Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Create Super-high quality videos from anything playing on your PC

Make super-high quality videos from ANY online source with WM Capture. WM Capture uses a unique high speed capture technology to create a near perfect reproduction of what you see on screen, playable as a Windows Media Video file.

WM Capture records video from ANY Web site, regardless of format. It even records DVD's playing on your PC. If you can watch it you can save it. WM Capture does not circumvent DRM (Digital Rights Management) or any copy protection technology so it's 100% legal world-wide.

In addition to WM Capture's high speed capture technology, the program also includes a proprietary MPEG-2 codec for even more outstanding picture quality.

Other screen capture programs cannot process video data fast enough to make acceptable videos. WM Capture's special design uses the most advanced high-speed video processing technology, and the results are amazing. Even the toughest video types like full motion sports play back perfectly.

To make it easy to capture a portion of your screen, WM Capture can often automatically locate the region of your screen where video will be played. Or, you can choose to mark an area of the screen manually by moving markers yourself. Either way, setting up your recording area is a snap.

The first time you run WM Capture, you'll need to make sure you can record audio and video properly. WM Capture will make it's best guess as to what the audio settings should be, but you can override them if you like. Once the Audio Source and Input are selected, click Test to ensure you can record audio. After a few seconds, if the test is successful, click OK to save the audio settings.

Once the audio parameters are set, you can focus on recording videos. To start recording videos you need to mark a region of the screen to record, and then you can start, stop or pause recording. Once you've finished recording, you can see your last recorded video by simply clicking Play.

Two minutes of recording time in demo mode.

What's New in this Release:
Improved video capture quality.
Easier recording window detection capability.
Available as a stand alone purchase.

Download WM Capture free Here.

Motorola Milestone Now Available In India For Rs.32,990

Motorola recently launched the Android powered Motorola Milestone in India. This handset is distributed as Motorola DROID in the US. It has a slide-out QWERTY keypad, 5 megapixel camera, 32 GB expandable memory and so on.

“Milestone is a smartphone without compromise, delivering a wiser, richer web and messaging experience. As an Android 2.1 device, it does what other smartphones don’t. It was designed to enhance consumer experiences, and its full screen web browsing experience, ability to juggle between multiple applications, and suite of Google applications deliver,” Motorola India’s country head for mobile devices Faisal Siddiqui said.

This powerful smartphone has a 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with 480 x 854 pixel resolution, 600Mhz Cortex A8 Processor, Android 2.1 operating system, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, dual-LED flash and Geo-tagging, GPRS/EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G connectivity, A-GPS, 32GB expandable memory, 1400 mAh battery and much more.

This device comes with a free lifetime voice-guided navigation of more than 400 cities in India. This handset is available is available in India at select retails with a price tag of Rs.32,990.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bharti Airtel Intros 50 Mbps VDSL Broadband in Delhi and Gurgaon

India’s leading telecommunications service providerBharti Airtel today announced launch of ultra high speed broadband services with speed up to 50 Mbps using VDSL technology in Delhi and Gurgaon. The operator announced that gradually it will expands VDSLBroadband services in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

The VDSL or VHDSL (Very High Bitrate DSL), on the other hand, is the next-generation technology which is capable of supporting high bandwidth applications like HDTV. The new VDSL Broadband service will offer twelve times faster speed from existing ADSL Broadband and will help Broadcasting HDTV which requires higher bandwidth than the normal 8 Mbps.

Speaking on the launch of its VDSL services in Delhi, MR.K. Srinivas, Joint President-Telemedia Services, Bharti Airtel, said, “Airtel, with this step, brings in a world class experience for its broadband customers. We are delighted to introduce 50 Mbps speed,the fastest, wired broadband service on next generation VDSL 2 technology. This ultra-fast broadband connection will allow customers, the convenience to download songs in seconds and full length feature films in less than three minutes.”

Airtel VDSL2 50Mbps Broadband plans comes at Rs.8999 per month rental with 200 GB free data transfer cluubed with VAS such as Parallel Ringing, Website Builder (Basic), PC Secure(Anti-Virus software), On line Storage,.The Unlimited Gaming on Games on Demand (GoD) will also be offered along with the VDSL2 service.

Earlier State operator Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) already launched the VDSL-2Broadband services in Mumbai and Delhi telecom circles.

Meet Spice Mobile's 12 MP mobile phone

Handset maker Spice Mobiles has unveiled a 12 megapixel (MP) camera phone. The mobile phone -- S-1200 -- is priced at Rs 14,500 and has a 3x optical zoom.
The two other mobile phones with a 12 megapixel camera are Samsung W880 and Sony Ericsson Satio.

The S1200 features CCD sensor and boasts of several advanced camera functions including multiple face detection, smile shutter, auto focus, night vision, anti-shake, Xenon flash and 24 preset capture modes.

The mobile phone has a QVGA resolution. Connectivity options given are Bluetooth with A2DP and a mini-USB port. Incidentally, there is no WiFi.

S1200 also includes TV out support (cables included), which allows it to be connected to standard television sets. Other features include, world clock, alarm, calculator, currency convertor, calendar, voice memo, caller group and FM radio with recording.

With aggressive plans to sell one million handsets a month, Spice Mobiles also named actor Sonam Kapoor as it new brand ambassador.

Presently, the BK Modi Group-owned company sells half a million units in the country.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dragon Ball Z MUGEN Edition 2

What do you get if you cross Manga animation with a blistering martial arts fighting game? Super Dragon Ball Z. This classic arcade fighting game is based on the retro MUGEN graphics engine and will appeal to anyone who likes Street Fighter or Double Dragon. To start playing you must read this.

In the start menu, you’re presented with several different modes. Arcade means you go 1 on 1 against the computer; in VS mode you take on a friend; Team VS lets you play various team-up modes against a friend; Team Arcade means various team-up modes against the computer and Team Co-op allows you to beat the crap out of the computer tag-team style. Finally, Training allows you to work on your moves and Watch mode allows you to observe computer controlled characters beat the hell out of each other in various modes. There’s also an options menu where you can configure such things as the level of difficulty, time limit, sound features and controls.

The game lets you take on the role of of almost 30 characters. Highlights include Chibi Trunks, Future Trunks, Normal Trunks and Mr Boo. As one of these fighters, you take on a series of martial arts beasts in an effort to win battle points and collect dragon balls. If you choose to take on a friend in the “VS” mode, make sure you’ve either got two joysticks or at least one whilst the other plays on the keyboard. For beginners, I’d advise going straight into training mode where you can practice some special moves which range from a simple karate-chop to a “fist of death” hammer blow which involves pressing at least seven different keys at once. Remember those old Amiga and Atari games where a special move literally involved snapping the joystick and you’ll get the picture. You can also customise your own player although it’s mainly limited to changing the name and colours here and there.

The game itself works on the basis of battle points - the more you beat-up, the more you win. Points give you access to a “skill tree” which enables you to pimp-up your character and give him/her some new moves. Along the way, you also collect dragon balls and once you have collected 7, you can call forth the “dragon of Shenron” which grants you a wish. According to the developers, this can range from adding a new move to your character to creating an entirely new one. The gameplay is just like a classic arcade game thanks to the ever-popular MUGEN graphics engine. The sound is also excellent with some classic satisfying retro kicks and punch effects. On the downside, it can seem a bit limited and boring compared to fighting classics like Street Fighter or Tekken but for a game that’s only around 30 MB , it certainly packs a punch.

Be warned also that although the developers claim this game works on all Windows platforms, some forums report that users with anything above Windows 98 have experienced problems starting the game. More advice is available from the developers’ website. In summary, a must have for any retro fighting fan.

Download this free full version game Here.

Dragon Ball Z Budokai X 2.0

If you were a fan of Dragon Ball Z then Dragon Ball Z Budokai takes it to a new level with added acrobatic 3D action. If you are a game lover then you must look here.

Dragon Ball Z Budokai features over 100 DBZ heroes and villains and an added story mode for extra depth. The games allows you to recreate classic scenes from the TV show in story mode with some lightning-fast fighting moves and the ability to engage in titanic battles. There are around 15 3D scenarios and much improved graphics, levels and special moves.
The game uses a "behind-the-back" camera perspective and features all the regular Dragon Ball Z power ups and bonuses.

Players can build up their "Ki" bar to execute various techniques such as the Power Guard, which reduces the damage characters take by 1/4. The Ki bar can also be used to use moves referred to as Blast 2s plus many more death defying moves which can snap your opponents neck in the blink of an eye.

For those that enjoy a good old punch-up, this is a great game although it could do with a few more characters and moves.

Download this free full version game Here.

Sony Ericsson launches five new hi tech mobiles

Handset major, Sony Ericsson launched five new mobile handsets as part of its new hi-tech range aiming to gain a bigger pie in the growing smartphone market in the country.

The new range offers advanced multimedia and entertainment features and will be priced between Rs. 25,695 and Rs. 35,795. The company at the same time has also planned to launch mobiles in the low end segment with price below Rs. 5,000.
Hirokazu Ishizuka, Corporate Vice-President and Head of Asia Pacific Region, Sony Ericsson said, "New phones will take communication entertainment to the next level. The proliferation of social and digital media is changing the consumer experience with mobile phones."

The company has partnered with MTV India, UTV, Hungama, Shemaroo, Electronics Art and Disney and others providing entertainment content for consumers to its customers.

Sony Ericsson saw its market share collapse to 3-4%, after which the company decided to bring the India operations under the Asia pacific region to bring gain the lost share in the country. The company fell from number two at a time to number six as it faced tough competition from other players.

With the economies coming back on the growth path the company is getting aggressive with new launches aiming to pick up a bigger share of the fast growing mobile market.

Vodafone Launches 3GS Iphone In India

Vodafone launches 3GS iPhone in India. Vodafone has planned for several data plans and bill plans for the users.

It is reported that the new iPhone 3GS is likely to be very fast and it will also give great performance. It will come with more battery life.

The iPhone 3GS has a 3 megapixel camera along with auto focus technology. This model also has an improved video recording facility. The iPhone 3GS comes with various plans.

Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Essar, Kumar Ramanathan said, “We are delighted to offer iPhone 3GS in India. We are confident our customers will enjoy the revolutionary iPhone and the flexibility of our tailored tariff plans.”

The price of iPhone 3G 8GB in India is Rs. 29, 500. But, for Maharashtra and MP the price is Rs. 33,500. The price of iPhone 3GS 32GB and 3GS 16GB is priced at Rs. 41,500 and Rs. 35,500 and for the Maharashtra and MP the price is Rs. 47,500 and Rs. 40,500.

Airtel Offers Broadband Speed Upgrade for IPL Fans

Airtel, which happens to be one of the top three Broadband players in the country, has announced an offer that might just be the thing all you IPL fanatics out there were waiting for.
It is offering a full 1Mbps upgrade over its current 1Mbps bandwidth users so that they get a speed bump of a full Mb. This will allow users to watch the live telecast of the matches on YouTube with no buffering issues. Airtel, being an official sponsor of the tournament, has offered this facility until the tournament ends. The speed bump offer commenced on March 12 and will continue till April 25.

While there are no additional charges for the speed increase, the user WILL be charged for data transfer. Now, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how fast you will run out of your limit with continuous YouTube live streaming.

But then, if you can't watch IPL on a TV for some strange reason and this is the only option available, then you might as well go for it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New BSNL Broadband Users Get Unlimited Downloads

While private players are doing all they can to cash in on the recent IPL fever, BSNL, who never seemed least interested in the cashing in on any phenomenon has thrown a surprise and has announced a plan that might just make all you BSNL broadband users happy. Even though existing users would not be benefited by these offers, they can always hope for something on these lines would be introduced for them as well.

BSNL has revealed the details of a new plan for broadband service that can be availed by users taking a new connection from BSNL. Under this offer, all users who register for the service before March 31 will enjoy unlimited downloads at speeds of up to 2mbps.

BSNL also adds that they will not charge registration charges for these new connections. Note that BSNL will offer speeds of up to 2mbps for the first 15 days on these connections. After the 15 day period, the plan will revert to the one that the customer had originally chosen. Users who chose a plan that offers less than 2 mbps, will get a speed upgrade for 15 days after which the speed will drop. The user will need to pay Security Deposit for the opted Broadband Plan and the Modem Security Deposit (in case Modem is taken on hire basis from BSNL). These would reflect in the first bill you receive. BSNL has also informed that the minimum period of hire for customers who avail this scheme would be one month. Head to the BSNL website for more information on this.

India is Second Largest Spamming Hub

Wonder where all those annoying spam messages come from? Who sends them? Well, you have got some answers here. Panda Security, a player in antivirus and preventive technologies segment, has stated in its report that India is the world's number two spammer. Surprised? Even we were.

Panda Security has released a report stating that Brazil, India, Korea, Vietnam and U.S. head the list of countries from which most spam was sent during the first two months of the year 2010. With respect to the cities from which spam was being sent, Seoul was first in the list, followed by Hanoi, New Delhi, Bogota, Sao Paulo and Mumbai. 

The five million emails analyzed by PandaLabs came from a total of almost one million different IP addresses. This shows that the spam is mostly sent from zombie computers belonging to a botnet. This way, the computers of the infected users themselves are those which send the spam. The cybercrooks have thousands of computers at their disposal, which do the dirty work for them.

Spam is nothing but a business and is used primarily either to distribute malware or sell/advertise all type of products. Therefore, as long as there are users, no matter if they are few, who trust these messages, it's enough to continue betting on it.

Vodafone follows Airtel in launching iPhone 3GS in India

Vodafone Essar, the country's second-largest mobile phone operator, said today that it will start selling Apple's iconic iPhone 3GS from today, after rival operator, Bharti Airtel the largest cellular service provider in India, had made a similar announcement last week.

With the Indian government gearing up to auction the high speed 3G spectrum to cellular companies in the coming weeks, cellular operators are vying to bundle the iPhone 3GS as part of a packaged scheme to their customers.

The Cupertino, California -based Apple had unveiled the new high speed Phone 3GS in June 2009 with more hardware and software upgrades compared to the iPhone 3G.

The 3G S is the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet, packed with incredible new features including improved speed and performance, up to twice as fast as iPhone 3G with longer battery life, a high-quality 3 mega pixel auto focus camera, easy to use video recording and hands free voice control.

But since the 3G spectrum auction and announcement of the winners expected to take approximately two months and cellular operators will be able to offer the 3G services approximately by September, it is advisable to hold on buying the iPhone right away.

Also since Apple usually announces new models of its iPhone in June-July period, and it is expected to launch the fourth generation iPhone at that time, so it makes more sense to wait for the newer model as the 3GS will become obsolete by then.

Internet Explorer losing ground

The world’s most-used internet browser, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, is on a steady decline in India, reveals a study by Irish metrics firm StatCounter. IE, as it’s known, has lost almost 20% market share in India in the past two years, even as Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox make great strides.

According to StatCounter, the percentage of PCs running Internet Explorer in India dropped from close to 70% in 2008 to about 51%, currently . The drop was despite an absence of any regulation by a trade commission , unlike that mandated by European Union on Microsoft, this year.

In Europe, Internet Explorer lost three times more share this month than usual in some European countries since the company was forced to mandate a ballot screen by EU in its Windows 7 operating system.

The ballot screen offers a choice between Mozilla’s Firefox, Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Opera and others, by displaying icons of rival browsers.

Worldwide, Internet Explorer’s market share has suddenly started dipping, and rivals Chrome’s and Firefox’s rising, from this month, following the EU regulation. Worldwide IE has a market share of about 55% followed by Firefox’s 31%, Chrome at 7% and Safari at about 4% currently. 

According to StatCounter, the percentage of systems running the browser dropped in several countries , since March 1. India does not have any such mandate but still the erosion in market share has been steady. Besides security, the decline is also due to slow connectivity in a country already plagued by slow internet speed. Of the 71 million internet users in India, just 8 million have a broadband connection. 

Replying to an ET query a Microsoft spokesperson said, “PC manufacturers and users around the world can install any browser they want on PCs today.” When asked about plans of implementation of a similar browser ballot in India, Microsoft said issues in the Internet Explorer case have already been the subject of extensive legal action in several countries. “Each country has developed their own legal solutions. We are committed to complying with the laws and regulations of other jurisdictions around the world.” 

Meanwhile, in developed markets like Germany, Firefox has already beaten IE while in France it has lost close to 6% to Firefox and Google’s Chrome since January, this year. 

Rivals Chrome and Opera are upbeat about the change. “We believes believe user choice is important because that’s what stimulates innovation ,” says Vinay Goel, products head, Google India, commenting on the introduction of browser ballot in European market. 

Browsers are important to an internet company’s revenues as one can add monetisable websites and applications through it. It acts as a gateway to the internet. Any application installed at a popular gate is bound to generate revenues.

Asus brings 3D Gaming Notebook in India

Asus has finally brought the G51J 3D gaming notebook in India. Bundled with special 3D glasses, this laptop has 120Hz 15.6-inch display panel and is equipped with Nvidia 3D Vision technology for the ultimate 3D gaming experience. Asus has added quad-core Intel Core i7 processor for better processing and Blu-ray Combo optical drive for watching HD movies. The new Asus G51J 3D would be available in India at price starting at Rs. 99,000 (excluding taxes) with two years of global warranty.
Designed and intended for gamers, the new Asus G51J 3D gaming notebook comes with Nvidia 3D Vision Kit that works with 120Hz display and makes use of one specially designed 3D glasses and one special transmitter. New G51J's 15.6-inch HD LED backlight 120Hz display that supports 1366x768 pixel resolution and is capable of running Nvidia 3D Vision friendly games. Asus would be offering two models of G51J notebook - G51JX-1X110V and G51JX-1X206V, wherein the latter model is equipped with more memory, more HDD storage and a higher version of Nvidiagraphics card. 

Asus places quad-core 1.6GHz Intel Core i7-720QM processor that can be speeded up to 2.8GHz with TurboBoost technology. For graphics horsepower, Asus has added Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M discrete graphics with 1GB GDDR5 dedicated video memory in G51JX-1X110V model. This model also has 4GB DDR3 1066MHz memory and 360GB+360GB 7200RPM SATA storage.

On the other hand, the G51JX-1X260V model comes equipped with GeForce GTX 360M discrete graphics with 1GB GDDR5 video memory, 8GB DDR3 1066MHz memory and 500GB storage. Asus offers a 6-cell battery pack with both models. 

Both models sport 2 megapixel built-in camera and for HD movie buffs the Blu-Ray DVD Combo could be like an add-on. Both G51JX-1X110V and G51JX-1X206V notebook come with a 15-inch gaming backpack and one Razer gaming mouse. 

All elite gamers can check it out as step down version of Alienware's M17X introduced in India last August for Rs. 1,39,000.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sony Ericsson Vivaz

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson's Vivaz falls into its entertainment series of handsets. the same range populated by the Yari, Aino and the 12.1 megapixelSatio camera phone that we reviewed last year.

The mobile boasts a new design format that Sony Ericsson is using for the rest of the year, which is said to fit the natural curve of the hand. Improvements have been made over existing models, with the video capture quality being the most notable enhancement of them all.
On initial inspection the phone has the appearance of a budget handset, as it's very light with a very thin and flimsy removable plastic backing that takes up the whole of the rear of the mobile and doesn't evoke the image of a quality phone. This is bound to pass through many peoples' minds as they first remove the backing plate to place in the SIM card and battery. Look past these initial doubts, as looks can be deceiving, seeing as how this actually is a midrange handset with redeeming qualities. With the weight of the handset being only 97grams, it is one of the lightest handsets we've seen, and it also has a reasonable size at 107mm by 52mm and only 12.5mm at its thickest point. It's not too absurdly small, nor is it too large to fit in the palm of the hand and operate comfortably.

The Vivaz display is a 3.2-inch 640x360 resistive touchscreen, with a sharpness to the display quality of a much higher end phone thanks to the onboard PowerVR SGX530 GPU. This is exemplified in video playback captured from its built-in camera. Unfortunately the Vivaz lacks a precisely accurate touchscreen, although it is much more responsive than cheap resistive touchscreen phones such as the HTC Tattoo. As this isn't a budget phone we would have thought Sony Ericsson would have gone down the capacitive touchscreen route, but it hasn't even ventured down this path in any of its shipping handsets even though plenty of its competitors have quite a few such models in their arsenals now.

The key feature of the Vivaz is its camera, there are no two ways about it. It's not that it's anything special, as it's only an 8.1 megapixel camera and that MP rating is quite common these days. It is the video capture quality that is its redeeming feature. Don't get us wrong, the picture quality is good and the image is fairly sharp but the video is of a much higher standard than is usually seen on 8.1MP camera phones - it's HD quality.

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz can capture video at 1280x720p whereas other handset cameras with the same megapixel count or even higher usually record at just a VGA standard of 30fps. Even the 12.1 megapixel Satio could capture video only at that lowly rate, though we had hoped for so much more. The new video quality is all thanks to software in the handset, which we've been reliably informed will be a feature of other mobiles from Sony Ericsson in the future. Just to hammer home that the video camera HD ability is key to the handset, there is even a dedicated video camera button alongside the regular camera one, which is featured on most mobiles for quickly capturing pictures.
The quality of the video recorded is very good indeed, as expected with the 720p HD media at 24fps. There is a slight lag when recording video, where unless noted the record button can be pressed again whereupon the video abruptly stops recording. After this learning curve is surpassed video capture is very smooth indeed, with a very responsive camera-to-screen link with little lag observed between them. Movement is captured on video very well too, as shown in an example video at the end of this review. The volume button also doubles as a zoom button while recording, which is preferable to using the touchscreen as it isn't that responsive. There is even continuous auto-focusing whilst recording, which isn't commonly seen on mobile phones capable of video but is rather a feature of camcorders.

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz runs the Symbian S60 5th Edition OS, the same OS used by Nokia and which is also featured on the Sony Ericsson Satio and the Samsung i8910 Omnia HD. The GUI is a basic version of the Symbian system, with very few frills added by Sony Ericsson. The icons and menu options are rather basic, apparently targeted at non-advanced users. There is a note taken from the Android playbook, as there are a couple of home screens. These aren't the multiple home screens found on the Google mobile OS, however, as there are only four links to applications and a simple Twitter client, with a fifth page showing multiple shortcuts to apps.

There were some oddities to this version of Symbian, one of the more curious aspects was in text entry. The standard alphanumeric keyboard is present in portrait mode on the screen, only when selecting full-qwerty in landscape the portrait mode isn't available anymore, although it was with the Nokia X6, running the same OS. Also the T9 word auto completion isn't possible in landscape mode, which is a massive missing ability and one that is a feature in other implementations of the same Symbian OS.

Running the phone is a fast Texas Interments OMAP3630 720 MHz ARM Cortex A8 chip, which could have done so much more with a better OS and web browser, both of which we thought were decidedly average to say the least. Sony Ericsson has included an 8GB microSD card, which frankly is needed as there's only 75MB of memory. We clocked a 59 second 720p HD video at 56MB, which gives some idea of how much storage will be taken up when 10 minutes or more of video is recorded.

Sony Ericsson has abandoned the usual connector that accompanied the Satio for something more regular and industry standard. Gone is the proprietary Sony Ericsson Fastport connector for power, data and the audio connection which we've seen on its latest Satio, Aino and Yari mobiles. The Vivaz has a microUSB port for both the wired computer data connection and for charging, which is becoming an EU requirement and is a welcome addition. Also built into the phone is a 3.5mm audio socket for using the rather bog-standard bundled in headphones or others. Using the Fastport connector for audio was one of the most clumsy and ridiculous efforts, with the large bulky adaptor jutting out the side. Now there's a discrete, inconspicuous port inclusion on the side and is a step in the right direction, although having the socket on the top of the phone is always preferable.

Sony Ericsson believes the Vivaz is capable of ten hours of talk time, but we found in our own testing something vastly different. The 1200 mAh battery accompanying the handset lasted for only just over five hours of talk time, which we repeated a couple of times after a full charge.

In Short
The Vivaz strongest selling point is its ability to capture video in HD, at 720p. Other than that there isn't much to distinguish it or stand apart from common touch screen midrange handsets. The OS of choice isn't inspiring nor is its delivery, where Sony Ericsson should have offered better customisation or even thought about Android as the platform. The display, although sharp in quality and colours, is a somewhat unresponsive resistive screen that took several stabs with a finger to elicit a minor response at the best of times. Existing very loyal customers will undoubtedly will be attracted to the good HD video recording quality but other users of a more robust smartphone surely will not. ยต

The Good
Video capture in HD, microUSB port and no longer the Fastport for charging and data.

The Bad
Bland Symbian OS iteration, lag whilst recording, short battery life.

The Ugly
Unresponsive touch screen outweighs the attraction of its HD video capabilities.

Samsung Metro S5350 3G Handset Arrives in India

Samsung has announced the launch of its latest phone, the Metro branded S5350 in India. The Metro is a mid-range phone directed at the young user and comes loaded with an Instant Messenger application and a host of social networking widgets.
It also offers quick access to Google applications and sites like Flickr and Picasa. The phone features a 3.2 megapixel camera and is 3G ready as well. The Metro comes with 256MB of internal memory. You can add a microSD card and expand the memory upto 16GB. The phone also supports nine regional languages.

With India getting ready for 3G and BSNL already launching 3G services in various places across the country, a cheap, affordable 3G handset does make sense now. As for the S5350, the phone will cost you Rs. 8,250.

Airtel to sell iPhone 3GS

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said it would start selling Apple's iPhone 3GS from March 26.
Priced at Rs. 35,500 for 16GB memory card and Rs. 41,500 for 32GB card, the new iPhone comes with longer battery life, three-megapixel autofocus camera and hands-free voice control system. However, Airtel will continue to sell iPhone 3G with 8GB card at Rs. 29,500.

Customers of iPhone 3GS will get 500 MB of free data every month for a year.

“We are delighted with the opportunity to bring the eagerly-awaited iPhone 3GS to India. Combining the strength of the Airtel brand and network with the great user interface of iPhone 3GS, we are happy to bring to our customers an experience that will take mobile communications to a whole new level,” Bharti Airtel President (Mobile Services) Atul Bindal said in a statement.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jabra intros white Stone headset, development program

Jabra used the advent of CTIA to launch a white version of the Stone and a program to boost mobile developers. Both the earpiece and its unique, namesake charger have flipped over to the new color and carry the same features, such as portable charging from a battery in the charger as well as noise cancellation. AT&T will have an exclusive on the headset and start selling it May 16th for $130.

The headset is matched by a new Mobile Developer Program that will give existing mobile developers support for integrating Bluetooth audio into future apps. An app portalwill also be available to highlight apps that can take advantage of wireless sound, such as Grooveshark and Slacker. Access to the program starts today and will be free for any firm that has at least one published mobile app.

Nintendo to launch 3D portable game console

Nintendo has unveiled plans to launch a handheld 3D video game console that does not require special glasses, seeking to harness surging interest in images that appear to jump out of the screen.

The Japanese electronics giant, which competes with Sony and Microsoft in the multi-billion dollar video game industry, said the new machine, tentatively called the Nintendo 3DS, would be introduced some time by March next year.

The device will succeed Nintendo's DS series -- the best-selling portable video game console ever with sales of more than 125 million units since its launch in 2004 -- and will be compatible with DS games, the company said.

The announcement on Tuesday comes as handheld game consoles face growing competition from games available on mobile telephones such as Apple's iPhone.

Nintendo, the maker of the hit Wii games console, did not say how much the 3Ds would cost, promising more details in June at the annual E3 videogame convention in Los Angeles.

Consumer electronics makers are battling for a share of the market for 3D televisions and other gadgets, aiming to ride a new wave of interest in the technology thanks to recent movies such as sci-fi blockbuster "Avatar".

Sony is also aiming to make its PlayStation 3 compatible with 3D games but, unlike Nintendo's planned device, users are expected to have to buy a new television and special glasses to enjoy 3D images.

Many experts think consumers are unlikely to rush to buy the premium-priced 3D TVs due to the need for special glasses and because many people have already upgraded to high-definition sets in recent years.

Nintendo is striving to reverse a decline in sales of the DS as well as the Wii home console, which has easily outsold the PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 since its launch in 2006 but has struggled recently due to a lack of new games.

Targus Wireless Mouse with 10meter Range Launched

Targus has announced new Wireless Comfort Laser Mouse - AMW51AP (known as AMW51US in U.S.) which now is available in India. This ambidextrous mouse, suitable for both right handed and left handed users, has soft and flexible side grips which are claimed to reduce wrist strain. For ultimate accuracy and precision, this mouse uses 1200DPI Laser technology. This wireless mouse is available for Rs. 1,775 and is backed by a three years warranty. 

Targus Wireless Comfort Laser Mouse AMW51AP has a 1200 DPI laser sensor for smooth and precise mouse movements. Incorporating RF 2.4GHZ technology, this new Wireless mouse is expected to reduce cordless interference significantly. One can use this mouse from as far as 33 feet from the system without worrying about long cables or any sort of wire tangles. A self-sorting microUSB wireless receiver needs to be plugged in the PC or laptop.

Nexus One

After being present in the mobile phone industry as just a software manufacturer, Google has finally decided to take the plunge and make its first very own mobile phone to compete with the likes of Nokia, Samsung, Apple and BlackBerry. Its weapon of choice? The Nexus One. Manufactured by HTC for Google, the Nexus One has, by far, one of the most impressive specifications list you can find in a smartphone. Or should I call it Superphone, as Google does.
The Nexus One comes armed with Qualcomm's finest 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch, 800 x 480 pixel AMOLED display, a 5 megapixel camera, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, GPS and runs on the latest and greatest Android 2.1 operating system.

Although the Nexus One is so far only sold in U.S., we managed to get our hands on one sample in India, which was bought from U.S. We spent some time with the Nexus One and this is what we have to say about it.

The bundle of Nexus One includes :
  • Nexus One
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Headset
  • USB Cable
  • Carry Case
  • 4GB microSD card
  • User Guide

High-end Gaming PC for 60K

The last time we built a high-end gaming rig we went all out and got some of the best components available. This was all fine but come to think of it, 80K is a high price tag that not everyone is willing to shell out. I sure many wouldn't want to spend so much money on a gaming rig. So we decided to build a slightly lower priced high-end rig in which the primary components would remain high-end but we would have to cut down on the other luxuries like a fancy case or expensive speakers.

We set out with a target of 60K (excluding the cost of the OS), which I think is fairly acceptable budget for a high-end gaming rig, and we managed to put together quite a potent little machine that will easily play the current crop of games.

CPU and Motherboard Combo

Intel Core i5 750 - (Rs. 9,700)

It's been long since our last high-end guide and now I'm pretty sure the Corei5 is widely available and can be found easily. In fact we also have the new Clarkdale CPUs like the Corei5 661 that is priced similarly and also has a higher clock speed, but the L2 and L3 cache is a lot less, which makes the i5 750 a better buy.

ECS P55H-A - (Rs. 6,700)

We've again gone for an ECS P55 based chipset since it's priced well and gives you lots of features. This comes from their Black Series line up and features debug LEDs, power and rest buttons built in to the board and CrossFire support.

Airtel to launch iPhone 3GS in India on March 26

After months of waiting, the iPhone 3GS has finally landed in India. While Airtel did announce last week that they are launching the iPhone in the country, they hadn't revealed price details of the handset.

Well, that was two days ago. We now have the pricing details of the iPhone 3GS in India revealed a few hours ago. Apparently, the older 8GB 3G version of the iPhone will continue to be sold here at a price of Rs. 29,500. The 16GB 3GS will set you back by a cool Rs. 35,500 while the top-end, 32GB iPhone 3GS will cost an outrageous 41,500 in India. These will be available in India from March 26.

Airtel also has a data plan for iPhone users (the handsets will be locked to the Airtel network) that will give the 500MB of free
data every month for an entire year (starting from the date of activation).

You can purchase the iPhone 3GS from an Airtel authorized retail stores across India starting March 26. Head to the iPhone 3GS Airtel website here for more information.

Motorola Milestone Android 2.0 :In Depth

Motorola Milestone android 2.0 handset is based on the Motorola Android operating system offers a QWERTY keyboard, 3.7-inch screen, 5 megapixel camera and all the features you’d expect from a high-end smartphones. The screen has a resolution of 854×480 pixels. The camera is
5 megapixel camera with LED flash and 4x digital zoom. The 5 Megapixel camera lets you take pictures from the maximum resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels and shoot video in 720×480 pixel resolution. For video that if compared to other devices, the resolution of video is 720×480 pixels higher.

The Milestone is smartphone, with touch-screen, QWERTY keypad and slide-away Android operating system 2.0. This comes with full keyboard and is world’s thinnest android mobile at least for now. It is 115 mm high, 13.7 mm wide and often 60. It weighs 165 grams.

The full keyboard is comfortable, but to enjoy it best you should first get used to the keys dishes and not very large. Initially, you may prefer the keyboard on the screen, but only in panning mode. In retracted, the screen buttons are too close together, as with all smartphones of this type. The pad to the right of the keyboard lets you navigate the menus, but it will be more useful to move within a text, in all other cases, the touchscreen is the best option.

This is a Quad-Band GSM, GPRS and UMTS – HSDPA but HSUPA. The internal memory is 256 MB, but is supplied by a Micro-SD 8 GB.The battery is lithium, from 1400 mAh, Which offers an average of a couple of days scarce. No lack bluetooth (2.1), WiFi (b / g), connect to the PC via USB (proprietary) module and GPS.

The shell of the Milestone is square, with a sliding keyboard that pulls out from under the screen. The basis of the latter there are four touch keys. From left to right, back, menu, home and research. Diagonal high resolution of the handset allows you to see a lot of information, even with small type, without losing legibility. The fonts are clear and sharp, but also a limit for those with sight problems. Continuing the list of qualities, brightness is good, Which restricts the reading problems even outdoors in the sun. The reflections from sources of direct light, however, a problem that Milestone joins the other smartphones like.

On the right is the button to activate and use the camera and one for adjusting the volume. On the opposite side there is only the USB connector, unprotected. The top edge houses the power button on / off and the headphone jack and 3.5 mm.

On the back surface is the target of the camera, flanked by dual LED flash and the flap that hides the battery and SIM and MicroSD slots (you must remove the battery to access it).Finally there is the speaker, hidden and protected by a thin grid.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to Make Money From Your Blog – Some other Direct Methods

Having thought through whether you should blog for money it is now worth taking a look at some of the different models for doing so.

I tend to break the different models that bloggers are using to make money from blogging into two areas – Direct and Indirect methods.
I described some direct methods in the previous post. If you have not read that post please first read it then read this post for some other direct mehods to make money. Methods 1 and 2 are listed in the previous post and the other methods are :

3. Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs are where you take a commission for referring a reader who purchases a product or service to a company. Probably the most common of these for bloggers isAmazon which has tens of thousands of products that you can link to (I reviewed it here). Other affiliate programs that represent many different companies and products includeLinkshare, Commission Junction and Clickbank.

Affiliate programs take some work if you want to get the most out of them (perhaps more work than advertising) but can be lucrative if you match the right program with the right blog/topic. If you want to explore affiliate programs more you might like to read 10 tips for using affiliate programs on you blog.

4. Selling/Flipping Blogs

he idea of selling (or flipping) your blog is one that many bloggers have in the back of their minds for ‘one day’ but in reality it is not something that is overly common… yet (I think this is changing). Probably the largest sale is that of Weblogs Inc (a network of blogs) which sold to AOL for a reported $25 million. Of course this is the stuff that most of us can only dream of – but there are examples of smaller blogs being sold, either privately or via auctions on sites like eBay and SitePoint. One such auction was that of the Blog Herald which took place here.

Starting a blog with the main goal of selling it down the track is one that I’ve heard of a number of bloggers doing but few have been successful. Rather than starting with this intention I think if you start with the intention of building a quality site that has a large readership and it’s own good income stream you are more likely to find buyers down the track.

5. Donations and Tip Jars
A very small number of blogs have a history of making good money with these (Jason Kottke being one of them). To be successful with asking for money from readers you’ll want to have a large and loyal readership (and a rich one might help too). Most bloggers just don’t have the critical mass or the cult following to make it work.

6. Merchandise

Another method that some blogs use with reasonable effect is to sell T-Shirts, Mugs, Stickers etc with the blog’s name, logo and/or taglines on it. This is another idea that will probably only work if you either have a brilliantly designed merchandise range and/or you have a cult-like status as a blogger with some fanatical readers who are a little obsessive about your blog. Some blog topics lend themselves to this more than others.

7. Selling Subscriptions

The idea of charging readers for content is one that surfaces from time to time. While there are numerous websites around the web that do this successfully (community membership sites) I’m yet to see many (any) blogs do it well. The problem that most bloggers who have tried it have run into is that most topics that you could think to start a blog about already have free sites available. To make it succeed you would need to have some sort of premium/exclusive content and/or real expertise on a topic.

8. Blog Networks

Another emerging income source for bloggers are blog networks. There are two ways to make money here. Firstly you can start a network and contract bloggers to write for you or secondly you might like to join a blog network as a writer. There are many networks out there and all have their own strengths and weaknesses. I’ll attempt to write a post on what to think about when you’re looking at whether to join a network later in this series.
Post originally published at

How to Make Money From Your Blog – Direct Methods

Having thought through whether you should blog for money it is now worth taking a look at some of the different models for doing so.

I tend to break the different models that bloggers are using to make money from blogging into two areas – Direct and Indirect methods.

Direct Income Earning Methods - these methods are where a blogger earns an income directly FROM their blog.

Indirect Income Earning Methods – these methods are where a blogger earns an income BECAUSE of their blog.

Most blogs tend to fall into one or the other of these methods – although there is nothing to stop bloggers experimenting with elements of both ( I’ve seen a few bloggers get into trouble with this (example: Scenario 1 in the previous post).

In this post I’ll look at 8 direct income earning methods and in the next post of this series I’ll explore indirect methods. Please note that on occasion in the following post there will be few affiliate links to services that I use and have had some success with. These will be marked with (aff) after them.

Direct Income Earning Methods for Bloggers

1. Advertising

There are many ways of selling advertising space on a blog (this could almost be a series of it’s own) but some of the different advertising options that I see bloggers experimenting with include:

  • Contextual Advertising – Programs like AdSense and YPN (beta) are very popular with bloggers and are probably the most common income stream being used by them today (MSN are developing one too). In short – these programs scan the content of your blog to assertion what it’s topic is and attempt to put contextually relevant ads (text and image) onto your blog. They are generally simple to use and involve pasting some code into your blog’s templates. Payment is on a ‘per click’ basis (referred to as CPC or ‘cost per click’ ads). Contextual ads suit blogs that have a particular niche topic, especially if it has some sort of commercial angle (ie it has products and services associated with it). They are not so good with ‘general’ type blogs (ie many topics) and/or political/spiritual blogs which argue just one side of a case (this confuses AdSense). I write much more extensively on how to useAdSense on your blog here.
  • Other CPC Advertising – There are a variety of other ad systems that pay on a per click basis which are not contextual in nature (which is important as systems like AdSense do not allow you to run contextual ads on the same page view as them). These systems include Chitika’s eMiniMalls (aff) which I reviewed here.
  • Impression Based Ads – Impression based ads pay a small amount for every person who views the advertisement. The amount that they pays varies from program to program (and ad to ad) and is generally a fraction of a cent. There are a variety of ad systems around like this including Fastclick (aff) which I reviewed here and Tribal Fusion. Impression based ads won’t earn you much if you don’t have a lot of traffic but can be great if you do.
  • Blog Ads – BlogAds have become something of an institution when it comes to advertising on blogs. They traditionally have had a focus upon monetizing political blogs but are expanding their focus lately. The beauty of them is that bloggers set their own rates and can accept or reject advertisers that apply to them to be featured on their blogs. These ads put the control of what ads show and how much they earn into the hands of the blogger. The downside is that if you price them too high you could never have any ads showing at all. They can also be difficult to be accepted into as a publisher as these days they only accept people into the system if they have a someone who is already in ’sponsor’ or recommend the new publisher.
  • Text Ads – Another increasingly popular way to sell ads on your blog is to look into text links. The beauty of these are that they don’t take up much room and that depending upon the system you choose to run them you can have control over which advertisers you accept and reject. AdBrite (aff) is one such system that gives you control in a similar way to BlogAds in that you set your own prices and approve all ads. They also other other formats of ads. Text Link Ads (aff) is another text link seller that more and more bloggers are using. The beauty of both of these systems is that they have a pool of advertisers already so you don’t have to go looking for your own advertisers. Their systems are also both very automated and are just a matter of pasting some code onto your blog. I use them both and while they don’t earn anywhere near as much as AdSense or Chitika for me they add up over the year and have done well for me. Bidvertiser and Adzaar are other system that I know are popular with some (we’ve used them quite successfully on b5media although I have little personal experience with them).
  • RSS Ads – An increasingly popular way for people to read blogs is via RSS. As a result publishers and ad providers have been keen to find ways to place ads in feeds. These attempts have been met with a variety of success levels. I’m yet to hear of too many people making big dollars with RSS ads yet but the ad systems seem to be improving. AdSense offers RSS ads to some of it’s publishers (you have to have a certain number of impressions first) as does YPN. Feedburner is a tool I’ve used to help monetise my own feeds – they give publishers three options (1. AdSense if you’ve been approved by them, 2. Amazon affiliate program and 3. if you have a lot of subscribers (over 500) they have an Ad Network). Pheedo is another system that you might like to try (although I’ve not had much experience with it).
  • Other Ads Systems – In addition to the above systems (most of which I’ve used myself) are many other advertising options which I’ve not had experience with and so won’t personally recommend. I’m sure they are worth experimenting with however as I see many of them being used by bloggers every day. Here they are in no particular order:
  • AdGentaCrispAdsClicksorIntelli TxtPeak ClickDouble ClickIndustry Brains,AdHearUsKanoodleAVNPheedoAdknowledgeYesAdvertisingRevenuePilotTextAds,SearchFeedTarget PointOneMonkey, and TextAds. Feel free to add your own and tell us how you’ve gone with them in comments below.
2. Sponsorship

Another form of advertising that a smaller number of bloggers are using is to find their own advertisers. All of the above systems have the advantage of finding you advertisers (or at least assisting in the automation of ads to your blog) but as your blog grows in profile and influence you might find other options for private deals come up.

The big blog networks have people dedicated to the task of finding advertisers (often working through ad agencies) but smaller bloggers might find this worthwhile also. I’ve been selling ads on my Digital Camera Blog for two years now and as it’s grown in traffic and profile and managed to attract larger companies (who are willing to pay more) to buys space. Currently the blog features ads from Adobe who have bought a combination of banner, newsletter and text ads.

The key if you’re going to take this approach is to target advertisers in your niche that have products that closely relate to what you’re writing about. There are a variety of ads that you can offer them including banner ads, buttons, text links, mentions in newsletters and even individual post sponsorships. I would highly recommend that you always make it clear to readers that your post is a sponsored one when you’re writing a sponsored post.

There some other direct income earning methods for bloggers which you can read in this Post.