HemantS@TGC

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following technology developments. Quite by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player.

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A month back, we featured Gamepad, a physical controller that helped you get a console-like experience on touch screen devices such as iPad for playing. The controller from 60 Beats however, made use of a 4 foot cable for establishing a connection right into the head-phone jack instead of a 30-pin connector.

ThinkGeek has come up with a unique old styled peripheral, a Bluetooth gamepad, dubbed iCade 8-Bitty. It eliminates need of any sort of cable but delivers the same gaming experience as Gamepad from 60 Beats does. The retro-styled peripheral is compatible with many iOS and Android devices. It runs on two AAA batteries sold dis-unitedly.

In design, 8-Bitty appears simple, very similar to Nintendo controller. For movement, it has direction controllers to the left, ‘Start’ and ‘Select’ buttons in the middle, four circular buttons (red color) to the right and 2 shoulder buttons along the edges.

8-Bitty supports long list of iCADE’s retro game apps. This includes Atari Classics collection, Pac-Man, Super Mega Worm and many more. Besides, it uses a completely open interface system, so that any app developer can easily add game support.

iCade 8-Bitty Features:

  • Classic retro-styled game controller compatible with iPhone, iPad
  • Android support for most tablets and smartphones
  • 8 button control including 4 face buttons, select, start, and two shoulder buttons… plus the D-Pad for movement
  • Wireless connection with auto power save mode
  • Mini version of larger size iCade
  • Fully compatible with all iCade games
  • Completely open development platform
  • Over 100 classic Atari games support
  • NOTE: Atari Greatest Hits only runs on iPad, not on iPhone or iPod touch
  • Easy to carry, especially in pocket

iCade 8-Bitty will definitely remind you of the time spent playing games from 80-90s thereby, evoking the classical 8-bit era. There are no details available about its release. For more information, visit ThinkGeek.

 

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All who handle business spend up to 80% of their time collecting data and creating reports, proves market research. A tool or a service therefore, which helps bringing all the business metrics under one single interface becomes essential. Cyfe provides one such web-based software that is capable of monitoring and sharing all vital business data from one single location in real-time.

Cyfe has developed a cloud-based service that combines many different metrics into a single easy-to-track screen, thereby providing a simple all-in-one business dashboard.  The website supports many widgets and each widget has the ability to cover every site relevant to a business you are running, be it GoogleAnalytics, social networking sites such as Facebook or leading SEO services.

Remember, the more widgets you use, the more analytic services you can include in your reports. All the results generated by analytic services i.e. widgets get stored into one report which can be shared with anyone later. Currently, Cyfe integrates with over 25 popular services. These include,

  1. Salesforce
  2. AdSense
  3. MailChimp
  4. Amazon
  5. Facebook
  6. WordPress
  7. Zendesk
  8. Twitter and much more

Depending upon the widgets that are allotted, the pricing of the service is arranged. For instance, you can spend up to $49 per month for 100 widgets. Free account gives you only five widgets and multiple dashboards like,

  • Businesses
  • Agencies (provides a real time view of progress the agency is making by tracking traffic via Google Analytics, SEO efforts on SEOmoz, etc)
  • Management (keeps track of customer relations and traffic without requiring you to go to IT for the latest updates)

Why should one use Cyfe?

  • Get a bird’s eye view of your entire business in real-time
  • No downloads, installs or programming required
  • Get started for free in 60 seconds or less

So, save your valuable time creating reports and make better business decisions with Cyfe. The website makes sure that your data is safe as it employs AES encryption, which has been developed by the U.S. government and is now used widely. Visit Cyfe.

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Earlier, one had to dress up best to impress and spend hundreds of dollars for a single date which sometimes went nowhere. However, now, with just a single personal computer and an Internet connection you can start a new relationship. If you do not want to be in a relationship, just settle for an offline fling. Read about these top 4 online dating services, they may help you search a compatible partner or romance online.

Top 4 Online Dating Services:

Soul2Match

This appears to be an interesting online dating service as it tries to match individuals who are looking for long-term relationships. The website features facial analysis software that analyzes thousand facial features and renders a compatibility score between two people. It believes picture says more than a thousand words and hence this.

To get a compatibility score, an individual must become member of the site. Once done, user now a members can upload a photo and start clicking on other people’s photos to get an instant compatibility rating.

To check if your flirting skills are good enough you can check out Soul2Match Flirt Wall.  If found unsatisfactory, peruse information of other members that might help you and when all goes well, take your flirting to the next level by visiting the Match Wall.

HowAboutWe

HowAboutWe offers a unique way of finding you dates. You choose your date and complete the phrase ‘How about we dot, dot, dot’. The online dating service then sends the dates you post to people who might like them. An individual’s HowAboutWe posts (the phrase you are required to complete) by far, becomes the most revealing and intriguing part of his profile, creating an ultimate digital first impression.

You can later check out those people’s profiles, message, and go out. It’s fun, easy and natural. The website’s ‘Speed Date’ and ‘Daily Date’ features help in finding peo­ple that may have some­thing in com­mon with you and interact with other like-​​minded singles. HowAboutWe is now available as a mobile app. It even includes a button to log in via Facebook.

SinglesAroundMe

SAM (abbreviated form) is a location aware mobile dating app for the iPhone, Blackberry and other Smartphones. It helps you search where available singles are located. The application’s powerful Geo-location feature, aka ‘SAM’ search plots your location with singles around you on a geographical Google map.

The application lets you control the distance (Destination Search option that allows you to view matching singles at a location of your choice, in real time) and set results to match your desired profile. Once found, you can view person’s picture and profile, add him/her to hot list and send winks and messages to begin flirting.

Clique

Clique is a dating website that connects friends of friends. Your friends can recommend someone for you to date. Friends who recommend dates for other friends are called “wingmen”. The website allows only those members who have been invited by people they know.

The online dating service makes online dating easier by keeping the degree of separation minimal. The person interested in dating can only connect with other person if he/she is just two degrees away from a friend or within it. This makes the online dating service look more familiar and comfortable.

So, check out these 4 online dating services and initiate contact and express how you feel about the person you meet or see online.

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Plug-in is a set of software components that can easily be installed and used as part of your Web browser. In this habitat, it gains the ability to improve performance of any database-driven software; such as WordPress. That said, many of us run WordPress blogs and know that maintaining them is no easy job. However, having the following 4 Plug-ins at hand will make your work much easier.

WP-DBManager:

As the name suggests, the plug-in manages your WordPress database. It allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database, drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Besides, it supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.

WP-Optimize:

WP – Optimize plug-in looks simple but is very effective in function.  The WordPress 2.9++ database cleanup and optimization tool doesn’t require PhpMyAdmin to optimize your database tables. It allows you to remove post revisions, comments in the spam queue and unapproved comments in few clicks.

Other WP-Optimize Features:

  • Display Database table statistics. Shows how much space can be optimized and how much space has been cleared
  • Visible to the administrators only

How it can be useful?

If you have a habit of saving a new post or pages it is important to remind you that WordPress creates a revision of that post or page. So, if you edit a post 3 times you might just get 3 copies of that post as revisions. Needless to say, what happens if post or pages are long and big? A huge proportion of useful bytes is consumed. This is where WP-Optimize come into action. It optimizes and shrinks your posts table by removing unnecessary post revisions from the database.  Also, there might be thousands of spams and unapproved comments in your comments table, WP-Optimize cleans and removes them too, in just single click.

Broken Link Checker:

The plug-in monitors your blog and searches for broken links. It notifies you  if any are found. Besides monitoring, it checks your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images. All the broken links get displayed under the ‘Broken Links’ tab.

There are several actions associated with each link which show up when you move your mouse over to one of the links listed under ‘Broken Links’ tab. One can even create new link filters by accessing ‘Create Custom Filter’ tab.

Features:

  • Monitors links in your posts, pages, comments, the blogroll, and custom fields (optional).
  • Detects links that don’t work, missing images and redirects.
  • Notifies you either via the Dashboard or by email.
  • Makes broken links display differently in posts (optional).
  • Prevents search engines from following broken links (optional).
  • You can search and filter links by URL, anchor text and so on.
  • Links can be edited directly from the plugin’s page, without manually updating each post.
  • Highly configurable.

Clean Options:

Clean Options plug-in provides a simpler way for WordPress bloggers to manage their wp_options table. It finds orphaned options and removes them from wp_options table.

The plug-in endorses many built-in safety features which help in preventing accidental deletion of table rows that may be needed for the error free operation of the blog. It also provides warning messages that alerts plugin users of potential problems when encountered.

Add comprehensive and powerful functionality to your Blog system by installing these 4 plugins.

 

 

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The Eastman Kodak Company, commonly known as Kodak is a name that has been long associated with camera and its evolution in the successive years. It however, planned to exit out of the business after filing for bankruptcy protection last month. The company on Thursday announced it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.

The move, though considered as a part of restructuring Kodak’s Consumer Business, serves as a major blow to company’s history as a photography pioneer. Kodak, opened for business in 1880, invented digital cameras with Wi-Fi connections and touch-screens that made transferring photos to computers much easier.

The company had come a long way until the recent bankruptcy event, where it lost its strong hold in camera market and had fallen behind many competitors. The main reason for opting out was rapid improvement in the quality of digital cameras in cellphones. The event led to less relevance of stand-alone cameras in higher-end market and so getting out of the market that is declining rapidly was considered as a good idea. The other reality was company’s inability to compete with its competitors in recent years.

Pradeep Jotwani, President, Consumer Business and Kodak Chief Marketing officer said, “For some time, Kodak’s strategy has been to improve margins in the capture device business by narrowing our participation in terms of product portfolio, geographies and retail outlets. Today’s [Thursday's] announcement is the logical extension of that process, given our analysis of the industry trends”.

 The company assumes filing for bankruptcy protection alone would help it to take charge of $30 million and will generate more than $100 million in annual operating savings. At present, Kodak is looking for selling or licensing all of its money-losing businesses, including its online photo-sharing site Kodak Gallery.

All said, Kodak’s Consumer Business unit will now only concentrate on online and retail-based photo printing, as well as desktop injet printing. However, it will continue to honor all related product warranties and provide technical support for existing Kodak Camera and digital picture frames.

This will mark the end of Kodak era which besides having the reputation for making cameras, easy to use for consumers is also famous for its photographic film contributions in movies.

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Motorola has made comeback into the tablet market with Motorola Xyboard 10.1, a successor to Motorola Xoom which didn’t do well earlier for many reasons. The business ready tablet includes built-in Wi-Fi support and many office productivity that make the tablet a multitasking powerhouse. Also, it includes government-grade encryption to protect all your data.

Design:

Motorola Xyboard appears well built and gives a nice sturdy feel when held in hand. It is light in weight (603 grams)and considerably thinner, just 8.8mm (0.35 inches) thick. It exhibits a sporty look with angled corners, as seen in DROID RAZR – the Smartphone.

Xyboard 10.1 as the value indicates boasts 10.1 inch Gorilla Glass screen with resolution of 1280 x 800. The design however has one shortfall; there is a power/locker button and a volume rocker present but at the backside. These buttons, since on the backside are difficult to find and hard to operate by touch. You are required to turn your tablet over to adjust volume or turn the device on/off. Also there is a headphone jack, battery charging indicator and Micro USB/charger and HDMI ports.

Hardware:

There is a massive 7000 mAh battery under the hood of DROID XYBOARD 10.1 which devotes up to 8 hours of web browsing over 4G LTE and over 10 hours of video playback on a full charge. Also, there is a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor present and to extend functionality even more Motorola allows adding slew of accessories. For instance, you can add a wireless keyboard and use it like a standard laptop. The dual stereo speakers of the tablet with virtual surround sound are capable to create a real theater-like experience.

Working

Motorola Xyboard 10.1 runs on Android OS. It takes a backseat here, as it does not offer the Android’s latest version IceCream Sandwich 4.0 but standard HoneyComb 3.2. Even though it comes with Honeycomb, there is plenty of room for customization with its variety of icons and widgets. We hope it gets Ice Cream Sandwich update, soon. That said, the tablet’s wide-screen display makes it a good E-Book reader. It is possible for you to read entire web pages without much zooming. For drawing and taking notes quickly you can use stylus pen even.

Camera:

The tablet is outfitted with a 5MP auto-focus camera that is capable of capturing somewhat clear images. Images are not so sharp and to some extent appear dull with auto white balance being difficult to operate at times. However, if not under bright and sunny conditions then in dark environments with LED flash the camera is capable of capturing good quality images. Besides, it records videos at 1280x720p resolution at 30 frames-per-second.

Buy

Motorola Xyboard 10.1 comes in 2 configurations

  • XYBOARD 10.1 32GB: $599.99
  • XYBOARD 10.1 16GB: $499.99

In comparison to other powerful tablets which are available at much lower prices Motorola Xyboard 10.1 seems to be under-powered and overpriced. In my honest opinion, if you have to beat or take over your competitor you need to offer cheaper products or offer better features, Motorola offers neither. For more information visit here.

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It’s interesting to notice Mac App store, Apple’s own best place to find apps for Mac has also become a place to get games without discs and boxes. This has helped transforming Mac more into a gaming platform which earlier wasn’t considered suitable for gaming purposes.

Bethseda, an American video game company few days ago in partnership with Aspyr Media announced release of game, Dubbed Rage: Campaign Edition on Mac App Store.

RAGE: Campaign edition storyline:

RAGE is a groundbreaking first-person shooter set in the not-too-distant future after an asteroid impacts Earth, leaving a ravaged world behind. A person emerges into this vast wasteland to discover humanity working to rebuild itself against forces like bandit gangs and mutants.

The game features intense first-person shooter action, breakneck vehicle combat and jaw-dropping graphics powered by id’s revolutionary id Tech® 5 technology. RAGE has been designed for a single player but the player gets bonus equipment, formerly exclusive to the Anarchy Edition. This includes, Double Barrel Shotgun, Rat Rod Buggy, Fists of RAGE, and Crimson Elite Armor. Besides, a player will get access to the bonus Wasteland Sewers Missions which feature additional mutant blasting game-play and looting opportunities.

RAGE: Campaign Edition features in a nutshell:

  • Compelling storyline
  • Visceral 1st-person gunplay and exploration
  • Frenetic 3rd-person vehicular mayhem
  •  id’s cutting-edge new id Tech® 5 engine and Megatexture technology
  • Additional equipments in Mac release – Anarchy Edition content (Double Barrel Shotgun, Rat Rod Buggy, Fist of RAGE and Crimson Elite Armor).

System Requirements for RAGE: Campaign Edition:

  • Operating System: Mac OS X Lion
  • CPU Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo (Dual-Core)
  • CPU Speed: 2.4 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 25 GB
  • Video Memory (VRam): 256MB
  • Video Card (ATI): Radeon HD 3870
  • Video Card (NVidia): Geforce 8800
  • Video Memory (VRam): 256MB
  • Peripherals: Mac Keyboard and mouse

Notice: Integrated video chipsets are not supported (GMA 950 Mac Mini (2006, 2007), iMac (2006), Macbook (2006, 2007), GMA X3100 Macbook (2007, 2008), MacBook Air (2008-2011)). Also, RAGE: Campaign Edition is not compatible with Steam. However, Aspyr has made it possible to make it available on its proprietary Game Agent Store. Get it from Mac App Store at price $ 39.99.

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Many factors contributed evolution of cameras and photography earlier. Results of it, most cameras that we use today have turned digital and have become increasingly popular over the past few years.

In the quest for capturing market, companies started coming up with these compact devices in mass production.  Soon, the old versions were replaced by newer versions and discrepancies in the old were eliminated by packing new with plentiful features promising to provide utmost satisfaction in photography. Canon held a respectable position in the race for long and now to shine even more it has unveiled its latest product, Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS.

About Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS:

Canon ELPH 530 is the newest addition to Canon’s A series of digital cameras. Looks wise, the camera sports a boxy design and its coating in white gives it a heavenly look. Besides, it is only .78 inches thick. ELPH 530 touts an impressive array of features. First, it is Wi-Fi enabled so it offers the ability to wirelessly upload images to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by uploading them to Canon’s online portal.

The 12x optical zoom lens, paired with a 10 megapixel sensor lets you capture great shots from a distance. The device is an updated version of ELPH 520 that was launched a month ago but is powered by Canon’s new Digic 5 processor, which gives the camera smooth performance, and improved shots even in low-light conditions, compared to its Digic 4 predecessors.

To capture any short footage on a 3.2 –inch LCD with crystal clear clarity, this ultra portable device shoots videos in full HD (1080p). The screen besides displaying images allows intuitive operation and menu navigation. Also, it includes Smart AUTO scene selection with 58 scenes, Face ID for optimal images of up to 12 registered subjects, Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS) function and much more.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS is available in 2 colors, black and white and is expected to retail for $349 in April. If rumors are to be believed, in March, Canon will release the CameraWindow iOS app. This will make it easier to transfer your photos and videos from the 530 HS directly to an iOS device and vice-versa.  Plans are also to release a similar Android app in May.

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Do you have a memory strong enough that remembers all the status updates (read in a day) or videos? No! Ok, at least Archify claims to have it. The application helps you keep record of all the status updates from social/professional networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and videos you have watched from popular video streaming services in the form of archive.

Archify provides full-text search function for searching the above mentioned information (status updates and videos) from a central point. The application comes in the form of a browser plug-in which when installed has the ability to save everything you browse online.

In addition to indexing all the content you view, the plug-in captures a screen-shot of each page you visit in a day and store it for later access. An important highlight of the application, it lets you filter search results and specify time frames (day, week or month) and being a plug-in it works in the background.

How to install Archify?

  • Click on the download link
  • Confirm the installation of plug-in by clicking on ‘Allow’ (check out the screen shot below)

  • Approve the installation by clicking on ‘Install now’

  • Restart Firefox to finish the installation
  • The plug-in should get installed shortly thereafter and you will be forwarded to the login page.

(Note: Archify does not archive any pages over https and during incognito mode)

Archify Features:

  • Instant search: As you type the search results will be updated instantly – you no longer have to wait.
  • Content filter: Allows you to search for a certain media type across all your sources.
  • Location-based search: You can search WHERE you have seen the content.
  • New search algorithms: Those take into account how much time you spent and interaction you had. (Archify calls it Dwell Rank – the more activity, the higher the ranking)
  • Integration of Google+ and LinkedIn is on the way (some users are already connected).

Currently, Archify is in beta version but is expected to launch publicly by the end of Q1 2012. For now, you are required to submit your email address and wait for an invite.

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For all the Facebook users who have an account upgraded to timeline, the site’s new profile layout, there’s good news. Facebook, in collaboration with Definition 6 has developed a new Facebook app called Timeline Movie Maker.

The application allows its users to create a ‘mini-movie’ which highlights moments from his timeline. You can create a short 55-second movie from your memories stored in Facebook and apply some special effects and music to it. This helps you to make an instant movie of all your Facebook content from past and present.

To get started, you need to log into your Facebook account and navigate the browser to ‘Timeline Movie Maker’. Once done, you can notice a green button with the following description- ‘MAKE YOUR MOVIE’.   If found, press the button so that you pass through 2 other approval screens without a pause.

Later, you will be required to grant app the access to your profile data such as hobbies, posts, news feeds, etc. It needs so for evaluating items you posted earlier and to build the clip/render a short video based on it. Once the process is completed, you will be all set to watch the created video. If you want you can remake your movie with additional soundtracks that are provided as optional. This includes,

  1. Cinematic
  2. Romantic
  3. Playful
  4. Nostalgic

Timeline Movie Maker Advantages

  • Filmstrip option to change old photos with new ones
  • Option to rebuild a movie

Timeline Movie Maker Disadvantages

  • No option to download the created video/movie
  • No option to post it on Facebook

Currently, Timeline Movie Maker is available only in English, French, Spanish and German but provides a unique way to experience your Facebook Timeline. Upgrade to Timeline Movie Maker.