If you have been around since the advent of webmail, you know about the "You've Got Mail!" slogan from AOL. One of the first webmail sites it took the world by storm. Millions of users signed up for AOL Webmail (whether they wanted to or not) and it looked like there was no looking back for AOL. Hotmail also had its fair share of users as well. Fast forward to 2004, GMail is introduced. Since then we haven't heard a peep out of AOL and Google's GMail service has become the defacto standard for webmail since then. But now AOL is back. With a bang!
AOL today announced Alto, a web-based IMAP email client that lets you manage multiple email accounts on one website. "We found that nobody wants another email address," Senior Director of Product for AOL Mail and Alto Joshua Ramirez told The Verge. "People have multiple email addresses, and they want to get it in one spot, so we went back to the drawing board and came up with something we think is game-changing." The web app is available today by invite only, and will launch to the general public in the first quarter of 2013.
Alto looks and works like most email clients you've used, but was born with one priority in mind: get rid of all the detritus clogging your inbox and divide it into "Stacks". Alto automatically creates stacks for daily deal emails (Groupon), retail emails (Best Buy) and social networking site notifications (Facebook) — three of the most common culprits of messy inboxes. You can also create stacks of your own, which function like Gmail folders that pipe in messages from certain senders. When you click a stack, you see one of three views: message view, tile view, or page view. Message view looks like Sparrow, but adds a unique pie chart to show where the bulk of the messages in that stack are coming from. Tile view creates a grid of messages, each message symbolized by the image in each message (which works well for browsing Groupon or LivingSocial offers). Page view is designed for flipping through your daily deals emails in full-screen as if they were old Sunday Best Buy ad books, Ramirez says.
Whether Alto will take off as well as AOL Webmail remains to be seen. But it is definitely a refreshing take on webmail. Furthermore throwbacks are currently in style. So, here's hoping for a resurrection of the "You've Got Mail!" slogan once again.
We have always been a big fan of the Samsung Galaxy Note. We loved the way it looked, we loved the size, we loved the screen size and we loved the way it performed. It was literally a mini computer in your pocket. But the more we used it, the more its shortcomings became evident. Beginning with the battery life. Horrible would be putting it mildly. Then if you tried multitasking, let's just say you had to wait for apps to respond and a simple task like scrolling through the app list became a jerky chore. Sure improvements were made once the Note was upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich but still... we always felt Samsung could have done more. A lot more. And it looks like they have finally listened to what the public was saying. Enter the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Looks: For starters, take a look the difference between the Note and the Note 2. In case you can't see much of a difference, the image on the right is the Note 2. It is slightly larger than the Note with the screen size having being bumped by to 5.5" from the 5.3" in the Note. The differences don't end there, the Note 2 is slightly slimmer and feels lighter than the Note. And of course the shape has been modified to match the theme Samsung has been pushing on its devices, a la Samsung Galaxy S III.
Display: If you thought the display on the Note looked good, look again. The display on the Note 2 is absolutely gorgeous. The HD Super AMOLED (1280 x 720 pixel) looks fabulous. It is bright, crisp and colors are fantastic. It really makes watching those HD films and images a joy. And thankfully this time, Samsung has refrained from pre-loading the phone with the bloatware they have been known for. All unwanted apps have been kept out of the mix. But one thing we did not notice on the screen is a lot of wasted space. It seems to us Samsung decided on the size of the display and then did not know what to do with it. If you look at the comparison between the Note and the Note 2, you will even notice the number of icons on the screen is 5 vs. 4, and this can't be changed. Not yet at least.
Performance: Thank you Samsung for the quad core 1.6GHz processor in this phone. I can truly multitask (and yes while watching videos) without having to wait for the phone to think about what I'm actually trying to do. The 2GB RAM is also much needed in a phone with the capabilities as the Note 2. Gone is that lag that has plagued Samsung phones past. Including Android version 4.1 Jelly Bean also makes a huge difference in the memory management capability. Everything is just silky smooth. We will actually go as far as to say this is the best performing smartphone currently in the market (and yes we are also comparing it to the iPhone5 - that review is forthcoming).
Battery Life: Guess what? This time you can actually head out with just your phone without worrying about losing a complete charge in less than 7 hours. Yes, the 3100 mAh battery makes a HUUUUUUUGE difference! Using the phone like we used to use the Note, we are actually able to pull almost 24 hours on a single charge. Huge sigh of relief anyone? This is the single biggest positive change that Samsung has brought to the Note franchise.
Camera: Not much has changed in the way of the camera, but we love the burst mode feature that is built-in. You can take up to 10 shots a second and let it choose the best image (or you can choose it yourself). And the time to start the camera and take the first shot has to be measured in milliseconds from now on. Another welcome modification. We did notice if you take pictures in the Superfine mode at the highest 8MP resolution, they become noticeably grainy. We'll stay away from that option for now. You also get several options while taking your pictures just like you would on Instagram. Oh yeah, there is also an HDR option but frankly we are still trying to figure out how to get the best shot with this option!
Extras on the Note 2: Here are some interesting things we noticed while fiddling around with the phone
You cannot use the original SIM card that you use on other phones. The card will have to be trimmed to fit in the slot since it is too small for a regular SIM card.
The power saving mode really helps extend battery life unlike the Note but we were able to get almost 24 hours without using it!
The phone comes with Samsung's AllShare Cast that lets you stream images/videos to your TV or any other device for that matter.
The S pen is much much better than it was in the Note. You can do a lot more and Samsung has included a lot more productive applications to take advantage of the revised S pen.
You don't get Swype anymore :( You do get Samsung's own predictive Swype like keyboard, but it is not as good as Swype. Boo Samsung!
You can perform File and data transfer either using NFC or via S Beam.
Turning Wi-Fi on all the time will kill your battery quicker. Good thing the Note 2 has a larger battery.
Overall: If you had the Samsung Galaxy Note, you will absolutely love the Note 2 but... there's a but... you will also say this is how the Note should have been in the first place. If you are newcomer, then rejoice. If you can get over the size and the S Pen, this is the best phone you can get in the market right now. And yes it is a little pricey, but there are more expensive brands in the market. You won't get the features you do with this baby though. Our take on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, buy it!
We will also do a follow-up post as we continue to use the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as we did with the Note.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is currently on sale in India for Rs. 38,500 (~$750).
It is possible to handle almost every task with android smart phones as it is done by a computer. Android is also attracting market attention in the world. You can serve a telecommunication purpose with the smart phone as it was done by the PC in past. Different versions may have different operating systems. Android is a revolutionary operating system which is gaining immense popularity in the current market. In case an application is not compatible with the current version of Android then it will not be displayed for the user.
What are the necessary elements when planning for android application development?
For this purpose, it is necessary to prepare an outline and conceptualization of ideas. Also search for similar applications at the Google Play store online. Also try to find out extra services and features that can be offered by the android application.
The android apps include a wide array of services like storage, restoration, permission, security, notifications, UI techniques, navigation, SMS or remote call tracker, browser, quick search box, contact management, graphics, multimedia, Bluetooth and online gaming.
The technologies used by android phone includes touch screen, video camera, magnetometer, MPEG4, BMP, MIDI, GPS, PNG, Bluetooth, EDGE, Wi – Fi, BMP, MP3, MP4, JPEG, WAV, GIF, AMR etc. This is reason why the android operating system is preferred over others.
Features of Android application development
All android apps are user friendly and they are designed according to customer feedback and requirements. You can easily download android apps with a simple click. Some apps are free and others are paid. When you are using a paid version, you are awarded with extra features that are not available with free version. The applications are also easy to navigate if you are new to android market. You don’t have to scroll much for avoiding frustration. You can easily switch between different android apps. The images and fonts of android apps are clear and readable. The application are designed in such a great style that they can easily fit to screen.
How to find the right Android application developer?
There are two popular sources to find right android application developer. You can search freelancing websites for completing this task in your budget. You can hire an expert for designing android application quickly and precisely. The other option is to deal with large organizations. The option is valid only if you are not facing any financial issues. Don’t forget to explain all requirements clearly before making any final deal with android application developers.
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Well, it's official. Again. And this time, he says it's final. 7 time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher has announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the season this year. He will be replaced at Mercedes AMG Petronas by Lewis Hamilton for the upcoming season. The 43 year old record holding 91 time race winner didn't have quite the impact he'd hoped when he came out of retirement in 2010 but he was still a joy to watch on track.
“I decided to retire by the end of the year 2012. At some point, it is time to say ‘good bye’ I still feel I am capable of competing against the best but the time sometimes comes to say goodbye and this time it might be forever,” he said at the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team motor home. Schumacher’s first stint in F1, between 1991 and 2006, saw him enter the sport’s record books, winning 7 championship titles and 91 races. He dominated Formula 1 when he won five world titles in a row with Scuderia Ferrari from 2000 - 2004.
Despite his retirement, we are pretty sure Schumi will still be around the world of motorsport. We wish him the best of luck. Check out a video of Schumi's career and achievements below.
We've watched the Resident Evil film series from beginning to end, and must say from the outset that you'll find no continuity issues of any kind with the timeline from then to now. They’ve tied this franchise up into a little bow as best they could. What we can say is that the journey there has been nothing short of an out-of-control Ferris wheel or merry-go-round, filled with plot holes and unbelievabilities. The story that has gotten us here may be cinematically linear, but the reasons why these characters are doing what they're doing--especially in Retribution--have no sense of direction whatsoever. It's as if we are seeing these characters we've grown with in the video game series for name recognition only, not for any kind of plot importance.
Now, having no idea of the story line from the games since Resident Evil: Nemesis (because one of us made the huge mistake of trying to play that game in the dead of night with lights off and sound on full blast), we can't determine if what we saw in Retribution is accurate to the game. Most adaptations from other source material take liberties with the origin story, and Resident Evil has been no different. But we spend the entire movie trying to figure out if the direction it took stayed remotely true to its foundation, instead of enjoying it. Which turned out to be fine, because enjoying it was hard to do anyway.
We’ve also come to the conclusion that any film not named Avatar or Hugo shouldn’t ever be watched in 3D. Trying to determine if anything 3D-converted in a film enhances the viewing experience is quickly becoming an exercise in futility. Retribution is like all the rest, throwing pointless sight gags and unnecessary gestures to utilize the 3D capabilities. Not once did we feel a scene benefited from the format. There were plenty well-placed jolt moments to remind us we were watching a horror film, though. No 3D effect helped it—maybe a skin-gnawed hand coming from the extreme left or a decayed head popping up from the floorboards in first-person view would make wearing the 3D glasses less of a chore—but we were impressed nonetheless.
As for Alice, Milla Jovovich’s alter ego, she is supremely bad-ass in this movie, like she has been in the four films prior. Her move set is almost entirely the same, though, so punching it up in 3D makes little difference in how we view Alice. She does get tested more than she ever had in this one and brought tons more range to the character in some beginning scenes, which was nice to see, but it still didn’t matter watching her get beaten up, bruised and bloody in three dimensions rather than two.
Our recommendation for Resident Evil: Retribution is, quite honestly, irrelevant here. It’s neither good nor bad, but if you’ve seen any of the films in this franchise, it begins and ends in exactly the same fashion—you will undoubtedly get a chance to see another one of these in the very near future. So if you want to catch up with the story, waiting for release on home video will be more to your liking than going to your local multiplex.
It's called the P1. Just look at it. It was rumored to have about 900HP with an F-1 style KERS system in place and a whole lot more... but those were rumors. What is true is the P1 has some large shoes to fill. On paper it looks impressive, with the carbon MonoCell weighing under 80kgs, a lightweight 3.8L V8 twin turbo engine that revs to 8500rpm with 80% of torque available below 2000rpm and a 7 speed dual clutch Seamless Shift Gearbox (SSG) just to name a few of the goodies. Unfortunately the driver doesn't get to sit in the middle, but just by looking at the designs it is quite obvious a lot of development has gone into every single minute detail of the car. Several Formula 1 style elements are also incorporated into the design of the car that is expected to cost well above that of the MP4-12C. Here are some of the actual technical specifications and performance figures:
Engine Capacity: 3,799cc
Type: 90 degree V8
Technology: Twin-Turbo, Dry Sump
Max rpm: 8,500
Power: 625PS (460kW) 616bhp @ 7,500 rpm
Torque: 600Nm / 443lb ft @ 3,000-7,000 rpm
Maximum speed: 333km/h (207mph)
0-100kph (62mph): 3.3s (3.1s with Corsa tyres)
0-200kph (124mph)L 9.0s (8.8s with Corsa tyres)
0-400m (1/4 mile): 10.8s @ 218kph (135mph)
0-1,000m: 19.5s @ 274kph (170mph)
0-60mph (97kph): 3.2s (3.0s with Corsa tyres)
0-100mph (161kph): 6.2s (6.0s with Corsa tyres)
Looking for more information including high resolution images? Get them right here. Are you drooling yet? We sure are!
A Ferrari is one of the most exotic vehicles money can buy. It isn't as though you come across one of these vehicles on a daily basis (at least in most places around the world). You might come across a couple here and there, but we can guarantee you haven't seen these many... in one place. How many do you ask? Not 5, not 10, not a 100 but 964!
This gathering of 964 Ferraris at the Silverstone race track in the UK as part of Ferrari Racing Days has set a new world record for the largest single gathering of Prancing Horses, smashing the previous record of 490 cars set in 2008 at Japan’s Fuji Speedway Circuit. The procession was even led by current Ferrari Formula 1 driver, Felipe Massa. We can only imagine what an awesome sight it must have been in person. Check out the video below and see for yourselves!
Do you get annoying calls at odd hours? Or do you get prank phone calls? Have you ever wanted to know who is actually trying to reach you? We found one of the best free apps just for that. True Caller. And it's available for download for the iPhone, Android devices, BlackBerry, Sybian and Windows Mobile!
Truecaller is a global phonebook service which brings all the contact information of the world into your smartphone. In addition to its worldwide number lookup service, Truecaller can help you block unwanted calls, keep your phonebook up to date with current information and even map your phonebook with the social networks you use regularly. You can use it no matter what country in the world you are in. If privacy is a concern, they get the data partly through partnerships with different white/yellow pages around the world and partly through their own opt in database. We also love the fact that repeat offenders (read: telemarketers) can be completely blocked out of your phone.
True Caller is actually quite nifty. Here is a real world scenario where this comes in handy. You went to school with someone as a kid and lost touch with them. You run into them a few years later but forgot their name, but they haven't forgotten yours. Sound familiar? Gets a little awkward doesn't it? You chit chat with them and ask them to give you a call so you can store their number to stay in touch. When they call you, their name pops up. Now you have that AHA! moment and you know who they are. This story actually happened when we were testing it out! So give it a shot... let us know other possible uses you can think of for this app!
It is a sad sad day for Formula 1... long time friend, head of the Formula 1 on track medical team and first responder, Professor Sid Watkins has passed away. A regular fixture at the races for almost 30 years, the Prof's (as he was affectionately called) absence will surely be felt by one and all. A world renowned neuro-surgeon, he was responsible for saving the lives of many a Formula 1 driver over the course of his tenure.
Beginning his long association in 1978, Watkins began the gradual process of changing attitudes and then changing the circuit medical facilities. At the time circuit medical centers were often nothing more than tents with little in the way of facilities. He was spurred on by such events as the death of Ronnie Peterson in 1979 after which Watkins began a campaign to ensure that the hospitals to which the injured were taken had the necessary facilities.
Watkins's common sense approach and willingness to speak his mind made him a respected figure in Formula 1 circles especially after the deaths of Ayrton Senna (who he was especially close friends with) and Roland Ratzenberger in 1994 at Imola. This was when the Prof was appointed to head a new body called the Advisory Expert Group which revolutionized not only car safety but also circuit safety and systems like the HANS head and neck support. There has not been a driver fatality in Formula 1 ever since.
We are sure the Singapore Grand Prix next week will have a special dedication in his memory.
If these are the standards Bollywood has set for horror films, then we are sorely disappointed. If the standards are for thrillers, then we feel a little better. We are of course referring to the sexy, smooch filled (at least by Indian standards), promiscuous, horror thriller that is Vikram Bhatt's Raaz 3. It stars Bollywood's own serial kisser Emraan Hashmi, the long legged beauty Bipasha Basu and the innocent looking newcomer Esha Gupta.
When it comes to horror/thrillers, usually the story is pretty weak and Raaz 3 doesn't disappoint here. What we mean is don't expect some fantastically crazy good plot. It is actually pretty bad... and there are a couple of scenes which will make you question your presence at the theater. What you can expect is a few thrilling moments (these were actually pretty good) mixed with some horrendous horror sequences. Add in a couple of spicy songs mixed with some love scenes and you have the recipe for almost every thriller out there. The same holds true here. One thing we didn't understand though, is why they even bothered to shoot the film in 3D. It isn't as though things were flying out of the screen or anything... On the acting front, we'll just not bother with Emraan and Esha since their performances seemed piddly in comparison to Bipasha's. An absolutely riveting performance, Bipasha's role will make you sit at the edge of your seat every time she is on screen. Words to describe her role would include diabolical, ruthless, scheming and conniving to name a few. This was definitely the saving grace of the film. She still can't dance to save her life but we'll save that for another time.
Normally we wouldn't recommend watching this film in the theaters, but in this case we'll say yes simply because of some of the thrilling moments which would definitely be missed if watched at home. Oh and don't bother paying for the 3D version of the film. And lastly, parents, leave the kids at home.
Raaz 3 is currently playing at the Satyam, INOX and PVR cinemas in Chennai.