Sunday, 29 November 2009

Microsoft enables Silverlight video streaming to iPhones

Apple hasn't suddenly changed its mind about allowing browser plug-ins for the iPhone, but Microsoft worked some server magic to enable Silverlight-encoded video to be served to an iPhone using the standard HTML5 <video> tag.

At PDC 2009, Microsoft demonstrated Silverlight video streaming to an iPhone. While Microsoft user experience platform manager Brian Goldfarb said that Microsoft "worked with Apple" to make it happen, don't expect plug-ins for Mobile Safari to start flooding the App Store. Instead, Microsoft worked to make its IIS7 server software capable of sending an QuickTime-compatible stream to an iPhone embedded with a HTML5 <video> tag.

Though Silverlight is more than just a video format—it's more of .NET authoring runtime for web-based applications, much like Flash as become—its media delivery features are what content providers wanted on the iPhone. "The promise of Silverlight is that it's a cross-device, cross-browser, cross-platform solution, and it works the same on Macs as it does on Windows," Goldfarb told BetaNews. "The iPhone is a unique scenario. We talked to our customers...and they said, 'Look, we just need to get our content there, and it's mainly in the media space like broadcasting, and we want to put it on the iPhone.'"

The true extent of "working with Apple," though, has more to do with making sure the system would work and that Apple didn't disapprove. "We did all the work," Goldfarb said. "We just made sure Apple was comfortable with it. We have to have a strong partnership with our partners, we have to have trust, and that's key."

What Microsoft did was enable IIS Media Services respond to requests from an iPhone and transcode on-demand to H.264 format in an MPEG-2 transport stream, the exact same format used by Apple's proposed HTTP Live Streaming protocol. "So it's the same IIS smooth streaming content, the same server, the same point of origin, but now I can get that content to play without any code changes, without any real work, on the iPhone," Goldfarb explained. "That's the critical thing for our customers."

We won't be seeing an Silverlight runtime (nor a Flash one, for that matter) popping up on the iPhone. But content providers already using or considering IIS Media Services won't have to encode video separately or maintain a separate content delivery system for serving their content to the hottest mobile platform. So the real question is, when can I start streaming Netflix to my iPhone?

10 Alternatives To Mininova

After nearly five years of loyal service, Mininova disabled access to over a million torrent files when it partly shut down its website. Starting today, only approved publishers are able to upload files to the site, but luckily there are plenty of alternatives and potential replacements BitTorrent users can flock to.

With an impressive 175,820,430 visits and close to a billion page views in the last 30 days, Mininova set a record that they will be unable to break in the near future. Last August a Dutch court ruled that Mininova had to remove all links to ‘infringing’ torrent files, with disastrous consequences.

Since it is technically unfeasible to pre-approve or filter every potentially infringing torrent file, the Mininova team decided to throw in the towel and only allow torrents to be submitted by approved uploaders. This move resulted in the deletion of more than a million torrents, many of which were not infringing any copyrights at all.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of alternatives for those BitTorrent users who are looking for the latest Ubuntu, OpenSUSE or Fedora release.

Below we provide a random list of public torrent sites that are still open, but there are of course hundreds more sites we could have included. If your personal favorite is missing, feel free to post it in the comments below – preferably with your reasons why it should be included in any upcoming lists.

1. Torrentzap

2. Fenopy

3. ExtraTorrent

4. KickassTorrents

5. BTjunkie

5. Monova

7. isoHunt

8. yourBitTorrent

9. The Pirate Bay

10. ShareReactor

Update: The owner of Monova, told TorrentFreak that he has reserved all Mininova usernames for people who want to make the switch to his site. The account names can be claimed here. Also, I replaced some sites in the original top 10 because they went down or started to serve trojans,or viruses.

Comparing nuclear power, wind, and solar on land use efficiency

I'm a bright-green environmentalist (meaning that I'm pro-technology, pro-growth, etc. and not a crazy anarcho-primitivist type) that has recently joined the movement promoting nuclear power as the most practical solution to mitigating the worst effects of global warming.

As an environmentalist, I think that global warming is the most serious threat, but we also need to take into account the destruction of land to provide our energy sources. Obviously, coal is terrible on both accounts because it is a heavy carbon emitter and mining techniques such as mountain-top removal are destroying the environment.

The traditional approach for environmentalists has been to promote wind and solar power. Although they are significantly better options than coal, it is probably not possible to replace our entire energy grid with these technologies. The main reason is the intermittent nature of wind and solar that would require large grid energy storage technologies that aren't very mature yet to stabilize the system. The second reason, that I think is often overlooked by environmentalists, is because of the massive amount of land required to meet our electricity demand.

I am selecting three reference plants for comparison. To keep everything fair, I am only using plants currently online and not planned future plants. I attempted to use the largest plants in the world, but that really doesn't matter too much because I am concerned with power/area. If someone finds a plant that is significantly better in power/area than what I cited below (and it would change the implications of what I'm trying to say), please let me know. To make this comparison simpler and make it more favorable towards wind and solar, I am ignoring any issues related to intermittent generation.

The Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas is the the world's largest wind farm. It covers about 100,000 acres and generates 781.5 MW of electricity using 627 wind turbines.

The solar plant in Jumilla, Murcia, Spain is currently the world's largest solar plant. It covers about 100 hectares (247.105381 acres) and generates 23 MW of power with 120,000 solar panels.

Finally, the world's largest nuclear plant is the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. It generates 8,212 MW of power and uses 4.2 km^2 (1,037.8426 acres) of land using 7 Advanced Boiling Water reactors.

If we simply divide power output by land usage, we get the following ratios (which is in MW/acre):

Wind: 0.007815

Solar: 0.093078

Nuclear: 7.912568

This means that wind energy requires 1012 times more land than nuclear energy for the same power output and solar requires 85 times more land than nuclear energy for the same power output.

For example, to build renewable energy with the same power output as the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, 1,050,297 acres are needed for wind and 88,217 acres are needed for solar. This is a lot of land that has to be completely dominated by wind turbines or solar panels. Also, keep in mind that all of the material covering this land has to be mined and manufactured, which also has a footprint on the environment.

Finally, let's look at how much land is needed to supply all of the power consumed in the United States (I'm American, so that's what I'm working with). According to Wikipedia, the US consumed 29,000 TWh of energy in 2005 (which is obviously higher now). This number includes everything (transportation, electricity, heating, industrial processes, etc.). I am assuming that a future economy will use electricity for everything (electric cars, heat pumps, etc.) for simplicity. If I divide by the number of hours in a year (8,760), that is about 3.3 TW (or 3,300,000 MW) of power needed. Obviously, this is a bit simplified, but I am just doing this for illustration purposes.

Therefore, to generate all of our energy using current technology, we would need 417,058 acres of nuclear plants (which corresponds to about 402 nuclear plants like the one mentioned above), 35,454,135 acres of solar panels, or 422,264,875 acres of wind turbines. To put things in perspective, we would need to cover all of New York State in solar panels or all of Alaska in wind turbines to generate our 2005 energy usage. We also have to build a grid that can distribute all of that power from places where the wind blows (e.g. the great plains) and the sun shines (e.g. the sun belt) to where it is needed (primarily the Northeast corridor, California, Chicagoland, etc.).

Please also keep in mind that our energy demand is continually rising (which I view as a good thing because more energy = higher standard of living). Solar panels still have lots of room to get more efficient (such as through advanced nanotechnologies) and wind turbines may have some more improvement in efficiency. But I do not think the improvements in efficiency will make the land needs any better.

Overall, going all renewable is pretty much impossible given the massive amount of mining, manufacturing, and land required to do so (as well as dealing with the problem of intermittent generation). Also, using that much land would be incredibly disruptive to the environment. Nuclear power can solve climate change and do it within practical constraints. We should be doing it ASAP.

Finally, if you are going to reply and talk about the disadvantages of nuclear power, please don't waste your breath before you learn all about the Thorium Fuel Cycle, Molten Salt Reactors, and Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) in particular. I was once like you and preferred wind and solar over nuclear power because of the risks of nuclear technology. The LFTR technology I cited resolves the vast majority of the problems with nuclear power that you are concerned about (proliferation, nuclear waste, nuclear meltdowns, cost, peak Uranium, and most others) and this technology has been tested since the 60s. Please learn about this.

If you believe I made an arithmetic mistake, a factual error, or a bad assumption, please respond and I will correct it if I agree.

Friday, 20 November 2009


Great software to write to your blogs like bloger,wordpress,joomla and more

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, 25 September 2009

The Best Free Software of 2009

The best things in life often actually are free. Here, a list of 173 of the best things in life—free software, for launching apps, networking, backup, synchronization, entertainment, and more.
You can get the full list from here,2817,2338803,00.asp

Windows Live Movie Maker: Share Videos. Share Your Life

Best Firefox Addons

1. ColorfulTabs: Turn your installation of Firefox into an artistic statement with ColorfulTabs. It makes every tab you open a different color, so they're easier to tell apart at a glance—and a major part of a more vibrant, attractive Firefox window.

2. Cooliris: Surfing the Web can be informative and fun, but even the most dynamic Web sites look pretty much the same. Not anymore. Install Cooliris to view search results on sites like Google, YouTube, and Flickr, and photos from Facebook, Picasa, and your PC as an infinity-spanning 3D wall of windows.

3. Echofon: Love Twitter, but hate having it open on your PC all day or running a separate program to follow your friends? Echofon sends notifications of your followees' updates right to an icon in your status bar, so you can click and see them anytime you want, no matter what you're doing. Echofon supports multiple accounts and direct messages, too.

4. ForecastFox: Never again be caught without your umbrella or sunglasses just because you forgot to check for clouds before you left the house. Install ForecastFox to view weather forecasts from all over the country and the world right in the toolbars section of your browser window.

5. GooglePedia: The wealth of information available in Wikipedia is staggering, but it can be a pain to head over to it anytime you want to look up one little thing. GooglePedia solves this problem by displaying a related Wikipedia article along with your Google search results. The links in the Wikipedia article will automatically start new Google searches using those terms.

6. LastPass Password Manager: Keeping your various online log-ins secure is hard enough; remembering them all can be even bigger challenge. That's what's great about LastPass, which can keep track of your usernames and passwords for you, so you only need to remember a single log-in (the one you use for LastPass). It also fills in forms for you, helps you manage data across multiple computers, and can help you track down passwords you may have lost on your computer. (Check out our full review of LastPass.)

7. Morning Coffee: It happens to all of us: We want to check our favorite Web sites in the early mornings before work, but while we're still groggy from sleep we can't quite get the mouse or keyboard to work the right way. Morning Coffee saves you the trouble by letting you organize Web sites by day and open all that day's sites when you fire up Firefox. This addon could save you so much time, maybe you can catch a few more Zs before you log on.

8. StumbleUpon: The Web can be overwhelming and finding really interesting sites next to impossible. StumbleUpon can help: Click the "Stumble" button on the toolbar it adds to be taken to a site. If you like where you end up, click the "I like it!" button; if you don't, click the thumbs-down button. StumbleUpon learns from your answers (and those of millions of other users) to serve you better sites in the future.

9. Tab Mix Plus: Tired of the same old boring tabs? Load up Tab Mix Plus, and start duplicating them, closing multiple tabs at once, controlling when and why they open, and much more. You'll never go back to traditional tabs again.

10. Xmarks: If you're a compulsive bookmarker and you regularly use multiple PCs, Xmarks could save you a lot of frustration. It can back up and synchronize your bookmarks and passwords, and even can help you discover new sites you might be interested in (based on what other users are bookmarking).

Thanks to for the info …

Everything you need to know about USB 3.0

When Seagate first demonstrated SuperSpeed USB 3.0 in January at CES, we were promised that USB 3.0-compatible devices would be appearing by the end of 2009.

Bang on time (a phrase not often uttered in the technology industry), the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced that the first USB 3.0 products are now ready to roll.

USB is a hugely successful interface – over three billion devices featuring it were shipped in 2008 alone.

So do we really need another wired USB standard? Quite frankly, yes.

So here's everything you need to know about USB 3.0 and why we'll all be using it by 2012.


What is USB 3.0?

Dubbed 'SuperSpeed USB', USB 3.0 represents the next generation of connectivity between computers and peripherals (digital cameras, portable media players, mobile phones, external hard drives, and so on). It replaces the current 'Hi-Speed' USB 2.0 standard.

As the USB-IF explains: "SuperSpeed USB brings significant performance enhancements to the ubiquitous USB standard, while remaining compatible with the billions of USB enabled devices currently deployed in the market. SuperSpeed USB will deliver 10x the data transfer rate of Hi-Speed USB, as well as improved power efficiency."

Just how fast is USB 3.0?

The new specification is rated 10 times faster than USB 2.0, which has a maximum transfer speed of 480Mbps.

In comparison, USB 3.0 has a theoretical peak throughput of 5Gbps. This means that USB 3.0 is capable of transferring a 25GB file in approximately 70 seconds.

If that doesn't warrant a shout of "whoosh!" then what does? In contrast, USB 2.0 would take around 14 minutes to perform the same task. And you'd be twiddling your thumbs for around 9 hours if you used USB 1.1.

This speed boost makes USB 3.0 ideal for the sort of large-scale file shunting we all do today, such as copying large images, MPEG-4 video clips, or making data backups to portable hard drives.

USB 3.0 isn't just fast, it's bi-directional

Unlike USB 2.0, where data can only be piped in one direction at a time, USB 3.0 features the ability to read/write data simultaneously.

This is achieved by adding four new connections to the old USB 2.0 connector – two for transmitting data and two for receiving data. This brings the total number of connections on a USB 3.0 connector to eight (compared to four for USB 2.0).


USB 3.0 is more power-efficient

USB 3.0 has also been designed to be more power efficient than its predecessor. For starters, the USB-IF has upped the maximum bus power (from 500mA to 900mA).

This will enable high-power devices to be powered by your computer and USB hubs to support more peripherals. There's even the bonus that battery-powered devices should charge faster.

USB 3.0 also ditches its device polling protocol for an interrupt-driven approach. This ensures that the USB host controller doesn't continually access a connected USB device (in anticipation of a data transfer) and waste power. Instead, USB 3.0 devices will send a signal to the host controller when a data transfer is initiated.

USB 3.0 will work with your USB 2.0 gear

While USB 3.0 will obviously require new hardware and cables, the standard has been designed to be effortlessly backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

This has influenced the construction of the USB 3.0 connector, which incorporates the new SuperSpeed bus alongside the existing Hi-Speed USB 2.0 bus.

If you've got a USB 3.0-equipped PC, USB 3.0 cable and USB 3.0 digital camera then you'll be able to take advantage of significantly faster speeds. Swap out the camera for an older model with USB 2.0 and the data rate will fall to the maximum that the USB 2.0 standard can deliver.

Who's doing it?

Right now, there are only a few products featuring USB 3.0 – the NEC xHCI host controller, Point Grey's HD video camera, a SuperSpeed USB hard drive from Buffalo, an external USB 3.0 hard drive from Freecom, and a sample USB 3.0 motherboard from ASUS.

All are being showcased at the Autumn Intel Developer Forum (IDF). These is just the beginning for USB 3.0. InStat researchers expect that the new standard will "represent over 25% of the USB market" by 2013.

FIRST OUT: A pat on the back for NEC, which released the world's first commercially available USB 3.0 product – the xHCI host controller

Thanks to for the info .. ^^

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

FlightGear Project

FlightGear is a free flight simulator project. The goal of the FlightGear project is to create a sophisticated flight simulator framework for use in research or academic environments, for the development and pursuit of other interesting flight simulation ideas, and as an end-user application. We are developing a sophisticated, open simulation framework that can be expanded and improved upon by anyone interested in contributing. The FlightGear flight simulator project is an Open-Source, multi-platform, cooperative flight simulator development project. Source code for the entire project is available and licensed under the GNU General Public License.

Download FlightGear Project from here …

Thanx to

AlarmClock 0.1 Alpha

AlarmClock is a small desktop clock. You can save alarms and set most types of audio files to play (mp3, wav, aif, wma, etc.). This is an alpha release and requires python to run.

Download AlarmClock from here …

Thanx to