Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Firefox 4.0 is here!

Firefox released a new version of their popular web browser just a few days a go. The new Firefox 4.0 contains a number of improvements but here are three which excited me the most


Amongst other speed improvement, Firefox now has the new J├ĄgerMonkey JavaScript engine which allows it to load JavaScript code much faster than ever before. These speed improvements have enabled Firefox 4.0 to lads pages over 6 times faster than the older Firefox 3.6 which is a welcome improvement since speed has never been one of Firefox's specialities.


Firfox now features Crashprotection technology which enables the browser to continue running seamlessly when a a plug-in crashes.

Apart from the Crash Protection, A whole host of minor tweaks have been made such as making new tabs open up faster opening Firefox faster than before.

3D functionality

The built in Web GL feature enables 3D functionality which allows 3D content to be created and viewed on the Firefox browser. Although 3D content is quite rare on the Internet, it is defintly a feature which is going to be explored further in the future which is why it is good that Firefox has supported it early.

The people have spoken: Android is better than Apple

We recently had a poll on which was better from Android and Apple and the majority of the votes went to Android! 28% of people voted for Apple and a huge 72% of people voted for Android. Although admittedly only a miserably low 7 people even bothered to vote which is why something tells me these results may not be accurate.

The truth is that although Android has gained a huge amount of recognition (compared to where it was this time last year), Apple is still the leader in terms of sales. Whether it will stay their is anyone's guess.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

photo frame with HD video playback

Pictures stored in a digital format are quickly replacing the hard copy alternatives and as a result of this, digital photo frames are becoming the standard when displaying photos in a one’s house. Sony have taken this one step further by incorporating HD video playback into their new range of S-Frame digital photo frames which allows more memories (in the form of personal videos) to be enjoyed on your digital photo frame. 

Video Playback

AVCHD video playback has been made possible by incorporating Sony’s BIONZ processor (used in Sony’s high end digital cameras) into their photo frames. This ensures crisp, smooth video playback all in glorious High Definition.

Stereo Sound

The new S-Frame range come equipped with Stereo speakers allowing personal videos to be enjoyed with clear stereo sound but If you don’t want to listen to the audio within your video then you can also listen to some of your preloaded music while watching your favourite video clips and Sony’s Linear Phase correction and Virtual bass technology will vastly improve the sound quality of your music.


The XR100 is just one of model currently available in good electrical stores that supports HD video playback.The XR100 has an impressive 10.2” screen and makes use of Sony’s TruBlack technology which boosts picture quality by providing deeper blacks. The XR100 features a HDMI port enabling it to be connected to a HD Ready TV. A useful tool for when viewing your favourite moments with friends and family. 

Monday, 14 March 2011

Write XML in Microsoft Word?

Yes that’s right, you can use Microsoft Word 2003 and newer versions to write XML so you don’t need to bother with those complicated XML editors. Writing XML on Microsoft Word is still a new feature and as a result of this, it is not perfect but it is a start in the right direction and issufficient for basic usage. In short, if you are a serious XML programmer then go and get yourself a proper XML editor but if you are looking to write XML as a one off thing then this additional feature would come in handy. So how do you write XML on Microsoft Word? Well, take a look at my top tips to get you started.

Setting up an XML file
No doubt anyone who has used Microsoft Word will be familiar with opening and saving a standard Doc or DOCX file. Opening and saving an XML file is not much different, you simply need to remember to tell Microsoft Word that you are writing an XML file. Follow the simple steps below:
  • Click the File tab
  • Select Save as
  • From the Window that appears select Word XML Document
  • Give your XML a meaningful name and then press SAVE 
XML files are opened in the same way as how normal files are opened however, if you have many files in one folder, it can be a nuisance to browse through all your files to find your XML file. Here is a useful tip, when opening a file, select XML Files from the File type drop down list. This will filter all your files and only show files saved as XML.

Open XML
Files saved in Word as XML are part of the new Open XML 2.0 format which Microsoft introduced recently. This has a number of benefits such as improving security and using zip compression technology to make file sizes up to 75% smaller but the key benefit as far as XML is concerned is that it increases interoperability by allowing Word documents to be saved as XML which can then be freely viewed by anyone. Office 2010 comes with the new Open XML 2.0 SDK preloaded however, those using the older versions may have the older Open XML SDK 1.0 and would need to download the latest version of Open XML from the Microsoft website. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

3 basic tips to get your SAM program started

Implementing a successful SAM program can be difficult as there are many things that need to be considered but the benefits make it worth the effort. Here are my top three tips to get you started:

Before purchasing your SAM software

Before launching a Software Asset management program, ask yourself why you need a SAM program and how it would be used by setting some realistic goals. Once you have done this, you need to convince the staff who will be using then system that a SAM program is a good idea. This is important because if the staff using the system are not convinced by it then the SAM program is already on the back foot and more prone to failure.

Software tools

Good SAM programs will allow you to customise your system by adding additional tools which are capable of completing a specific task required by your company and a wide variety of tools exist such as License management and inventory tools. A good SAM consultant should be well aware of the various tools that are available and should be able to advise you on the tools that would complement your business and its SAM requirements rather than offering you tools that are going to make the day to day running of your business more tedious.


Once the implementation of the system has ended, the analysis begins. You will need to continuously monitor your system against the goals set previously to ensure that the system is being utilised to it's full potential. in addition to this, training will need to be carried out to ensure that all staff are capable of using the system efficiently and as new staff are recruited, they tool will need to be trained therefore you will need to hold regular training sessions.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Can Geohot really hack the Xperia Play

George Hotz also known as Geohot is famous for hacking a number of devices like the Apple iPhone as well as Sony’s PSP and has announced that he will be hacking the upcoming Xperia Play when it is released.  

Sony has threatened to sue Geohot if he is successful but this does not seem to have had any affect on the professional hacker as he has recently purchased an Xperia X10 to experiment with. But wait a second, isn’t Android built on Open Source code which means hacking this software is completely legal? Am I wrong?  

5 reasons why iPad 2 will be cool

A surprise announcement came from the boys over at Apple on the 2nd of March as they announced the release of the new iPad2 but what improvements will the new iPad bring? Here are my top five reasons why the new iPad 2 will be cool:

1.  Dual Core processor - The iPad 2 will come with a Dual Core A5 processor running at a staggering 1.2GHz. A required upgrade since a vast range of the upcoming Android phones are boasting Dual Core processing goodness.

2. Slimmer -  The iPad has been on a diet and is now 33% slimmer, in fact it is even slimmer than the incredibly slim iPhone 4.

3 - It comes in White - Nuff sed really.

4. HDMI slot - Have a HD TV? Well, now you will be able to connect your iPad to your TV via the HDMI connection.

5. IOS 4.3 - The new beefed up operating system will allow the iPad to be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot and will also bring improvements to Apple's Facetime App. Improvements to Facetime? That means it must have a front facing camera as well!! 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

3D comes to digital cameras

Digital cameras now have 3D capabilities which allows photographers to add a new spin on their pictures. Just like 3D TV, 3D cameras take a number of shots in slightly different angles and converge them into one. This adds more depth to an image and can create the effect of one item being in front of the other item.

At the moment, 3D cameras are scarce but many of the major brands such as Sony and Panasonic have announced that they are releasing 3D cameras soon.