Monday, 28 February 2011
WebKit2, rather than being a whole new rendering engine, is a layer around WebKit that adds more stability, security and speed -- not entirely unlike the Google Chrome sandbox, which is also strapped onto a version of WebKit. The most exciting feature of WebKit2 is that it splits the browser UI and the rendered content into separate processes. It's possible that each tab will have its own process, too, like Chrome.
This is the first solid news of a Safari update since the minor revisions of desktop and iOS versions back in November. It also represents a major change for the browser, so we wouldn't be surprised if it is Safari 6, rather than 5, that ships with OS X Lion.
Last month Google publicised its first anti-content farm maneuver -- and while that only affected 2% of queries, we still noticed a significant increase of traffic here on Download Squad. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, Google launched the Personal Blocklist, an extension that lets you filter out content farms from your search results.
With today's massive alteration of Google's search algorithm, it really could mean the difference between life and death for ad-supported sites that produce original content. A quick look at our logs from last night suggest that it could be a very big boost indeed.
It should be noted that the results from the Personal Blocklist haven't been used yet -- but apparently, Google's search changes filter out 84% of the sites that users have been blocking with the extension; a sure sign that Google has hit the nail on the head.
When creating a vector image or a composition, you don't always have to re-invent the wheel. After all, it is more than likely that whatever it is you're trying to do has been done before, at least in part. Using existing images or clip art ("media assets" in business parlance) can greatly speed up your work, and even improve the overall look of the image you produce.
To this end, I've chosen to create a video showing Corel Connect. It's a media search engine that comes with CorelDRAW, and helps you pull in images from Flickr, Fotolia, iStockphoto, and of course, your local hard drive and CorelDRAW's own clip art repositories.
Corel Connect ties in very tightly with CorelDRAW itself, and also does a nice job of protecting the original creator's rights so you don't "forget" to license whatever content you're using. See for yourself after the jump!
Fortunately (or unfortunately for Apple), the iPhone Dev-Team has released a new version of the PwnageTool jailbreak that incorporates the Chronic Dev Team's 'feedface' iOS 4.2.1 untether and circumvents Apple's crippling code.
Apple's intentional hijacking of iBooks is an interesting move, but given its less-than-amiable stance on jailbreaking it's surprising that it's taken this long to actually implement anti-jailbreak mechanisms -- especially after removing the infamous jailbreak API back in December. It now becomes a question of when Apple will insert similar measures into other iOS apps -- and whether they will be a whole lot more destructive than merely blocking e-books. The Age of Bricking may be upon us!
The gist of the letter is that Huawei is owned by its employees, not the Chinese government, its loans are commercial, its products are continually audited by third-party companies for security, and the tax breaks it gets from the government are consistent with what private corporations in other countries receive. Huawei also manages to quote both Obama and Lincoln in the letter -- just to make sure it has both Democrats and Republicans covered, we suppose -- and concludes by saying it believes that "any thorough government investigation will prove that Huawei is a normal commercial institution and nothing more." Sounds like a challenge to us.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Sunday, 27 February 2011
Sandboxing -- which allows your computer to run unknown and untrusted programs in an isolated spece where they can't harm your operating system or data -- has been added to Avast 6. It's even there in the free version, and it's a very compelling reason to take another look at Avast. Since Avast 6 can automatically sandbox programs, you're protected even if its definitions and behaviorial scanning can't tell that program is malicious. In paid versions, Avast has added a new Safe Zone designed to offer increased protection when transmitting sensitive data to banks or other Web sites.
[Thanks, Adam B.]Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Whether you're trying to recover a partition from your Windows, Mac, or Linux system's hard drive, GParted is up to the task. It supports 17 common filesystems, RAID arrays, and even flash drives.
Download GParted 0.8
In the letter, Nokia says that it plans to sell 150 million more Symbian phones -- but presumably, after that, the transition to Windows Phone will be complete and Symbian will die a quiet and ignoble death. MeeGo, the open-source smartphone OS, will still make an appearance later this year -- and yes, it will run Qt apps.
While this doesn't come as a surprise -- porting Qt to WP7 would be a massive and time consuming undertaking -- we have to wonder what this will do to the already-runty Windows Phone 7 app ecosystem. Will Symbian Qt app developers embrace the new platform and learn an entirely new set of programming skills? Or will they jump ship to a stable platform that's proven to work, like iOS or Android?
With Windows Phone 7's complete dearth of features, will Nokia developers even want to write apps for the new Nokia-Microsoft platform?
But what about that Xoom trademark Motorola filed last year for mobile computers and related accessories? Traditionally, courts give priority to the first user to register a mark, so Xoom Corp. certainly has a case here, but we're not so sure they'll be able to prove that consumers are likely to be confused. To find out, the court will look at multiple factors to determine the likelihood of confusion: the strength of Xoom's mark, the similarities between the two marks, the proximity of Xoom's services and software to Moto's tablet in the consumer marketplace, evidence of actual customer confusion, and the similarity of the marketing channels used by Moto and Xoom. Honestly, we can't see Moto marketing the Xoom tablet to anyone looking for online payment services (aside from the occasional Android Market purchase) so Xoom Corp. has a tough road to hoe, but stranger things have happened -- we'll see how it goes.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
The results are in, and well over 100,000 of you voted in the 2010 Engadget Awards. The Readers' Choice picks were just the tip of the iceberg, friends, That's right, the editors of Engadget have opinions, too, and here they are. Join us after the break for the year that was 2010 in gadgets.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Books are categorized, and top paid, top free, and recently added titles are also on display. Pick a title you want to download, and it's added to your Google Books account. You don't need to own a tablet to make a purchase, so we expect the Books tab to appear soon on non-Honeycomb devices and in the Web Market as well. Complete a purchase, and it's instantly available via the Google Books app.
Books could, of course, already be purchased from http://books.google.com/ebooks, but the Android Market will provide a good deal of additional exposure and plenty of new customers.
That single click triggers a chain reaction; circles start exploding, and other circles colliding with the shockwaves explode as well, creating their own shockwaves, which then catch other circles.
It's been done before, yes, but this one is a great iteration. The soundtrack is mellow, with lots of piano and some nice percussion (not electronic - it sounds like drums).
At each level you need to make a certain number of circles explode to go on to the next level. I got up to level 12, where you get 60 circles and need to make 55 of them explode. And then I kept trying and trying, but simply couldn't get it. I did get to 54 circles a couple of times, but as they say, you don't get points for trying.
There's no time limit, so you can carefully study the pattern of motion and place your click at the exact right place to create the best chain reaction. I've found that clicking near the middle of the screen works quite well, especially if the balls are slowly moving in that direction. By the time the first shockwave dies off, the oncoming balls usually hit it and the chain reaction continues.
What level did you reach? Screenshots please!
As you may have gathered from the name, you're cast in the role of a pirate. Your goal is to shoot at a diamond and make it fall off a tower of bricks. The height of the tower changes as you progress through the levels. It's not enough to just make the diamond fall off the tower of bricks - it has to fall below a certain line (drawn on the screen) for the level to be completed.
There are also different kinds of bricks, with some heavier than others, and different kinds of ammo. You only get a certain amount of ammo for each level, and when it's gone, you lose. But don't worry! If you don't make it on the first try, it's very easy to restart the level and just give it another shot (or three).
All in all it's a cute game. I've seen similar games with better graphics and music, but the game delivers on its main promise - a few minutes of pure time wasting!
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Create a list, add items, and you'll get a checklist to mark off items as you add them to your grocery basket (or cart, if that's how you roll). Shopping Lists Manager will also optionally hide checked items so they're not cluttering up your list view. Better still, you can register and then sync your lists between two devices -- very handy if you and your roommate or significant other want to collaborate on purchase planning.
Download Shopping List Manager for Windows Phone 7