How many times have you passed an exit on the freeway only to run into an unexpected traffic jam? If you live in southern California, this probably happens a lot. But it needn't happen again if a new Android app can live up to the hype.
Dubbed 'Augmented Traffic Views,' the app makes it possible to see what traffic looks like up ahead. It does this by adding a layer of augmented reality (AR) above the G1's (or other Android device) camera view with live traffic camera images and traffic data. The AR layer shows the user any available traffic camera points, which the user can then tap to see the most current available image taken by the street cam.
Sounds pretty groovy to us, and it also sounds like an accident waiting to happen. To address the latter, the app also supports a hands-free automated predictive tracking mode that displays images from traffic cams up ahead as you drive.
So far, the app only works in Toronto, but there are plenty of U.S. areas where this could be a boon to drivers, should the developers decide to expand. In the meantime, catch a YouTube video of what you can't have right here.
Archos might not be talking up its upcoming media tablets, but that's okay because the FCC has given us a sneak peek of the spec sheets and an early look at the devices themselves.
Revealed in FCC documents, the Archos A5S and A5H bear resemblance to the Archos 5 Internet media tablet only with a white exterior. The A5H also looks like it contains both a microSD slot and microUSB port.
According to the FCC's testing report, both devices boast 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, FM transmitter, and FM receiver. What isn't known is whether or not either tablet will come ready for 3G connectivity, though it would seem a silly oversight if neither one did.
While anticipation continues to build for Windows 7, not everyone is stoked about Microsoft's upcoming OS, or Windows in general. Enter the Free Software Foundation, which plans to stage a demonstration today in Boston where it will encourage businesses to look the other way come October 22nd and consider free alternatives instead.
"There's kind of this attitude of 'Well, it's better than Vista,'" so we are kind of working against the grain," Peter Brown, Executive Director of Free Software Foundation, said in an interview with Cnet.
The demonstration will focus mainly on Windows 7, but according to Brown, his Foundation's beef is with Microsoft's approach in general and not necessarily with any specifics of the upcoming OS.
And it's not just Microsoft that has the foundation in a tizzy. The group is also concerned with Apple's Snow Leopard OS, which will be available later this week.
As the upgrade version of Windows 7 is unavailable in Europe, Microsoft is offering the full version for the price one expects to pay for the upgrade version. The price at which the full version is currently available in Europe has had everyone wondering how long it will last. Last week, an Amazon spokesperson told Cnet.co.uk to “treat this pricing as indefinite.” But when it comes to Windows 7 pricing, what Amazon says is of very little import compared to official word from Microsoft.
Microsoft has also announced that the Windows 7 Family Pack will also be available in eight European countries – apart from US and Canada- for a limited span of time. The eight European countries to have been promised a family pack option are UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Hype is high for Windows 7, and deservedly so if we have anything to say about it (and we do). But while there's plenty to be excited about with Microsoft's upcoming OS, are there any compelling reasons why you should skip upgrading?
Other knocks against in the OS in the devil's advocate article include upgrade pricing, built-in support for hardware-based DRM, and one that's sure to please the Mac crowd, "Snow Leopard is almost here."
Do you plan on upgrading to Windows 7 or will you sit this one out? Hit the jump and sound off!
Just like with Vista, Windows 7 will offer users a 30-day grace period before requiring a product activation. And also like Vista, the grace period can be extended up to 120 days, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed yesterday. To do so, users will have to "reset" the countdown timer with the familiar -rearm trick.
"You can run the -rearm trick a total of three times," said Woody Leonard, a contributing editor to Windows Secrets. "If you perform a -rearm at the end of each 3-day period, you end up with 120 days of full, unfettered Windows 7 use, without having to supply an activation key."
The -rearm trick will work with any version of Windows 7, from Basic on up to Ultimate. To extend the trial to four months, here's what you need to do:
Click the Start menu and select All Programs, Accessories, and right-click the Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator.
Financial struggles tend to put a strain on any relationship, and that's certainly the case between OEM vendors and Microsoft. Worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2009 declined 5 percent from the second quarter of 2009, and whether fair or not, OEMs tend to put the blame on Microsoft.
"The word dysfunctional seems hardly adequate to this situation," says Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. " Part of this is money-related in that the OEMs think that Microsoft is taking more than its fair share of the profits. But I think the root cause is a fundamental shift in these vendors' relationships. While initially PC vendors held the primary position, over time Microsoft has come to occupy the alpha position, and OEMs are passively/aggressively rebelling against this change."
OEMs complain about Microsoft's pricing, complexity, and the lack of funding to generate demand. Enderle says Microsoft treats OEMs as subordinates, not partners, by laying out the pricing terms and product retirement, but with Windows 7, the two sides are starting to come together. According to Enderle, Microsoft has made a better effort to treat OEMs like partners with the Windows 7 development and its retail operations, part of which includes outfitting its retail stores with PCs and laptops from partners.
"Microsoft is quietly moving to consolidate its control over the PC platform and, if they do it correctly, the result may be a set of products that blend the interoperability and compatibility of a Microsoft solution with the user experience of an Apple product.," Enderle said.
From a distance, the Windows 7 GUI resembles its predecessor, Windows Vista. However, the closer you look, the more you'll see that Windows 7's take on the GUI is a big improvement, adding more power, more customization, and better ways to open frequently-used programs and files. Join us after the jump to learn how you can tap into the power of the Windows 7 desktop, Taskbar, and Start menu.
Perception is a funny thing. If you listen to Microsoft, Vista, despite its acknowledged shortcomings, has been a success story and the company has the sales numbers to prove it. But talk to the end users and you'll hear a very different opinion. The negative perception towards Vista remains so strong that thousands of XP users have continued to make do with a nearly decade old OS.
The good news for Microsoft is that those same users don't hold the same disdain for Windows 7 as they do for Vista, according to a survey conducted by PC World and Technologizer.com. The survey pinged nearly 5,000 Windows XP users to find out how they feel about their current OS, why they haven't moved to Vista, and what their thoughts are regarding Windows 7.
Over 25 percent of the respondents said they continue to use XP because Vista doesn't justify an upgrade, and out of those who have used Vista, over half indicated somewhat negative or very negative feelings towards it. Of those who have never touched Vista, about 80 percent said they have somewhat negative or very negative feelings towards the OS.
Those opinions haven't soured the perception of Windows 7. Out of those who have had a chance to play with a beta or RC of the upcoming OS, over 65 percent said they felt very positive or somewhat positive with their experience, and only about 10 percent reported feeling negative.