Many Windows users have been running Picasa 3 for the past several weeks now, but Picasa development for Linux has always seemly lagged behind.This all changed on Thursday with a public beta release of Picasa 3 with support for all the major Linux distributions. According to the feature overview, the new version includes many of the new editing and retouching features missing in the previous version as well as a tighter integration with Picasa Web. For Linux users looking to further automate the process of importing photos you will also appreciate the auto detect feature that runs each time you plug in your camera. In a blog post by Google Software Engineer Lei Zhang he reminds the Linux community of Google’s commitment to their platform. Some of its largest contributions have been in the form of patches for the open source WINE project with over 2700 fixes. WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator) is an application for Linux which allows users to execute programs written for Microsoft Windows. Want to learn more? Check out the November print edition of Maximum PC on sale now for an excellent how to guide on using WINE for gaming in Linux.
The phone is rumored to be headed to European store shelves first and might make an appearance there in about two month’s time. The new iPaq will feature a touchscreen, keypad and Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1.
A phone aimed at ordinary consumers might increase the popularity of the iPaq brand amongst plebeians, which in turn might have a positive impact on its market share.
TOM-Skype, the Chinese chapter of Skype, has been caught filtering and archiving text messages. The Chinese VoIP service provider has eight dedicated servers for storing messages that contain certain politically contentious keywords, according to a report published by The Information War Monitor, a Canadian organization that monitors internet censorship.
Tom-Skype, a joint venture between eBay and China’s TOM Online, also stores the usernames of all those people that exchange messages containing such sensitive keywords. Also, the service provider actively censors any politically sensitive keywords - some as harmless as “milk powder” - in messages. TOM-Skype doesn’t restrict itself to Chinese users but freely records messages and usernames of other Skype users from across the world as well (only those users that exchange "obnoxious" messages with Chinese users). To top it all, all the private data is available publicly as it is hosted on unencrypted web servers.
At first glance, Bankaholic.com appears to be an ordinary blog that betrays not even the slightest hint of its true worth. The Wordpress-based blog has been just bought by Bankrate, a financial information and service website, for an unbelievable amount of $15 million. Its solitary employee John Wu is going to stay aboard for a while.
Although the blog is not insanely popular, it ranks well on search engines for several high-paying keywords. This acquisition will ensure that there is no dearth of get-rich-from-blogging literature that is strewn across the internet.
A collective sigh of relief was let out Thursday, as a panel of federal judges who determine royalty rates for recordings ruled to renew the current royalty rate until 2012. The ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board, a panel of three judges appointed by the Librarian of Congress, applied directly to mechanical royalties (which as we mentioned before, are the fees paid directly to songwriters and publishers of music, not the performers).
The currently royalty rate of 9.1 cents was lobbied to receive a 66 percent increase by music publishers, concerned about losing income as music sales decline. Labels and retailers pushed to judges to adopt a new model that would determine royalty payments as a percentage of wholesale revenue, however neither of these suggestions made the ruling.
One document in the hearing, submitted by an Apple executive, had threatened that a significant inflation in royalty rates could potentially force them to shut down the massively popular iTunes music store, which has sold over 5 billion songs to date. While Apple sees substantial sales, they operate with very thin margins.
There are still some in the music industry that have claimed that new rulings such as these might not be enough to satisfy the insatiable rise of illegal file sharing. “Whether these developments will be sufficient to return the music industry to health is not clear,” said Jonathan Feinstien, a music lawyer at the Krasilovsky & Gross firm in New York.
Crysis Warhead, despite releasing less than a year after Crysis, has received a few more oodles of critical acclaim than its predecessor. And, as a nice bonus, it also run admirably on rigs that aren't chock-full of wallet-devouring tech and don't display disturbing signs of sentience. Thus, it makes perfect sense that Crytek has decided to jab a toothpick through the multiplayer half of its latest opus and pass out some free samples.
Starting October 6th, a few quick clicks at www.mycrysis.com will provide you with an activation code for the weekend's festivities. Once signed-up, you'll have full access to Crysis Wars from 11:00 AM PDT on October 10th to 11:59 PM PDT on October 12th. To be clear, this isn't just a demo. It's the entire, 21-map multiplayer portion of the game.
“We have been extremely pleased with the reception we have received from gamers and press for Crysis Warhead,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. “Crysis Wars is definitely a big reason for this success and something we are dedicated to, not only as a part of future Crysis titles, but in terms of releasing new modes and continued support for our growing community.”
Great idea on Crytek's part. So, those of you who pirate games for "demo purposes," will temporary full access to a game put an end to your swashbuckling ways?
Asus has to be feeling on top of the world, assuming sources at the company aren't blowing hot air. As DigiTimes reports it, those sources are claiming that Asus feasts on the lion's share of P45-based motherboard sales, with the company accounting for a whopping 80 percent of worldwide shipments.
Third quarter motherboard shipments are estimated at 6.12 million units, representing a growth rate of 20 percent and surpassing the company's original estimation of 15 percent. The numbers bode well for what's to come, as demand for Intel's X58 chipset based boards is also expected to run high.
Hate the blissful feeling that accompanies plucking a brand new game from the patch on launch day? Think digital distribution is just too convenient? Well then, you'll be one of the backward-thinking few who actually appreciate Ubisoft's Far Cry 2 pre-order deal. Simply stroll over to your nearest participating game store, place a few dollars in the cash register, and unlock "hours" worth of crucial gameplay! Have a looksie at what's on the other side of the hoops you'll soon be jumping through:
The Georgian: The Georgian informant has gone into hiding at the Fuel Depot in UFLL territory, find him and discover what your predecessor learned from him about the Jackal’s location.
The Bolivian: The Bolivian informant is on the run, trying to escape the country by stealing a plane from a small airfield in APR territory. Try to get to him before your predecessor does.
Special Delivery: Your employers have more information for you about your predecessor – learn the location of his new dead drop and raid it to find information about his secret meetings.
Le Francais: A French smuggler and arms dealer who may have been providing arms to the Jackal has been tipped off, and your predecessor is trying to stop him from crossing the border. Find out what Frenchman’s price is.
For those of you who don't pre-order, or who plan to (legally) download the title, we don't really know what to tell you. So far, the "bonus" seems to be limited to retail channels, but we'll contact Ubisoft for more info.
In the meantime, however, don't worry too much. We already pre-ordered the game months ago.
With a design so simple it falls under the “I-can’t-believe-no-one-else-thought-of-this-before” category, Sangho Jin of Yanko Design’s hanging hard drive concept is looking to clear up desk clutter, one tiny footprint at a time.
The hanging hard drive, which would mount to your laptop’s screen, provides a nice way to add additional storage to your machine without using valuable desk space. Granted, this simple shift in external HDD placement wouldn’t change any lives, there are definitely plenty of laptop users out there worried about aesthetics (looking at you, Mac users), and to them this will be a welcome change.
“Portable hard drives are not really THAT portable if you have to tote around another peripheral but maybe you should have bought a laptop with a bigger hard drive! OOO Zing! No I didn’t! Yes, yes I did just go there,” writes Yanko Design’s Long Tran on the concept’s page, “Kidding aside, the Hang it On hard drive encloser lets you hang you 2.5” companion off the back of your lappie’s LCD screen. Sure, now your MacBook Air looks like it has a tumor growing off it’s svelt lines but at least you’ll get more than a measily 80GB.”
SSD’s are hot, but how do you mount your new 2.5-inch solid state drive in a 3.5-inch bay without it looking ghettolicious?
The answer: Use a VelociRaptor’s extruded aluminum shell with Intel’s wicked fast SSD. The result is one a combination even better than peanut butter and chocolate if we may so say our selves.
Does it make sense to do this with a live VelociRaptor? Probably not, but we just happened to have a dead unit and rather than toss it in the garbage, we shucked out the dead drive by removing the four Torqx screws and mounted the Intel X25-M in its place. You can actually do this with a live VelociRaptor but you’ll immediately void the warranty on the drive. Does an SSD need all that aluminum to keep it cool? The answer is no, but it sure looks cool, right?