Diving In Windows 8: Release Preview


Windows 8 the innocent looking new operating system of the Redmond Giant, Microsoft, got updated from Consumer Preview to Release Preview this week ahead of the scheduled date. The Notable changes include:-


New Metro apps

Starting with some of the major changes, the engineering team has added a few more native apps and a trio of Bing-powered apps: travel, sport and news. This time they have unified the look of the app bar that drops down from th etop of the screen. The options are app-specific, for instance (favorite sports and trending news), but the look of the icons remain the same.

Bing Travel 

This app integrates the most touted specialties of Bing, i.e trip planning. You can easily book flights or hotels, or view certain destinations, which you can pin to the start menu. The main page is a home to selection of featured locales, along with a motley collections of pictures, panoramas and travel articles. Once you bing into a specific destination's page, you'll get more detailed info: everything from maps to weather forecasts to even fare stats. While the only drawback of this app which i felt was, the non-existent of the social sharing button.

Bing Sports

New in the Release Preview is the Bing Sports hub, where we can follow our favorite teams or digest the top stories across all athletics. On launching, you'll be greeted by a top story, with other articles listed over the right. Scroll far enough and you will find schedules, followed by a self-explanatory area called "Favorite Team". Add in your favorite team by clicking the plus sign. Although the basics: basketball, hockey, baseball, various football leagues and golf have been covered, more sports are expected to be added in the RTM version

Bing News

Similar to the sports app, Bing News main page is crowded by a top story, though on the right side top headlines  in various categories are present. Click on the app bar to view news by trends, or by source. The media outlets, are broken down into various categories such as technology,business etc. You
can even pin custom topics in the start menu.

Web Browsing

Tough many of the changes account to stability improvements, the important tweaks include the addition of the new Family safety features and enriched privacy and security controls . This includes the addition of Do Not Track capabilities being turned on by default in Internet Explorer 10. The newest capability to be included is the "flip ahead" which allows users the option to flip between pages with the swipe of a finger, as well as a touch friendly Adobe Flash Player.


Thanks to the stable update now upon launching rather than crashing, all the in-boxes are listed separately on the left pane, this being a good start. Despite not suffering a single crash yet, the app still doesn't feel anywhere near as feature-rich as Outlook on the desktop. Although being able to view threaded conversations would be a welcome upgrade.

Lock Screen

Microsoft has rebooted the Lock screen which now offers a volume control button even when the laptop or tablet is locked. Even better, is the availability of pause or skip button. 

Monitor Support

As promised, the engineers at the Redmond have added the ability to drag an app across the screen and on to an external monitor, no tweaks to the settings needed. It's worth noting that both your PC screen and external monitor will have four "hot corners," which means even if you extend the desktop, there's no need to drag the cursor in order to pull up the Charms bar. You can do that by moving to the right end of your PC's screen.

Other notable changes include the renaming of "More PC settings" to "Change PC settings". Dig inside those menus and you'll find more color themes to choose from. Navigating around is even smoother than before, and fast. Booting up the laptop took around 15 seconds, about the same as the Consumer Preview. However, resuming from sleep took under 2 seconds about half of what it was in the previous version. Despite changing settings, Windows 8 would lock itself after only one minute of idling, an enormous bug hunt that Microsoft will have to do to get this ready for the public.

 The Desktop has had its betta fish background removed, which encourages you to choose your own desktop mode background. The lower left-corner Start button has been shrunk, so it interferes with the traditional mouse pointers less often. Harris explained that they are saving the New look for Desktop mode for the final version of Windows 8


Release Preview isn't the final look and feel of Windows 8, and is not the final performance; there will be more colors for the Start screen, a new desktop without the Aero Glass feature and the removal of lots of debug codes which will improve the stability and performance of the OS. But it does gives us a very good idea of the final version of the Windows 8 will be and it's robust and responsive enough for far more users to test it.

The significant improvements are in the Metro apps like Mail and calendar which were basic and unreliable before. It's also great to see Microsoft being bold enough to push the conversation on privacy forward by making Do Not Track standard.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Posted by akshay sugathan

The Crazy And Cool-$32M Edge!

"What the hell is a life worth living if it's not on the Edge", seems true. Well, say hello to the Ubuntu Edge, the first smartphone to use open-source Ubuntu Touch software and Android(dual boot) . Yes you read that right this beast dual boots Ubuntu Touch & Android in a single device and gets transformed into a full desktop version of Ubuntu OS when connected to a PC . So what makes this phone's life living on Edge is the fact that apart from its wicked hardware, the people from Canonical want your help with this multimillion-dollar crowd funding campaign.

British Company Canonical wants to bring this dual-booting Edge to fruition by creating the biggest ever crowdfunded campaign, raising  a whooping 32,000,000 $ in a month on Indiegogo. The campaign intends to produce 40,000 edges. And with $780 pledged, you can get the handset somewhere in May 2014.

Sad but true! If Edge raises the money, Canonical will be frenzied and we could see more similar experiments form them. But if Edge fails to raise the ambitious amount before August 21, there won't be any Edge and Canonical will merely continue to develop Ubuntu mobile software for carriers and other manufacturers.


A starkly-designed slab of charcoal black with a distinctive sharp-angled edge down one side and along the top, it sure does looks like a beautifully crafted smartphone. The most eye catching design feature is the absence of physical buttons on the front side of the phone. Following the traditional design, revealed through slick rendered images  we can find two volume keys on one side linked by twin rows of small dimples running around the edge of the phone and a button on the top that appears to be a power button alongside a wide SIM card cover button.

On the rear side we could find camera and flash in the top corner other than that the rear side is completely smooth, with just an Ubuntu Edge logo subtly shaded in the same dark tone.


Backed with an interesting hardware consisting of muti-core CPU with a 4GB ram and 128GB storage, its sure is a beastly device when compared to the other phones present in the market. The new display termed as sapphire crystal display throws out an seemingly 300ppi clarity. The gorgeous display is protected with something vastly tougher than glass- pure sapphire crystal, a material so hard that only diamond could scratch it.

To suffice this beastly phone, it is equipped with a battery that uses silicon-anode technology that squeezes more energy into the same dimensions. With this huge raw power delivered by the hardware this phone can easily be made the main PC through the connecting cable- desktop computing gone truly mobile.


The Ubuntu Edge will dual boot both Ubuntu phone OS and Android, and also gets transformed into a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC. The clutter free home screen facilitates various swipe gestures such as  swiping over left edge would bring out the favorite apps, switching instantly between open apps from the right, and use of the system and app toolbars at the top and bottom receptively brings the messaging, notifications,settings and preferences makes the interface unique with no need of home button.

The full Ubuntu desktop OS runs directly from the phone thereby removing the syncing or transfers problem. The core OS and applications are fully integrated with their smartphone equivalents, so that making/receiving calls can be done through desktop while working.

Technical Specifications 

. Dual boot Ubuntu mobile OS and Android
. Fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked
. Fastest multi-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage
. Micro-SIM
. 4.5in 1,280 x 720 HD sapphire crystal display
. 8mp low-light rear camera, 2mp front camera
. Dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
. GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer
. Stereo speakers with HD audio, dual-mic recording, Active Noise Cancellation
. 11-pin connector providing simultaneous MHL and USB OTG
. 3.5mm jack
    . Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery
    . 64 x 9 x 124mm

    Specifications are subject to change.

    Although canonical raised $3.4 million, or more than 10 percent of its goal in this campaign within its first 24 hours, but since then pace of funding has tapered off significantly. With just 17 days left and as of now while writing only $ 8,227,379 have been pledged. A considerable financial crowdfunding is still needed in order to bring this device to the market. The Ubuntu Edge is clearly not meant to be a consumer device, but rather a high end concept device by Linux makers for hardcore Linux users. 
    Tuesday, August 6, 2013
    Posted by akshay sugathan

    Initiate the Uninitiated :Godly Tricks for your Windows 8 PC

    Windows 8 can be a bitter pill because of the new interface,as every thing seems to be out of their place where they used to be in windows 7.So here are few tricks which can make your daily task easier.

    Easy way to access all the settings aka God Mode:

    The pain in using Windows 8 is trying to find the various system settings. Here's a way to make them straight away available with a single click.

    1) Go to Desktop.
    2)Right click and select "New Folder".
    3)Once created, rename the folder to this exact code-

     you can replace GodMode from above code to any other name whichever you like,but the rest of the code should be written exactly as it is.

    4) Open the folder to see all a whole bunch of settings.

     PS-this settings also works with Windows 7

    Shutdown Windows swiftly:

    Shutting down Windows 8 usually involves multiple steps, as one has to navigate to Charms bar then click "Settings",blah blah then "Power" and finally "Shutdown".In order to reduce this we can create a desktop shortcut.

    1. Right click on desktop to select "New Shortcut".
    2. Enter shutdown.exe-s-t 0, in the location of the item.
    3. Click Next.
    4. Name it Shutdown and click "Finish".

    Once the shortcut is created you can even pin it to Taskbar (right click on the shotcut and select "Pin to taskbar"), Or you can also place it on the Modern(Metro) interface (Right click on the shortcut and select "Pin to Start").

    Add commonly used folders and functions to Desktop

    The default desktop in Windows 8 is pretty denuded, so to add commonly used folders such as "Computer" etc 

    1. Right click and select "Personalize".
    2. On the upper left corner of the box, select "Change desktop items".

    3. In the dialog box that opens, check the icons you want on the desktop.
    4. Click "Ok" to save.

    Sunday, February 10, 2013
    Posted by akshay sugathan
    Tag :

    Small Tablet Showdown: Apple iPad mini vs Nexus 7

    google nexus 7, ipad2, ipad, apple, nexus

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: The Ultimate showdown of small tablet, it's Apple vs Android and for once outside the court rooms. So let the 7-inch tablet battle begin...

    The 7-inch tablets- once branded as "tweeners" by Jobs, he considered them as useless unless they included a  sandpaper so users could sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size.

    Despite Jobs, being so publicly against the smaller slate, Apple decided to take the fight to Amazon and Google by announcing the iPad Mini. This was a clear response to the success of the Nexus 7, while the Cupertino company did not name the tablet when comparing it's 7.9-inch device to Google-powered tablet's, but it was a clear cut indication to every one else.

    So lets take a look at how the specs shape up

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: Build

    iPad Mini: Continuing the legacy of creating stunning designs with high build quality, the iPad mini is nothing less as compared, made from aluminium and glass design the iPad mini just weighs 308g which according to the company is lighter than a pod of paper . At 7.2mm thick it's as slender as a pencil and a 23% slimmer than the iPad 2.

    Nexus 7: Supporting the Android black bezel display, the Nexus 7 features a rubberised dimple like removable back that makes it comfortable to grip for longer periods. Weighing in at 340g and measuring in at 10.5mm thick, the Nexus 7 is lighter than the Kindle Fire, but clearly not quite reedy as the iPad mini.

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: Screen

    iPad Mini: Putting a end to the 7.85-inch screen Apple went a little bit bigger with its 7.9-inch LED Multi-Touch display. Packing IPS display tech to deliver stunningly wide viewing angles, the Retina display is  disappointingly missing in action but the 1024x768 resolution with 163 ppi is the same screen quality as the iPad 2. The extra screen estate should mean 67% more room than the 7-inch tablet devices to browse and watch videos creamily.

    Nexus 7: One thing that Asus has managed to nail on the tablet front is making a beautiful iPad-rivalling tablet screen like the one on the Transformer Prime. So, prospective wise Nexus 7 owners can expect a 1280x800 HD display with 216 ppi which might not be as good as the 9.7-inch iPad in terms of clarity and vibrancy, but does outrival the iPad Mini. The Corning glass coating should also ensure it can withstand the odd knock or two.

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: Camera

    iPad Mini: Bringing it line with the iPhone 4S in the snapping department, the iPad Mini has a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, with backside illumination for low lit photography. It also packs a front-facing FaceTime HD camera for high resolution video chats and can also shoot 1080p HD video with image stabilization to keep things steady.

    Nexus 7: Finding it hard to accept the fact that people would prefer to take a snap with one over a smartphone, and clearly Google also thinks the same, opting only to include a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera which should suitably cover all your Skype and Google+ chatting needs.

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: O/S

    iPad Mini: Set to get the iOS 6 treatment, the latest Apple OS promises a slightly tweaked user interface with a new look App Store and iCloud support, a smarter Siri that will launch apps, FaceTime over 3G and TomTom-powered Apple Maps. It's still one of the best mobile operating systems and we expect it be as slick on the smaller Apple tablet as it is on current iOS devices.

    Nexus 7: Shipping with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, the most features most notably brings a speedier performance thanks to the Project Butter, a smarter keyboard, a more sophisticated voice search and the new Google Now service. Android 4.1.2 has also just been released which now enables users to view home screens in landscape which some early Nexus 7 owners did have an issue with.

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: Power

    iPad Mini: The iPad Mini houses a powerful dual core A5 processor for  fast, powerful and power-efficient performance. Although the dualcore architecture should make it still suitably zippy, but the quadcore  that Nexus 7 packs is a powerhouse.

    Nexus 7: The one thing that Nexus 7 has over others is the serious power under the hood. Packing a Tegra 3 quadcore processor to tackle multitasking and deliver smooth streaming video, the 12-core GPU should give it enough grunt to handle most graphically demanding mobile games.

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: Connectivity

    iPad Mini: With dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi on board, the performance is twice as good as previous iPad models, while LTE compatibility is an added bonus on cellular networks . the new Bluetooth 4.0 also provides a decent transfer medium.

    Nexus 7: With no support of LTE as well as 3G, browsing web on the go is a little pain in the ass unless some tethering action is available as the device only supports Wi-Fi. If you can make a do with that, there is also Bluetooth support, GPS and NFC capability courtesy of Android Beam to instantly send pictures and video. A 3G model has however been tipped to land Google's press event later this month.

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: Battery

    iPad Mini: With Apple promising 10 hours of battery life, sufficiently enough to make it through the day, before you have to hook that Lightning connector up again. Which is kind of good news considering the fact that it houses a comprehensive tech.

    Nexus 7: Google claims that the Nexus 7 will deliver a decent 9 hours of battery backup, if you are consuming content like HD video, but if you are simply reading or browsing the web, expect a backup of around 10 hours of Nexus 7 playtime.

    iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: Price

    iPad Mini: Kicking off with the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, those looking to snap up the smaller iPad will need to part with 329$ with those requiring 32GB or 64GB of internal storage will have to splurge out 429$ and 529$ respectively. On the WiFi + 3G front, owners looking to access the web will have to part with  459$, 559$ or 659$ depending on their choice of 16GB, 32 GB or 64GB storage options.

    Nexus 7: One of the main factors of big selling of Nexus 7 was pricing with the 8GB version, which is available for $199 and 249$ for the 16GB model. Recent rumours suggest that Google is planing to unveil its 32GB model before the end of the year.


    The Nexus 7 was awarded Gadget of the year by many magazines for having delivered a truly impressive tablet device that didn't cost an arm of kidney to buy one. Although iPad mini looks set to build on the runway success of the current iPad and if it performs as well as the current Apple tablets, the Cupertino company could be onto a winner. The Difference in price could prove decisive, but we will have to wait to see what iPad Mini is truly capable of before passing a judgement.

    NameApple iPad mini
    Google Nexus 7

    Editor Rating

    Screen Size7.9 inches
    7 inches
    Screen Resolution1024 x 768 pixels1280 x 800 pixels
    Dimensions0.28 inches7.8 x 4.7 x 0.4 inches
    Weight10.88 oz12 oz
    Operating SystemApple iOSGoogle Android 3.0 or higher
    Processor Speed1.2 GHz
    Wi-Fi (802.11x) Compatibility2.4GHZ/5GHz2.4GHz
    Cellular TechnologyLTENo
    PortsApple Lightningmicro USB
    Front Camera Resolution1.2 MP1.2 MP
    Rear Camera Resolution5 MP
    0 MP
    Battery Life10 hours (est.)10 hours 37 minutes
    Saturday, October 27, 2012
    Posted by akshay sugathan

    Apple Unveils iPad mini

    "You knew there'd be something called Mini in this presentation" Schiller joked and putting an end to all the speculations, apple dropped a mini from their iPad series. Addressing at the Apple's Special Event today, CEO Tim Cook and vice president of marketing Phil Schiller finally unveiled the company's long awaited iPad-mini-something Jobs once declared the company would never do.

    So the new iPad mini which comes in both black and white, is just 7.2mm thick, a quarter thicker than the 4th generation iPad  and thinner than a pencil," Crook told the crowd. The new product has the same resolution as the larger display 1024x768, but images looks sharper thanks to the smaller screen.With a 4:3 aspect ratio the mini has an advantage over 7-inch competitors. The area measures 29.6 square inches to 21.9 on a 16:9 7-inch tablet . However for the fans of the Retina displays, that's not even close, at just 163 pixels per inch (ppi).

    Coming down to the hardware section iPad mini packs a dual core A5 chip, with a front-facing FaceTime 720p camera and a 5-megapixel camera in back. It also includes Apple's new lightning connector, which debuted on the iPhone 5. At 10.9 ounces, the iPad mini is less than the full sized iPad and is just 0.28 inch thick.

    "You can hold it in one hand," he said. It's not just shrunken down iPad, it's an entirely new design." Yet the new mini will run all of the software designed for the full size siblings. iPad mini starts at $329 for the Wi-Fi only version with 16GB capacity. Higher capacities and the 4G LTE options are available. Prices for the Wi-Fi only version are $429 for 32GB, and $529 for 60GB. For the cellular version, prices are $459, $559 and $659 for 16, 32 and 64GB respectively.

    Pre-orders begin Oct 26. Wi-Fi devices hip Nov.2, and the cellular models will come about two weeks he later. The popular smart cover is getting shrunk as well for the new iPad, with multiple colours offered including blue, green, pink and black

    Spec Comparison between iPad Mini and Nexus 7

    Here's The Official Trailer

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012
    Posted by akshay sugathan
    Tag :

    Apple's "Next-gen MacBook Pro"

    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina

    Apple's WWDC 2012 marked the launch of a completely revamped MacBook-"The Next-gen MacBook Pro", basically the combination of an Air and Pro.

    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina
    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina
    Addressing at the keynote conference, Phil Schiller-senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, said that the new 15.4 inch MacBook Pro is thinner than his finger, coming in at 0.71- inches thick, it's just as thick as the thicker end of an Air and weighs 4.6 pounds-a little heavy for Ultrabook but definitely light for a Pro.
                                                                                      tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina
    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina

    It's display, however supports a 2880x1800 resolution, with 220 ppi (that's 5,184,000 pixels) and most importantly Retina Display, making it world's largest-resolution notebook. Although still a 16:10 display it has higher contrast ratios, higher angle of view-thanks to the new IPS technology, and 75% less glare, even tough it's a glossy screen.

    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina

    The Mac OS X Lion  has been updated for the new MacBook Pro display along with the Anti-glare, Schiller said, including Mail, Safari, iMovie, iPhoto and Final Cut Pro. And thanks to the Retina display, we  can now see pixel-for-pixel 1080p video in the viewer. Although the apps need to be updated for working with the new Display but just like the iPad, pixels can automatically be doubled. According to Schiller development works have already been started, this includes Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk and Diablo 3.

    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina

    Now on to the inside of the machine, two giant battery back nearly covering half of the laptop along with twin fans can be seen. Specs wise the new MacBook Pro packs  a 2.7Ghz, quad-core Intel core-i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.7Ghz, up to 16GB 1600Mhz RAM, along with the introduction of the next gen Kepler graphics via the GeForce GT 650M. There's up to 768GB of flash storage and seven hours of battery life with 30 days of standby time. So it's basically a quad-core Air.

    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina

    In terms of connectivity, there's a SD slot, HDMI port, two Thunderbolt ports, a USB port which supports both 2.0 as well as 3.0 and a head jack. It also has a new power adapter along with an improved and thinner MagSafe 2 port. Both the Thunderbolt ports, by the way. not too shabby have peripherals for connection. Completely voting against the Ethernet jacks the new Pro will be using Adaptor dongles for FireWire and Ethernet. 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, FaceTime HD, dual microphones and stereo speakers are some other added features. It also uses custom engineered parts which includes the use of asymmetrical blades, which makes it sound quieter.

    According to John Ive the production made the company "re-think" how it makes its machines. "It's the very best computer for today and the future," Ive concludes.

    The MacBook with Retina display will start at $2,199 for the 2.3-Ghz quad-core i7 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. Shipping's will start from today itself, Schiller said.

    UPDATE: MacBook Pro (Retina) Trackpad Update 1.0. This update addresses an issue where the trackpad may not respond consistently to user. More information is available here.

    More Snaps rom the WWDC 2012
    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina

    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retinatim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina

    tim crook, apple ceo, mac,pro, retina
    Tuesday, June 12, 2012
    Posted by akshay sugathan
    Tag :


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