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20 Dec 12 Redbox Instant by Verizon on Google Play


As it moves in to its public beta testing phase, the Redbox Instant by Verizon online entertainment joint venture formed between US telco Verizon and retail solutions specialist Coinbox has made a Redbox Instant by Verizon app available on Google Play.

The free app enables users to enjoy unlimited streaming movies; Instantly watch movies on phone and tablet; reserve movies at the box; bookmark favourite titles; buy and rent movies, even without a subscription and browse through thousands of popular movies.

Redbox Instant is described as “convenient, easy and affordable” with potential users advised that not only are DVD credits included when subscribing, the first month is totally free, the Free Trial offering a month of unlimited streaming movies, plus four DVD credits to be used at the Redbox kiosk.

In addition, people who have registered to receive further details of the service have been sent an e-mail December 19 advising them to: “Be on the lookout for exciting news, updates and your special invitation in the weeks ahead!”

Initial response to the app was not particularly favourable, achieving an early rating of 1.3 out of 5 from User Reviews, with comments centring on the fact that the service wouldn’t work on ‘rooted’ Android devices. “Until you allow rooted phones/tablets, you will never receive my $8 a month for this service,” said one reviewer.

 

Article source: http://advanced-television.com/2012/12/20/redbox-instant-by-verizon-on-google-play/

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25 May 12 Solid Android tablets under $400


Answer: Both of these Android-powered tablets are actually great buys. Whether or not you should buy them depends on what Android tablets already interest you. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 compares favorably with devices like the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. At $250, it’s only $50 more than those two, and you’ll have two more cameras and the latest version of Android. The other tablet, the Asus Transformer Pad, is an affordable option to its older brother, the Transformer Prime. The Pad’s plastic casing isn’t as sturdy as the Prime’s metal frame, but the Pad delivers similar performance to the Prime for just $380 — almost $150 less.

Finding a drop shipper online

Q. I run an online store, and I’d like to set up drop shipping to save on inventory space. I’m not sure how to find a good service. Where should I look online?

A. Good idea! Drop shipping allows you to keep a catalog of items to sell. Whenever someone orders from you, a third-party retailer fills and ships the order. You could try to find a drop shipper online, but you’ll have to sift through hundreds of scam websites. Most real drop shippers don’t advertise online. Some directory sites could link you to drop shippers, but these charge monthly fees and can be scams, too. Your best bet is to call the manufacturers of the items you sell and talk to them. They might have a list of drop shippers or be able to fulfill your orders themselves. If they do give you a third-party company, you can Google just that company to find honest reviews.

What’s not to Like?

Q. What does the Facebook “Like” button actually do? If I like a business or page on Facebook, is there anything in for me?

A. Not really. The Like button is just a way of telling your friends that you enjoy something. Of course, once you start liking businesses and pages, you do give Facebook more and more information about you. Facebook can share this information with marketers and use it for targeted advertising. It can also attach your name to ads for any business page you’ve liked. If that’s not something you want, go to Privacy settingsAds, Apps and WebsitesEdit Social Ads Settings. Choose No One in the drop-down menu. Then, uncheck every box in the “How people bring your info into the apps they use” menu. This way, what you like on Facebook will stay private.

Walmart DVD conversion

Q. I saw an ad that says Walmart can turn my DVDs into digital files. How does that work? Is there any way to do it at home?

A. For $2 per disc — or $5 to upgrade a movie to high-definition — Walmart will digitize your movies and upload them to its Vudu streaming service. Then you can watch or download the movie on any device you own. Of course, Walmart has deals with only five studios, so it can’t convert every DVD you own, just yet. Still, it’s a much better option than trying to convert your DVDs at home. Ripping a DVD takes a long time and isn’t easy to do. You’d also have to figure out a way to bypass copyright protection on the disc. Legally, I can’t tell you how to do that. There are websites that will tell you how, but many of them host viruses, so it isn’t a safe option.

Change or hide your SSID

Q. My son named his Wi-Fi connection something really offensive! Could you tell me how to change the name to his network so no one has to see it?

A. Changing the name, or SSID, of your Wi-Fi network is easy! Just enter the router’s IP address into your browser. If you don’t know the router’s IP address, check the manual. Once you’re in the settings menu, you should find an option to change the SSID and save it. Keep the name vague. The more personal the name, the more likely you are to give hackers too much information. You might be better off disabling SSID broadcasting to hide the connection altogether. This can usually be done from the same settings menu. Look for SSID Broadcasting or Wireless Radio — it varies from router to router. As long as your son knows the network name, he and his friends will still be able to sign on.

Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast, watch the show or find the station nearest you, visit www.komando.com. E-mail her at techcomments@usatoday.com.

Article source: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kimkomando/story/2012-05-25/tech-questions-answers/55185554/1

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20 May 12 Five ways to avoid Windows 8


You don't have to get on Windows 8 s Metro ride.

You don’t have to get on Windows 8′s Metro ride.

Some people are still sure Windows 8 is going to be the cat’s meow. I’m sure Windows 8 and its Metro interface will be more like a cat’s yowl of pain. The more I look at Metro, the more I’m sure that Microsoft’s new desktop will flop as badly as the Facebook IPO.

It’s not just me. Business analysts, who could care less about technology but care a lot about what customers think, are saying things like “Windows 8 will prove to be a disappointment.

Windows users who were already unhappy about having to learn Metro, which doesn’t work or look a thing like Vista and Windows 7’s Aero interface never mind XP’s familiar appearance, are finding out there’s more trouble ahead for them. Windows 8 will cost more at launch to upgrade to from Windows 7. DVD playback and media-center functionality will now be an extra-price option.

Oh as for Metro-friendly applications, here’s what Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, an independent software development consultant, speaker, author, and trainer and all around Windows guru who’s writing the book “Programming Windows 8 Apps with C#” had to say: “does Metro actually work? In my opinion: No.”

I don’t care if your most prized possession is an autographed copy of Bill Gates’ The Road Ahead, you have got to be wary of moving to Windows 8. So what can you do to avoid, or at least delay, the day you have to start using it?

1. Stick with Windows XP

OK, so your PC is getting a little older, but it’s still working isn’t it? According to some estimates, most PC users are still using XP. Certainly hundreds of millions of users are still using it. If it’s not broke, why fix it?

Well, there is one reason: On April 8, 2014, Microsoft says it will officially end support for XP–and Office 2003 while they’re at it. Of course, Microsoft has extended XP’s life support before. Today, they swear they wouldn’t do it again. But, if say 20% of users still have XP running in their PCs in 2014… well let’s just say I won’t be surprised if Microsoft has a change of heart.

2. Stick with Windows 7 or move to it

So, let’s say its 2012’s holiday season and all the new PCs are coming out with Windows 8, what do you do? You don’t ask, you demand, Windows 7 instead.

Yes, I’m a Linux guy, but if you really want Windows, and I know most of you do, Windows 7 SP 1 is easily the best version of Windows to date. Yes, it’s not the same as XP. There is a learning curve. On the other hand, while it’s not as safe as Linux, Windows 7 is a lot more secure than XP. There are also plenty of useful, easy to-use tools to move your XP data and applications to Windows 7.

3. Move to a Linux or Mac Desktop

Since Microsoft wants to force a radical change on you, why not really make a change and move to Linux or a Mac? The Linux desktop is great for both power users and for users who just need a computer for the basics. Specifically, I think XP users will find Linux Mint with the Cinnamon interface to be inviting. And, Ubuntu 12.04’s Unity interface is much easier to use than Metro. Heck, my 80-year old mother-in-law is a successful Ubuntu user!

Macs, of course, are Macs. They’re pricy, you’re locked into Apple’s hardware and software in ways that Steve Ballmer can only dream about, and, and, gosh they’re pretty and easy to use. Well, easy to use so long as you do exactly what Apple thinks you should be doing anyway.

4. Move to the cloud with Google’s Chrome OS.

Chrome OS hasn’t really caught on yet, but I think Google’s Chrome OS is a real alternative to Windows for many users. It’s not so much Chrome OS itself, it’s the whole concept of being able to use a Web browser and the cloud for everything you need to do and that you want to do instead of a fat client desktop operating system.

Think about what you’re doing today. Web-browsing, e-mail, IM, VoIP, maybe using Google Docs, whatever, how much of that actually requires that you use a local application? If 99% of what you’re doing on your computer can be done on the Web, what more than you really need than the Chrome Web browser, or-and there’s the point–an operating system like Chrome OS, which is just the Chrome Web browser running on a barebones Linux structure?

5. Use an iPad or Android tablet instead.

Microsoft really wants people to switch to Windows 8, and its close cousin Windows RT smartphones and tablets. I’m not holding my breath. I actually think Windows 8/Metro on Intel actually makes sense–Windows RT, which doesn’t have Active Directory support, not so much. Metro looks and works better on a tablet than it ever will on a desktop. There’s just this one little problem: People love iPads and they’re getting fonder of the Android tablets with their lower price tags. If I were a Microsoft fan, I’d worry if there’s any room left in the market for a Windows 8 tablet.

At the same time, as Microsoft is painfully aware, tablets are becoming popular as desktop replacements. As ZDNet’s own James Kendrick points out, “It is now possible to get a full day’s work from almost anywhere, without compromise,” on a tablet.

So, come the day you go to a Best Buy and all you see is Windows 8 PCs from one end of the store to the other, just remember you do have other, better, options.

Related Stories:

No Windows 8 DVD playback will mean increased costs, and consumer confusion

Windows 8 will “disappoint”: Analysts cut price targets on HP, Dell

Windows 8 Pro upgrade for new PC buyers set at $14.99

Windows 8’s five biggest enemies

Five Reasons why Windows 8 will be dead on arrival

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/five-ways-to-avoid-windows-8/11007

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14 May 12 Windows 8 Update: Firefox, Chrome cry foul over Windows 8 ARM




Microsoft is taking heat from browser competitors Firefox and Chrome for blocking them out of planned Windows 8 devices that will be based on ARM processors.

These low-power machines will run Windows RT, which Microsoft describes as a new member of its Windows operating system family that won’t allow installing third-party software.

Firefox maker Mozilla says that means it won’t be able to devise a version of its browser to run on Windows RT machines, something it says kills competition and is ultimately bad for customers.

“In practice, this means that only Internet Explorer will be able to perform many of the advanced computing functions vital to modern browsers in terms of speed, stability, and security to which users have grown accustomed,” writes Harvey Anderson, Mozilla general counsel in a blog post. “Given that IE can run in Windows on ARM, there is no technical reason to conclude other browsers can’t do the same.”

He also hints that allowing Internet Explorer but effectively blocking other browsers may stir up already settled legal issues about browser bias. “If Windows on ARM is simply another version of Windows on new hardware,” he writes, “it also runs afoul of the EC browser choice and seems to represent the very behavior the DOJ-Microsoft settlement sought to prohibit.”

Mozilla project manager Asa Dotzler expands on the perceived problem in a separate blog post in which he acknowledges that initially this will affect mostly tablets. But he says that as ARM processors are more widely used, Windows RT will have a bigger footprint. “ARM will be migrating to laptop PCs and all-in-one PCs very quickly,” Dotzler writes. “If you read Microsoft’s blog posts about Windows on ARM, you’ll see that they expect ARM PCs to cover the whole spectrum. ARM chips are already being used in servers. This is not a tablet-only concern.”

No word from Microsoft on this.

Windows 8 upgrades?

Microsoft plans a discount program for customers who buy Windows 7 computers this summer who later want to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, according to a CNET blog post that attributes the details to unnamed sources.

The intent apparently is to keep up sales of Windows 7 PCs during the run-up to the release of Windows 8, since customers might opt to wait a few months to buy the newer version.

It’s not a free upgrade, so customers would buy a Windows 7 PC, then pay more to install Windows 8 on it. Depending on the pricing of the two platforms, that could be more or less expensive than just waiting for Windows 8 and paying for it all at once. Presumably Microsoft has this all thought through.

HP bets its tablet future on Windows 8

HP CEO Meg Whitman says the company will start making tablets again after discontinuing them last year – and they will be based on the new Windows 8 operating system. No word on whether they will be x86 machines or ARM machines.

Whitman also pointed to new technology – memristors – that will eventually be worked into its PCs. A memristor is a resistor that also has memory in enough capacity that it could replace traditional storage in tablets and smartphones. No word on when they might come into play.

Lenovo plans Windows 8 convertible

Lenovo will come out with a Windows 8 version if its tablet/laptop that will take advantage of the operating systems support for traditional applications as well as its new touch-centric Metro aspect, the company’s president of products Peter Hortensius told a Wall Street Journal blogger.

The device will be similar to the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga that looks like a laptop, but if you want to use it as a tablet, the keyboard hinges back behind the screen.

Timeframe for the device: 12 months.

No DVD player

Windows 8 won’t support playing DVD videos, at least not out of the box. Support for optical players has to come from either a Windows add-on at some unspecified extra fee, be bundled as part of a package by hardware manufacturers or bought from a third party and installed by the end user. There are also some free players out there that users could install.

Microsoft says licensing fees for the decoder is one reason for the decision. Another is that fewer and fewer PC hardware platforms come with optical drives, so it just doesn’t make sense to include DVD video support on all of them that run Windows 8, Microsoft says.

ChkDsk gets better

In Windows 8, the ChkDsk utility that looks for and fixes disk problems has been made less disruptive, according to the Building Windows 8 blog.

Currently ChkDsk deals with the disk as a whole and therefore the machine can’t be used while it is running. In Windows 8, the checks can be made in the background so users can keep working on the machines. If ChkDsk finds problems, it notes them and fixes them straight away when the machine is taken offline, reducing the downtime needed to fix disk problems.

Article source: http://pcworld.co.nz/pcworld/pcw.nsf/news/windows-8-update-firefox-chrome-cry-foul-over-windows-8-arm

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12 May 12 Windows 8 Update: Firefox, Chrome cry foul over Windows 8 ARM


Microsoft is taking heat from browser competitors Firefox and Chrome for blocking them out of planned Windows 8 devices that will be based on ARM processors.

These low-power machines will run Windows RT, which Microsoft describes as a new member of its Windows operating system family that won’t allow installing third-party software.

HARD TIME: 10 Tech CEOs sent to the slammer 

Firefox maker Mozilla says that means it won’t be able to devise a version of its browser to run on Windows RT machines, something it says kills competition and is ultimately bad for customers.

“In practice, this means that only Internet Explorer will be able to perform many of the advanced computing functions vital to modern browsers in terms of speed, stability, and security to which users have grown accustomed,” writes Harvey Anderson, Mozilla general counsel in a blog post. “Given that IE can run in Windows on ARM, there is no technical reason to conclude other browsers can’t do the same.”

He also hints that allowing Internet Explorer but effectively blocking other browsers may stir up already settled legal issues about browser bias. “If Windows on ARM is simply another version of Windows on new hardware,” he writes, “it also runs afoul of the EC browser choice and seems to represent the very behavior the DOJ-Microsoft settlement sought to prohibit.”

Mozilla project manager Asa Dotzler expands on the perceived problem in a separate blog post in which he acknowledges that initially this will affect mostly tablets. But he says that as ARM processors are more widely used, Windows RT will have a bigger footprint. “ARM will be migrating to laptop PCs and all-in-one PCs very quickly,” Dotzler writes. “If you read Microsoft’s blog posts about Windows on ARM, you’ll see that they expect ARM PCs to cover the whole spectrum. ARM chips are already being used in servers. This is not a tablet-only concern.”

No word from Microsoft on this.

Windows 8 upgrades?

Microsoft plans a discount program for customers who buy Windows 7 computers this summer who later want to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, according to a CNET blog post that attributes the details to unnamed sources.

The intent apparently is to keep up sales of Windows 7 PCs during the run-up to the release of Windows 8, since customers might opt to wait a few months to buy the newer version.

It’s not a free upgrade, so customers would buy a Windows 7 PC, then pay more to install Windows 8 on it. Depending on the pricing of the two platforms, that could be more or less expensive than just waiting for Windows 8 and paying for it all at once. Presumably Microsoft has this all thought through.

HP bets its tablet future on Windows 8

HP CEO Meg Whitman says the company will start making tablets again after discontinuing them last year – and they will be based on the new Windows 8 operating system. No word on whether they will be x86 machines or ARM machines.

Whitman also pointed to new technology – memristors – that will eventually be worked into its PCs. A memristor is a resistor that also has memory in enough capacity that it could replace traditional storage in tablets and smartphones. No word on when they might come into play.

Lenovo plans Windows 8 convertible

Lenovo will come out with a Windows 8 version if its tablet/laptop that will take advantage of the operating systems support for traditional applications as well as its new touch-centric Metro aspect, the company’s president of products Peter Hortensius told a Wall Street Journal blogger.

The device will be similar to the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga that looks like a laptop, but if you want to use it as a tablet, the keyboard hinges back behind the screen.

Timeframe for the device: 12 months.

No DVD player

Windows 8 won’t support playing DVD videos, at least not out of the box. Support for optical players has to come from either a Windows add-on at some unspecified extra fee, be bundled as part of a package by hardware manufacturers or bought from a third party and installed by the end user. There are also some free players out there that users could install.

Microsoft says licensing fees for the decoder is one reason for the decision. Another is that fewer and fewer PC hardware platforms come with optical drives, so it just doesn’t make sense to include DVD video support on all of them that run Windows 8, Microsoft says.

ChkDsk gets better

In Windows 8, the ChkDsk utility that looks for and fixes disk problems has been made less disruptive, according to the Building Windows 8 blog.

Currently ChkDsk deals with the disk as a whole and therefore the machine can’t be used while it is running. In Windows 8, the checks can be made in the background so users can keep working on the machines. If ChkDsk finds problems, it notes them and fixes them straight away when the machine is taken offline, reducing the downtime needed to fix disk problems.

(Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at tgreene@nww.com and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Tim_Greene)

Read more about software in Network World’s Software section.

Article source: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/software/3357289/windows-8-update-firefox-chrome-cry-foul-over-windows-8-arm/

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01 Apr 12 Google April Fools’ Day Pranks 2012: 8-Bit Maps, Chrome Multitask Mode & More!


For Google, April Fools’ Day is the annual launch day for a slew of gag products and hoax services you’ll likely never see in real life. Google’s practical jokes began a day early in 2012, with 8-Bit Google Maps, Chrome Multitask Mode making their debut, then continued early this morning with the YouTube Collection, Google Racing, Click-to-Teleport search ads, and much more.

Here’s a recap of all the April Fools’ Day fun from this year.

Google 8-Bit Maps for NES

Like Google Maps? Still have your dusty old Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the back of your closet or up in your attic? Then you’re in luck.

Google is finally adding support for the classic video game system with the launch of 8-bit maps, touting “low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack.” You can explore the world and find landmarks, including:

google-8-bit-maps-white-house

The White House and Washington Monument

google-maps-8-bit-mount-rushmore

Mount Rushmore in South Dakota

statue-of-liberty-8-bit-google-maps

The Statue of Liberty in New York City

st-louis-arch-google-maps-8-bit

St. Louis Arch in Missouri

hollywood-sign-google-8-bit-maps

Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California

googleplex-google-maps-8-bit

The Googleplex in Mountain View, California

space-needle-google-maps-8-bit

Space Needle in Seattle, Washington

area-51-google-maps-8-bit

Area 51

eiffel-tower-google-maps-8-bit

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

louvre-google-maps-8-bit

Louvre Museum in Paris, France

taj-mahal-google-maps-8-bit

Taj Mahal in Agra, India

leaning-tower-pisa-google-maps-8-bit

Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy

rome-colosseum

Roman Colosseum

pyramids-sphinx-google-maps-8-bit

Sphinx Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt

chichen-itza-google-maps-8-bit

Chichen Itza, Mexico

easter-island-google-maps-8-bit

Easter Island

parthenon-google-maps-8-bit

Parthenon in Athens, Greece

kremlin-google-maps-8-bit

Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

great-buddha-google-maps-8-bit

Great Buddha of Kamakura, Japan

nazca-lines-google-maps-8-bit

Nazca Lines in Nasca, Peru

(Seen any other cool 8-bit Google Maps landmarks? Leave a note in the comments!)

This video offers a full walk-through and preview. The “trial version” is available at Google Maps in Quest Mode:

Chrome Multitask Mode

Cursing because you only have one cursor? Say hello to the ambinavigation revolution known as Chrome Multitask Mode.

Thanks to Google’s unending need for speed, you can surf the web with both hands by using more than one mouse on the same computer. Or, surf with your friends or loved ones at the same time.

Here’s where you can try out Multitask Mode. Here’s a video explaining it:

All of YouTube Put on a DVD

youtube-dvd-collection

YouTube joined in with an April Fools’ Day hoax of its own. In a post on the YouTube Blog, Chet Flanagan, director of DVD product management, asked, “Loved a video so much that liking it, favoriting it, sharing it and even subscribing to the channel wasn’t enough? Just had to hold it in your grasp and never ever let it go?” He added, “We know the feeling, so today we’re making The YouTube Collection available for you in a new holdable version: DVD. A direct result of your feedback and demand, The YouTube Collection is a first of its kind offering in web video.”

Here’s a video outlining the details.

Google Racing: Self-Driving NASCAR Race Cars

google-racing

For those who enjoy spending Sunday afternoons watching cars speed around a track at 200 miles per hour but don’t like all that crashing, now there’s a Google racing team. Partnering with NASCAR, Google’s fleet of autonomous vehicle will duel against carbon-based life forms.

“I hope that today’s announcement of Google Racing will mark another step along this path, and spur innovations that improve the daily lives of people all over the world,” wrote Google co-founder Sergey Brin. “Or at the very least offer us a few cool new thrills on hot weekend afternoons.”

Note that the car number is 10^100 (known as a googol in mathematics – the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes) and the car slogan is “I’m steering lucky”, a play on Google’s long-time “I’m feeling lucky” search option that brings searchers to the No. 1 result rather than showing an entire search engine results page.

Gmail Tap

gmail-tip-learn

Google has revealed its futuristic binary language made up of dots and dashes for Android and iOS users on the go: Gmail Tap, which reduces 26 keys to 2.

Gmail also introduced multi-email, allowing power users to double their productivity by typing multiple emails at once, predictive text mode, and optional audio feedback.

Google Street Roo View

google-roo-view

To provide panoramic pictures of the Australian outback, Google has announced Google Street Roo. The search giant plans to equip more than 1,000 kangaroos with 360-degree cameras powered by solar panels stitched into custom-made “roo jackets” to capture images as they hop around during daylight hours. The goal is to capture images of 98 percent of the area within three years.

We’re all holding our breath to find out whether any kangaroos will file privacy complaints with the Australian government.

Click-to-Teleport

teleport-me-google-adwords

Phone calls and website visits are so old-fashioned. Now when people click on a search ad, Google will teleport through time and space – directly to a business location.

For advertisers, Google says you should:

  • Optimize for closest location: Least disorienting for visitors, and helps you maintain a local feeling.
  • Optimize for conversions: Teleports visitors to locations where your customers are most likely to convert.
  • Rotate evenly: Teleports visitor to a random business location and helpful for avoiding overcrowded business locations.

Good news for advertisers: offline sales have increased by a whopping 3,600 percent. Bad news for users and businesses: while Click-to-Teleport is in beta, there is no “teleport back home” option.

Google Really Advanced Search

Sometimes Advanced Search isn’t enough. Now if you need to search with new options, Google Really Advanced Search has you covered for the following:

  • Rhyming slang for
  • This exact word or phrase, whose sum of unicode code points is a mersenne prime
  • Font
  • Content that is true
  • will have been modified
  • Embarrassing grammatical faux pas
  • Looping midi music in the genre of

Not enough? You can also “tickle a unicorn”; “download our ranking code so you can run Google at home”; and “search by odor”.

Fittingly, clicking on any of those, or the blue Advanced Search button will take you to the search results page for “april fools”.

Control the Weather!

google-weather-control

Says Google: “Don’t like the weather? Now you can change it in your region by selecting from the dropdown to change precipitation and setting your own temperature.”

Choose the temperature along with whatever weather conditions (e.g., sunny, foggy, windy, rain, thunderstorm). Then click the “Update weather” button. Google explains that it will take 45 minutes to update and you must agree to be responsible for the weather (if you’re too afraid, you can click “Dismiss”)!

Google Fiber: It’s Fiberlicious!

The company introduced Google Fiber. No, it’s not a fiber optic network. Google Fiber starts with 100 times more fiber than any source of fiber available today.

Tested in labs across Google’s Mountain View campus, the company found that in just the right synthesis, psyllium and vitamins C and D morph into a byproduct that Google has coded as “Fiberlicious.” This smarter fiber delivers just what the body needs to sustain activity, energy and productivity up to 100 times more than you have experienced before.

Google Voice for Pets

Next, the company introduced Google Voice for Pets! Now, you might ask yourself, “Google Voice … for my pets? How is that even possible? There’s only a few bluetooth headsets that can fit my dog, and they’re so expensive!”

The secret is in Google’s special Voice Communication Collars. The collars fit around your pet’s neck and use a series of sensors to record audio directly from your dog or cat’s vocal cords, using technology originally developed for NASA spacesuits.

Jargot-bot for Google Apps

The company also introduced Jargon-bot for Google Apps. Have you seen the National Car Rental commercial that talks about improving ROI through SEO by COB? Well, Jargon-Bot will automatically detect business jargon or business speak and provide you with real-time translation in plain English. (Actually, it’s more American than English. But, it’s definitely not Australian, Canadian, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh.)

Go Ro

Finally, Google introduced Go Ro. Now, you know that millions of people are using mobile devices every day, but did you know that dozens are still using rotary phones? And did you know that 100 percent of people using rotary phones have trouble accessing your website? Well, if you’re ready to prepare for the return of rotary, then you know it’s time to Go Ro!

Google Offers: $1 Buy Good Parking Karma

google-offer-karma

For the low, low price of $1, some lucky participants scooped up the latest deal from Google Offers: a lifelong boost of good parking karma. After redeeming with the parking gods, you’ll no longer have to worry about runaway shopping carts, tow away zones, parking tickets, or even parallel parking – all thanks to the new prime spots that will become available to you.

Note: We’ll be updating this post throughout the day if/when more spoofs are uncovered. If you spot any other funny pranks from Google, other search engines, social networks, or tech companies, let us know in the comments! Also let us know what you think of this year’s edition of jokes. Also, Search Engine Watch checked in with a couple spoof news posts of our own: Google+ Bowling: Real Life Bowling Rethought for Real Life and Exclusive Interview on Search Engine Industry Issues With Sloof Lirpa.

Google April Fools’ Day Hoaxes History: 2000-2011

In 2000, Google asked users to “project a mental image of what you want to find” while staring at the MentalPlex circle. When we clicked (or visualized clicking) within the MentalPlex circle, we got an error message that said, “Error 01: Brainwaves received in analog. Please re-think in digital.”

In 2002, Google revealed the technology behind its great results – PigeonRank – which used low cost pigeon clusters (PCs) to compute the relative value of web pages. Google explained, “Those pages receiving the most pecks are returned at the top of the user’s results page with the other results displayed in pecking order.”

In 2004, the Google Copernicus Center announced it was interviewing candidates for engineering positions at a lunar hosting and research center, which was opening late in the spring of 2007.

In 2005, the company announced Google Gulp (BETA) with Auto-Drink (LIMITED RELEASE), a line of “smart drinks” designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty.

In 2006, the company announced Google Romance, a place where you can post all types of romantic information and, using Google’s Soulmate Search, get back search results that could, in theory, include the love of your life.

In 2007, the company announced the launch of Google TiSP (BETA) . The Toilet Internet Service Provider (TiSP) project was a self-installed, ad-supported online service that was offered entirely free to any consumer with a WiFi-capable PC and a toilet connected to a local municipal sewage system.

In 2008, Google announced Project Virgle, a joint project with the Virgin Group to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. The announcement included videos on projectvirgle’s channel on YouTube.

Also that year, YouTube participated in Google’s April Fools’ Day tradition for the first time. All featured videos on YouTube’s linked to “Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up,” causing all users of the website who clicked on featured videos to be Rickrolled.

In 2009, Google announced CADIE, the world’s first Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity. She immediately assumed control of the company and its products and services.

That year, YouTube gave some users a look at a new “viewing experience” when they selected a video within the “recommended for you” section. This new interface caused the whole layout including the video you were watching to flip upside down.

In 2010, Google announced it was changing its name to Topeka, after that city changed its name to Google the previous month.

At the same time, YouTube unveiled a new quality setting, TEXTp. According to a notice underneath videos, viewing a video with this quality setting enabled allowed YouTube to save one US dollar ($1) per second on bandwidth costs.

In 2011, Google rolled out Comic Sans as its default font across all Google products (one of many pranks). YouTube celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. In honor of this milestone, the video site’s homepage was a reproduction of how users might have viewed it in 1911. It also featured the “Top 5 Viral Pictures of 1911.”

Search Engine Watch also learned about the Bamboo Update, to restore websites rankings from Google’s Panda update.

Greg Jarboe also contributed to this post.

SES Toronto 2012 is June 11-13. Register before May 11 and save up to $300!

Article source: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2165162/Google-April-Fools-Day-Pranks-2012-8-Bit-Maps-Chrome-Multitask-Mode-More

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31 Jan 12 A looker and a worker all in one


Looks

The Nissan Titan has a unique look and one can easily distinguish it over its competition.

Twenty-inch chrome wheels are added to the P275/60R20 BSW tires, and a set of chrome step rails, fog lights and a power moonroof are also added. For those that want this truck for off-road purposes, there is a new Pro-4x package available which includes an electronic locking rear differential, Rancho shocks, and a set of underbody skid plates.

In the cab

The interior of the Titan is very spacious. Up front the seats are leather and heated, and the driver seat features eight-way power adjustments, the passenger four-way. Between the seats is a fold-down armrest/ centre console combination, and the rear seats are a 60/40 split, that fold up for extra storage.

The stereo is a Rockford Fosgate and is equipped with 10 speakers, AM/FM/6CD with Mp3 playback and an available through subscription XM satellite radio. There is an optional DVD player with 8� fold down monitor with wireless headphones.

Safety first

This vehicle features dual stage driver and passenger airbags, a side curtain impact airbag, front seat supplemental side airbag, and a rollover sensor. Other standard safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring system, and rear backup sensors.

Power

A 5.6-litre, 32 valve V8 engine with 317 hp powers this Titan, and is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. With 385 lbs.-ft of torque, a tow haul mode, and a 9,100 lbs. towing capacity, this truck is ready to tow.

Pump frequency:

17.7 /12.1 L/100 km (city/highway)

Warranty support

3 year/ 60,000 km complete warranty

3 year roadside assistance

3 year travel planning service

5 year/ 100,000 km powertrain warranty

5 year unlimited km corrosion perforation

Roadworthy

The Nissan Titan has definitely had a following over the years thanks to its reliability, and is highly visibility for its CFL sponsorship. I have always liked this truck. The sound of its exhaust reminds me of aftermarket exhaust systems and I really like the storage box built into the bottom rear section of the truck box, a perfect place to keep emergency kit or jumper cables. The truck box has a factory sprayed bed liner and the utili-track cargo system is a great idea. You can add a tool box and have it slide forward or back to make it easier to access your gear. The heavy duty cleats are perfect to tie down items and are movable to position your cargo where you want it.

Verdict

Driving the Titan around town for the week reminds me how far pickup trucks have come. Comfort and handling were something you would not expect in a pickup. The truck drives beautifully and handles like a car with the ability to tow a car.

Sticker price

$52,733 as tested

Ian Harwood is the Corporate Sales and Operations Manager of Custom Truck Parts in Western Canada. Contact him at truckguy@customtruckpartsinc.com

Article source: http://www.vancouversun.com/looker+worker/6074331/story.html

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11 Jan 12 Mopar Announced 150 Accessories For Dodge Dart


As one of the most strategic new products, Dodge has invested heavily in the 2013 Dart sedan. So it’s only natural for their performance arm Mopar to pay special attention to it.

They have in fact announced a menu with more than 150 Mopar accessories and performance parts for customers to enhance their Dart with. And don’t think it’s all full of rubbish, with stuff like plastic badges, stupid graphics.

Some of the options offered are very clever and very useful. Items like the industry-first wireless charging, in-car Wi-Fi and Vehicle Tracking System, they are all very brilliant. There is also a wide range of Mopar styling features including body kits, wheels, chrome parts, and also interior trims to choose from.

Here’s a list of selected items from the Mopar catalog. You can see a full list of accessories at Mopar website or Dodge dealerships.

Performance Styled Hood: Carbon fiber scooped hood, designed to give the vehicle an aggressive and sporty appearance.

Performance Braking Upgrade: Upgraded calipers, rotors and performance pads provide increased braking power.

Unique Grille: Chrome aluminum, replaces production grille below the bumper to provide a unique appearance.

Grille Cross-hatch Insert: Carbon fiber-style finish, attaches to Dodge cross hatch over grille area, perfect for enhancing the “tuner” image.

18-inch Wheels: Unique Mopar design, polished spokes and black-painted pockets.

Rear-air Diffuser: Matte Black, attaches to rear fascia to provide a unique look to the rear of the vehicle. Designed to coordinate with Chin Spoiler.

Front Fascia Appliqué: Chrome-plated appliqué slides over front/center bumper area to provide a bright front-end appearance.

Front Chin Spoiler: Matte Black, attaches to front fascia to give more aggressive look to the front end.

Side Sills: Matte Black, attaches to side rocker panels to provide a sportier appearance. Designed to coordinate with Front Chin Spoiler and Rear-air Diffuser to provide a unique appearance.

Rear Deck Lid Spoiler: Matte Black, attaches to rear deck lid for a sporty appearance.

Chrome Fuel Door: Made of chrome aluminum, replaces production fuel door. Coordinates with Chrome Mirror Covers and stainless steel B-pillar appliqué.

Chrome Mirror Cover: Chrome-plated, replaces production mirror cover.

B-Pillar Appliqué Polished stainless steel, attaches to b-pillar area to enhance appearance.

Pedal Kit: Bright finish, attaches to gas and brake pedals to enhance driver’s foot well appearance.

Industry-first Wireless Charging: With a higher demand on power from phones and other battery-powered devices, this new wireless charging system allows driver to set electronic devices in a specified charging zone and charge without wires. This is accomplished by creating a virtually invisible charging zone in the vehicle instrument panel or center stack. Energy is then transferred from the charging pad to the device battery, utilizing a compatible device-specific case.

Industry-first Wi-Fi: Allows owners to utilize electronic devices as far as 150 feet from the vehicle. Each passenger may separately access the Web on the go. In-vehicle router receives 3G broadband Internet, allowing access to social media, maps, e-mail, online games, music and more. Works with Wi-Fi enabled device. Subscription required and sold separately.

Industry-first Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): Mopar’s system is powered by Guidepoint Systems, the leader in GPS-enabled stolen-vehicle recovery systems. Unlike other vehicle-tracking systems, the Mopar EVTS offers nationwide tracking without a subscription.

Mopar-First Features
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

  • Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
  • 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
  • Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
  • WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network

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Article source: http://www.motorward.com/2012/01/mopar-announced-150-accessories-for-dodge-dart/

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