelerator meant for gaming. The o nly games that would run here are casual online Flash games. Then again, few wo uld want to play any MMORPGs on a small screen, right? The three UMPCs do not have major differences when it comes to the quality of t heir graphics but they show distinction in sound quality. Of the three, the Eee PC uses a Dolby Digital logo. However, this does not mean that the Eee PCâs so und is any better than the Wind or the Aspire One. All three can execute left-a nd-right stereo sound. Unless you're a big fan of audio hardware and applicatio ns, there is little distinction among the three units. Surprisingly, the MSI Wi nd had the loudest sound without the crackling noise common among small form factor devices. Nevertheless, they all have respectable audio output. Connectivity In terms of connectivity, the most complete is the Eee PC 1000 H. It has the st andard 10/100 megabit LAN port, Bluetooth and the latest 802.11N wireless fidel ity (WiFi) support, otherwise known as Wireless N. This is not a WiFi standard yet but can already be integrated into existing wireless local area devices. Th e Wireless N has a maximum bitrate of 248 megabits per second. Compare this to the Wifi A, B and G, which have maximum bitrates of 54 Mbits, 11 Mbits, and 54 , Mbits, respectively, the Wireless N can allow more users to access a single W iFi base station (if integrated with Wireless N) and download or upload more da ta from Internet at faster speeds. On the other hand, the MSI Wind and Acer Aspire One support 802.11 B/G WiFi con nectivity. The Aspire One does not have any Bluetooth connectivity but the Wind only features Bluetooth in the Windows XP version. Battery life The challenge of most UMPCs is battery life. They should last longer than their bigger notebook cousins. Asus, Acer and MSI use 6-cell battery variants for th eir UMPC models. Most notebooks today only use 3-cell batteries. Having a 6-cel l battery doubles the time you can use a notebook without plugging into a power outlet. When put in a UMPC that uses low-power processors, 6-cell batteries ca n ideally run much longer. The MSI Wind and Asus Eee PC 1000H 1000 were tested with all their wireless con nectivity switched on while running video files on continuous loop. The hiberna te modes were also set to off and LCD screens were also set to active during th is test. The Wind ran for about 1 hour and 48 minutes while the Eee PC 1000H ra n for a slightly shorter period of 1 hour and 35 minutes. Some might scoff at t he shorter running time but remember that both Wind and Eee PC have hard disks, which are moving parts that drain your batteries. Having a UMPC that allows us ers to work without the need for wires and power cables is a plus. On the other hand, the Aspire One's running time is slightly longer than the tw o; as it operated for approximately 2 hours with WiFi active and the unit conne cted to the Internet while a video file plays in continuous loop. The hibernate mode was also turned off. The running time for Aspire One proved longer becaus e it uses a solid state drive instead of the regular hard drives. Solid state d rives do not have moving parts and thus consume lower energy, giving the Aspire One longer operating time. The Aspire One is only using a 3-cell battery. Verdict The MSI Wind and Asus Eeee PC 1000H clearly have an advantage over the Acer Asp ire One in terms of additional features. The MSI Wind and Eee PC 1000 are neari ng the functionalities of traditional 12-inch or 13-inch notebooks. However, th ey have gone beyond the principle of the UMPCs when they integrated hard disks and bigger screens. These features have made them bulkier now since they have g one beyond the 1 kilogram threshold. The Aspire One has that advantage (NOTE: A cer is also releasing a hard disk based variant of the Aspire One with a 6-cell battery pack) but it does not have Windows XP, which is familiar to most users . With that in mind, it will be harder to predict which one of the three Intel At om-based UMPCs will dominate the market. In fact, it seems that it's better now for the UMPC consumer since they have a wider choice based on their needs. The bout for the best UMPC in the market won't end yet until the next group of UMP C manufacturers, especially Dell and Lenovo, come into play. For now, it will b e dependent on the user's preferences that will decide which of the three is co nsidered the best UMPC available in the local market.
By Janie Christine Octia INQUIRER.net SINGAPORE â Google Chrome is meant to provide users a choice, an executive said . "The biggest challenge for us is that users don't realize they have a choice wh en it comes to browsers. If there is a competition, this will help improve the available browsers in the market. Our goal is to provide more choice for users, less problems for developers and grow the over-all market" said Linus Upson, D irector of Engineering, Google Inc, in a briefing here. Google launched on Wednesday Google Chrome, an open source-based web browser th at aims to compete head-on with Microsoftâs Internet Explorer and Mozillaâs Fir efox. Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer at Microsoft Corp., in an e-mailed statement to INQUIRER.net, declared: âThe browser landscape is high ly competitive, but people will choose Internet Explorer 8 for the way it puts the services they want right at their fingertips, respects their personal choic es about how they want to browse and, more than any other browsing technology, puts them in control of their personal data online.â Available in more than 40 languages including Filipino, Google Chrome was relea sed as a beta product now available for free for Windows-based users. Chrome will be available for Mac and Linux users in the coming months, Google e xecutives said. With the goal of improving user's experience, Chrome included an interface call ed the "Omnibox," which works as the URL, search and history box. It also sugge sts frequently visited sites, while providing Google's own popular query whenev er a keyword is typed in the box. Chrome also introduced the "Incognito" feature, which allows users to browse a website without leaving any trace on the site visited, including username and p asswords. Google Chrome uses a JavaScript engine called V8 that speeds up current web app lications and enables a whole new set of web applications that could not exist on browsers other than Chrome. The Google engineering team from Aarhus, Denmark built V8 from scratch to respo nd to the dynamic and interactive sites. Google Chrome was released as an open source project which intents to help make future browsers better while continuing to develop additional features and tec hnology.

Google joins 'browser wars'

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Yup, it's official. G oogle has unveiled its new browser as it officially joins the browser wars. Remember the days when Mozilla launched Netscape and later Microsoft came into the picture with its Internet Explorer? Those were exciting times. Now, we have Google entering the fray. Why is Google launching its own browser, dubbed Chrome? "Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help driv e innovation on the web," writes
All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser . We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, w e shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what ki nd of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elem ents out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pa ges to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern pl atform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build. Just as Microsoft announced updates to its Internet Exp lorer, Google has come out with what it touts to be a "simple and streamlin ed" browser that can work on Windows -- Microsoft's domain. Currently, it is on ly available in the Windows operating system, with Mac and Linux versions follo wing soon. "This is just the beginning -- Google Chrome is far from done. We're releasing this beta for Windows to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quic kly as possible. We're hard at work building versions for Mac and Linux too, an d will continue to make it even faster and more robust," adds Pichai. Google runs on Apple Safari web browser technology. In a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP), it says that Chrome is "Google's lat est weapon in its bid to become the leader in all Internet areas." Microsoft won the major browser wars in the 1990s defeating Netscape Navigator. "According to various estimates, Internet Explorer, which is the default browse r on computers with Windows operating systems, is used by between 60 and 80 per cent of Internet users around the world, with Mozilla Firefox a long way back i n second place," AFP reported.



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