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Jul 8, 2012

Facebook, Twitter, Gmail Will Be Built into Firefox




Mozilla has a very clear view on its mission, to make it easier for people to experience the web, in all it forms, and to make the web better. Part of that means creating better web technologies and standards and part of it means making Firefox better.

One thing that Mozilla wants is to free up users from having to rely on various proprietary platforms for what should be basic web functionality, identity and authentication for one. But Mozilla has been working on "liberating" users in another way, by building social tools into Firefox itself. Mozilla has been experimenting with this for a while, the F1 sharing add-on which later became Firefox Share, for example, but the experimentation period is done, social is now built into Firefox. The first social-related feature will land in Firefox 16 Nightly this week, the ability to share things you stumble upon on the web with friends. In practice, this means the ability to share a link via Twitter, Facebook, Google+,, Gmail or whatever platform you prefer. Or all of them if that's what you want. It's unclear what platforms Firefox will support at first, but the goal is to have as many as possible.

Moving further, Mozilla plans to expand the social features in Firefox. The next step is to add support for notifications into the browser, meaning you'll know when new tweets arrive in your feed, when you have new emails, or when someone has commented on your Facebook photos. After that, Mozilla plans to build a unified newsfeed into Firefox as well as a chat feature. Basically, you'll be able to do in Firefox everything you'd do on Twitter, Facebook and so on. That's the goal at least, it's probably going to take a while to get there. All of this is or will be made possible with the Social API, which Mozilla hopes will become the standard way of integrating social website functionality into browsers or, indeed, any other app.

Firefox Logo
Image credits to Paddy Donnelly

iPad mini Machined in China, Assembled in Brazil




A report from Japan says Apple has ordered its Chinese manufacturers to start producing the chassis of its next-generation “iPad mini,” with plans to have it assembled in Latin America.

A somewhat reliable source of Apple rumors, Japanese blog Macotakara is citing its sources as saying that the rumored 7.85-inch iPad mini might be assembled in Brazil, presumably at the same Foxconn factories that manufacture some of the current-generation iPads and iPhones. The Japanese site further states that the actual carving of the aluminum shell housing the tablet’s internals - the “machining,” as Apple refers to the process - is being done in China. Apple has been reportedly plotting a massacre in the tablet industry, and the biggest blow is said to come from this so-called mini iPad that will offer tremendous value at a sweet-spot price point. “…production phase of this tablet will be started since September, and this tablet should be shipped until holiday season, but announcement will not be so soon,” according to the source in question.

The tablet is said to have 3G cellular radios and about the same form factor as the Nexus 7, albeit a tad wider. It might be as thin as the current-generation iPod touch players, the source, which reportedly saw a prototype, added. “This source, who seems to look a prototype, told that new tablet (iPad mini?) had same hight with Nexus 7 and slight larger width. Even though front projection size is larger than rivals, thickness of that new tablet is considered to be thinner than current most thinnest tablet Kindle Fire, and to be similar with iPod touch (4th generation) by this source.” Furthermore, the report suggests (albeit quite vaguely) that such a mini iPad would be comparable to the 3rd generation iPod nano, from various standpoints.

Touching down on the next-generation iPhone from Apple, the source added as a final note that that Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes is “getting closer to truth,” in terms of specs and launch date (which is said to be September).

iPad mini mockup by John Anastasidis
Image credits to iMore

Windows 8 RTM to Go Up to Build 8506




Microsoft is moving closer to making its Windows 8 operating system available in a final flavor, but will have to get through the RTM milestone first, and some more info on the builds that will emerge in the process has been recently unveiled.

Apparently, the final RTM flavor of Windows 8 won’t land as build 8500, something that many believed would happen, but will get past that. Thus, info that surfaced over at WinUnleaked shows that Windows 8 RTM builds will reach 8506, although there will be RTM Escrow 8500 builds as well. At the moment, Microsoft is working on the pre-release to manufacturing flavor of Windows 8, which will feature builds ranging from 8411 to 8440. As soon as it gets things in order for the next milestone, the company will compile the final RTM builds and get ready for the general availability of the platform, sometime in October.

The list of RTM builds that WinUnleaked has managed to grab shows numbers running from 8436.0.winmain_win8rtm.120618-2000 (RTM Escrow) and going all the way up to 8506.0.winmain_win8rtm.120630-1900 (RTM Candidate)According to rumors, there are roughly three weeks left until the RTM flavor of Windows 8 is made available, about two months before the final release is set to arrive on shelves. Compared to the currently available Windows 8 Release Preview, the RTM milestone should bring along a set of performance enhancements throughout the operating system, as well as various graphical changes that many users might not approve of.

Microsoft will remove the Aero Glass from the next Windows 8 releases, after having it available in Windows Vista, Windows 8 and pre-release flavor of the next-gen OS. We should also see changes brought to interaction fields in the upcoming release, along with sharpened edges on windows, and the like.

Windows 8 Logo
Image credits to Microsoft

Toshiba 21:9 Ultrabook Has 1,792 x 768 Display




Ultrabooks have been dragging themselves along, due to being too expensive, among other things, but there are some models that deserve a mention or two.

Toshiba's U840W is one of them, even though it does nothing to convince the common man that ultrabooks are what he should buy. In fact, it is one of the more inaccessible of its kind, since the hardware it is made out of demands a higher tag than the rest. That doesn't mean it isn't an interesting thing to behold though. Indeed, it might be one of the most unusual models so far built, in no small measure thanks to the screen. For one, the LCD (liquid crystal display) measures 14.4 inches, instead of the 11.6 or 13.3 inches common for this sort of notebook. More importantly though, the aspect ratio is one that rarely sees use: 21:9 (16:9 is common nowadays, arguably more than 4:3 even). In order for that aspect ratio to be possible, the native resolution had to be strange as well: 1,792 x 768 pixels.

Most of the other hardware specs are in line with Intel's ultrabook directives: USB 3.0 (three ports), various other connectors and plugs (LAN, memory card slot, etc.), Wi-Fi, built-in speakers (Harman Kardon), etc. Only the top RAM capacity is on the high side (10 GB). Chippy, from Ultrabook News, is the one that scored a hands-on experience with the U840W, having visited Toshiba Germany recently. The video is embedded below and has guest appearances by Toshiba U840 and Z930. For our part, we feel that perhaps the whole aspect ratio thing is being taken a bit too far. It is already troublesome that PC and monitor makers seem to have largely forgotten about 4:3, but at least we can understand the quest to provide good cinematic experiences. The jump from 16:9 to 21:9 does not really add much to the enjoyment of movies, so we doubt the latter aspect ratio will become anything more than a small niche.

Toshiba U840W
Image credits to Ultrabook News

Gigabyte AMD “Tahiti 2”Overclocking Monster Pictured




Many of our readers have already seen Gigabyte’s WindForce 5X cooling system mounted on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 680 GPUs. So now we’re quite surprised to see that an AMD “Tahiti 2” based design is almost ready for prime time although we’re still waiting for the GTX 680 WindForce 5X.

The likely naming scheme is Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 SuperClock WindowsForce 5X and the cooling system includes a massive vapor chamber solution that’s cooled by five 40 millimeters fans as reported by VideoCardz. Gigabyte’s Windforce 5x is practically cooled by five 40 mm diameter fans that will probably generate some serious noise. However, they will, most likely, offer more efficient cooling than fans that blow air in all directions. Gigabyte used a huge, three-slot wide cooling system that has a vapor chamber at the bottom that’s taking the heat of the GPU and the on board memory. The heatsink attached to the vapor chambers is likely improved by five 8 mm huge heatpipes that are increasing the heat transfer from the vapor chamber top the rest of the heatsink. The densely packed heatsink fins are topped with a metal plate, creating vertical tunnels through which the 40 mm top situated cooling fans will pull fresh air coming from the bottom of the card.

The fact that the air is travelling through the small space between the heatsink fins for a smaller distance is actually a significant improvement. If a back blowing turbine-like fan tried to push air through the entire length of the video card instead of its height as fins are oriented now, the rotational speed would have had to be much higher, and the cooling efficiency would have been considerably lower. The thing is that pushing air through such long “tunnels” between the tightly packed fins leads to increase air friction between the air and the “tunnel” walls, and the rotation speed of the fan must be greatly increased to manage to push the air through the entire length of the “tunnel”. There is also the problem of efficiency, as the air already pre-heated by the heat taken of some of the board’s components will be blown off over the fins that are meant to cool other components. There is n word on pricing yet, but AMD’s “Tahity 2” is a very overclockable GPU that will make it worth it.









Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 SuperClock WindowsForce 5X
Images credits to Gigabyte

BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9981 Gets OS 7.1 Update in Indonesia




RIM has just announced the immediate availability of OS 7.1 upgrade for BlackBerry Porsche P’9981 in Indonesia. However, only devices purchased through Indosat and XL Indonesia are eligible for this update.

Built in collaboration with Porsche Design, this premium smartphone was launched back in December and is currently available on the market for around $2,200 USD (1,775 EUR) outright. Customers who own the Porsche Design P’9981 can now download OS 7.1.0.523 software update via BlackBerry Desktop Manager. Keep in mind that it’s best to make sure you have the latest version of RIM’s desktop software.

Some of the new features added by BlackBerry OS 7.1 include Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, BlackBerry Tag with NFC sharing, as well as other performance enhancements to Facebook, Twitter, SMS & MMS Messaging, BlackBerry Music, Camera, HD Video Playback, and BlackBerry Maps. via CrackBerry

BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9981
Image credits to RIM

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