Sunday, July 31, 2011
The company shipped 11 million mobile devices over the past three months, according to the quarterly statement. Yet only 440,000 of those were tablet devices. In other words, the Motorola Xoom Android tablet flopped big [...]
Shortly thereafter, Firefox's new channel system will be implemented. Firefox 5a2 will be introduced as the first Aurora build, and we should also see a Firefox 6 Nightly build. While we we're not sure where they came from, one Sören Hentzschel seems to have unearthed the new Nightly and Aurora logos (see above), along with new About Firefox dialogs (after the break).
In other news, if you want to take a sneak peek at the new 'channel changing' technology that will be introduced in upcoming Firefox builds, head to about:config and create a new string called app.update.desiredChannel -- the value doesn't matter. Then open Help > About Firefox and you'll be able to switch channel, but it doesn't do anything just yet (image after the break). Here's hoping that Firefox channel switching is smoother than Chrome.
Right now, the webOS 3.0 beta is only available to Early Access developers. The crew at PreCentral states that HP appears to have eased up on access restrictions, however, so hopefully more devs will get on board and those of you who are planning to buy a TouchPad in the next couple months will have plenty of slick webOS 3.0 apps to install on your new tablet.
You play an 8-bit cowboy whose goal on each level is to get to the door (and thus to the next level), but the door is often locked. To get it to open, you must shoot at one or more targets, and those targets aren't always in your line of sight. For example, on one level the the target is a balloon which is stuck all the way at the other end of the screen. You must first nudge it free, and then watch it float up and try to shoot it before it floats clear off the screen. Your bullets are chunky pixels that have some weight - the have arcing trajectories, so you don't always hit exactly where you aim.
There's another level where you must jump on the balloon as it floats up, use it as a platform to get to the other end of the screen, and then turn to shoot it very quickly before it flies away. Each level is very short, and most of them are quite easy. And not only are the graphics 8-bit blocky, but they're large too. Simply beautiful!
The best part about having the best Android community around? Easy answer to stupid problems. See, as Android Central Forums member Quis points out, when you're using kickstand on the Motorola Photon 4G like in the picture above, you can't charge at the same time because the microUSB port is resting against the table/desk/laptop whatever. Oops.
Fellow forums member RickNY points out the easy fix -- the Photon's kickstand is sturdy enough to support the phone backwards. And, sure enough, flip it over and the phone stays up, and the widget clock works, too. Easy solution to a dumb problem. Nicely done, folks!
That's a handy set of rules to keep in mind, but How Secure is My Password helps us understand why they're important.
It's basically like a full-screen version of one of those password-strength meters websites sometimes use. But instead of showing you a bar going from "weak" to "strong", it shows you an estimation of how long your password would take to crack. That's a much more visceral way to understand why your password is strong.
For example, when I entered "rabbit", it came back with "your password is one of the 500 most common passwords. It could be cracked almost instantly". "rabbit5" would take two hours, "$rabbit5" would take 38 days, and "$rabbitZ5" would take 237 years. It's quite enlightening to see what a difference three simple characters can make.
Built upon the Safe Browsing API, the new feature introduces protection against malicious downloads. If a download link appears in the Safe Browsing blacklist, Chrome and Chromium will warn users against downloading -- a save button is still presented, of course, in case you're convinced a file is perfectly safe to download.
We'd like to see something a bit more eye-catching than the red warning icon -- like perhaps painting the entire bar red. Many of the people a feature like this aims to protect probably won't notice the icon or change in wording as they'll be focused on clicking the save button.
Google is initially making download protection available to Chrome dev channel users, and you'll likely see it in Canary and Chromium snapshot builds as well. After thorough testing, beta and stable users will be next in line.
Elephant Quest is one platformer that managed to prove me completely wrong. Yes, you do run and jump around, and you also shoot at stuff. But the game has much, much more going for it.
Basically, as you run, jump and shoot, you gain experience points and level up. Hitting Space brings you into an interface where you can convert your experience points into Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Dexterity points. Once you've "specialized" your points, you then get to pick what exact skills you'd like to enhance in each field. For example, you could use your dexterity to enhance your weapons or increase your swiftness.
The game is played in a huge maze; you go through rooms using doors, and there's a large map. As the name implies, there are quests you can take, too. For example, one quest had me searching all over the place for ten balloons.
The bottom line is that this is a surprisingly deep game that just might ensnare you for a good bit longer than you intended to play. Beware!
The most notable addition to the new interface is is smooth page transitions -- the fade in and out -- and navigation tabs (maps, images, videos, etc.) now persistently float at the top of the page. WinRumors is also reporting that a feature reminiscent of Google Instant search is being added to Bing, with page elements smoothly transitioning in and out as you type in your search query.
If you want to try out the new Bing UI, your best bet is to set your locale to United States - English and pray that you're part of the initial roll out. Alternatively, just wait a few days until MIX 2011, Microsoft's Web developer conference, which is when the new Bing UI should be officially launched.
[Thanks, Jeff]Permalink | | Email this | Comments