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Aug 23, 2011

Nokia N9 Coming Soon to UK via Mobile Fun

Nokia N9, the first and only MeeGo-based mobile phone from Nokia, is expected to become available for purchase in the UK in the not-too-distant future, a retailer in the country has just announced. 

The guys over at Mobile Fun have confirmed last week that they were planning on bringing the Nokia N9 smartphone to the UK market, and they said that this should happen in the near future. 

“Here at Mobile Fun, we’re happy to say that we will be offering the handset, unlocked and sim free, in the very near future,” the retailer notes in a blog post. 

The Nokia N9 was unveiled to the world a few months ago with a large 3.9" AMOLED screen and an all touch design, as well as with the MeeGo platform on board, but the UK was not among the countries listed as expected to receive the device. 

However, the retailer already lists the Nokia N9 on its website, and those interested in the device can head over to make pre-orders for it. 

Although the release date for the mobile phone is not known at the moment, we do know the price tag the SIM free Nokia N9 should feature when available, namely £519.95, VAT included. 

“Nokia N9 is so easy to use it doesn't need any menu buttons. In any app, swiping from any edge takes you home – so you can move easily between your activities,” the retailer notes. 

“The hardware and software design complement each other beautifully – the curved edges of the glass help make the swipe motion smooth and effortless.”

Nokia might not be planning the direct marketing of Nokia N9 on the UK market, but it seems that enthusiasts will still be able to purchase the device. 

Those who would like to reserve a MeeGo-based Nokia N9 before it becomes available in the UK should head over to Mobile Fun here today.

Clean the Windows Context Menu - Context Menu Editor 1.0

Dealing with a crowded context menu is unpleasant and the possibilities to solve this problem aren’t that many. The software category aimed at this kind of situation has yet to meet a few outstanding additions, but some of the existing ones are still reliable. This is where Context Menu Editor fits in, a small utility that cleans up your context menu from unwanted items.

A messy context menu is just the worst and anyone who’s held on to their Windows installation for more than a couple of months can subscribe to that. The more software you install on your system, the more the context menu items start piling up, making it harder to even spot a certain shortcut, when there are so many of them claiming a piece of your right-click menu. Now, if you’re an advanced user and you can allow yourself to tackle the Windows registry, the big fuss isn’t even worth mentioning. On the other hand, if you’re in the beginner camp, playing around with the system settings is not advisable and it isn’t as comfortable as a dedicated piece of software that can handle this matter for you. 
Context Menu Editor is the simplest approach I came across while desperately searching for a quick method to get rid of these annoying shortcuts. Not only does it allow you to clean up the file and folder context menus, but it also grants you access to the Internet Explorer right-click menu and allows you to choose whatever it is that you want to show up in them. 

Since it’s free of charge, why not give it a shot? It installs in a few clicks and doesn’t claim any special conditions to be run, so even owners of lesser configurations should be able to use it just fine. 

Simplicity is what the developer had in mind when he designed this app and this is reflected in ease of use and modest looks. The interface of the program is the first evidence of that, claiming your attention in a non-intrusive way, not with visual incentives, but by means of functionality. It’s not cool looking, but it aims for quick understanding of its features and thus, benefits all the user categories in the audience.

The main and only window of Context Menu Editor is divided into several areas, but they’re organized enough so as to not give you the impression of crowdedness. The first field is the one that lets you choose which context menu you wish to tweak: the one belonging to files and folders or the one linked to Internet Explorer. 

Depending on your selection, the application will display all the items belonging to that specific menu and just next to these listings you’ve got a section with a short item description (as provided by the company that issued the software to which it belongs), the location of the shell extension and a few details related to the company, file version and also, product name and version. In some cases, these fields would be empty, but this is most probably due to the companies that hold the copyright for the software applications in question. 

When you decide it’s time to remove a context menu item, all you need to do is select it and press the ‘Delete From Menu’ button, at which point a notification window will be displayed, warning you about the consequences of the deletion. Without a doubt (and we checked), the removal is permanent, at least for the most part of the menu items, so choose really carefully which of them you want out.

Even though it claims to clean all the shortcuts produced by various software, we found that to be somewhat untrue. In some cases, the application fails to even list items present in the context menu. Two quick examples supporting this theory are VLC and Winamp, which were not recognized by the application, but were nonetheless present in the context menu of the system. 

The deletion process it performs appears to be flawed as well, at least in some cases. For the most part of the context menu items, it did its job nicely, but it appeared to encounter some issues while dealing with some important software packs, such as WinRar or 7-zip. The problem with it is that it only cleans the file context menu and fails to do the same with folder items (even though it removes that menu’s listing from its main window). Even though this is not always the case (it performed impeccable when faced with context menu items belonging to antivirus software, for instance), it's nevertheless a downside that doesn't work in anyone's favor.

On the bright side, the effect of the deletion is immediate. It won’t require you to perform a system restart or any other operation for that matter. Items will vanish from the context menu as soon as you hit the ‘Delete button’ and they will be gone forever, which brings us to the issue of a backup feature, one that Context Menu Editor does not provide at this point. 

Bottom line, Context Menu Editor does a great job at tweaking the context menu of files and a lesser job at cleaning the one belonging to folders. As for the IE menu, we encountered no problems during our tests.

Download here

Windows 8 USB 3.0 Support Should Be Backported to Windows 7 via SP2

As Microsoft announced USB 3.0 support in Windows 8, I don’t think I was the only one thinking: “But what about Windows 7?”

The promise from Microsoft is that all over 10 billion USB devices will work with USB 3.0 when connected to Windows 8 computers. 

Backwards compatibility covers compatibility with current full, low, and high speed devices down to the plugs, revealed Dennis Flanagan, the Director of Program Management for the Devices and Networking group. 

“Perhaps the most important aspect of USB 3.0 is the expectation that customers have of USB: it’s just USB3 so it should just work, right? Each and every USB device, low, full, high, and SuperSpeed, has to work in Windows 8. That's our focus while also delivering the most robust and reliable USB stack,” Flanagan stated. 

At the same time, users will undoubtedly want to plug USB 3.0 devices into machines running Windows 7 and earlier, and have the technologies work seamlessly together. 

One simple solution is for the software giant to backport USB 3.0 support to Windows 7 via Service Pack 2 (SP2). Since there are no upcoming service packs expected for Windows XP and Windows Vista, these two platforms might never get to fully play nice with USB 3.0. 

But considering the fact that Windows 7 and Windows 8 are closely related compared to older releases of Windows, backporting USB 2.0 support seems doable. 

This especially since the Redmond company can use the second upgrade for Windows 7 as the delivery method of the evolution of USB support. 

Microsoft is currently hard at work building Windows 7 SP2 in parallel with Windows 8. There have no details shared with the public on Windows 7 SP2, especially as more and more information on Windows 8 is revealed. 

Still, I have no doubt that USB 3.0 support is on the wish lists of many Windows 7 users, even more so now that it’s coming to Windows 8. 

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