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For example, they noted that Google has built its own global cloud of computers that is highly redundant and distributed around the world. There is a host of futuristic devices on display at CeBIT. This year, fewer than 4, companies are at the event, in Hanover, northern Germany. The group started sending frantic chat messages to their Marine contacts in the area. Midwestern Dogs You can even search on topic with Google and drag images into your map without leaving the working window.

Fix It: This new Microsoft service provides a set of online and offline tools to fix common PC problems, automatically. It occupies minimal space in the handset memory, works in real time.

You can try it out for your phone and platform at http: The KB Advanced Uninstaller v1. Do note that Fix It is in Beta, could function erratically. For the first time, marketers spent more in on Internet advertising than in magazines, according to a report from ZenithOptimedia, which said online ad spending would rapidly close ground on newspapers. The loss in ad spending across all media was an even steeper The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that search ads posted a slight rise from , comprising 47 percent of all Internet ad spending.

Display ad spending rose a similar amount, while digital video ads climbed 38 percent. Revenues for online classifieds and e-mail advertising plummeted. John Markoff tells the Google hacking story.

Ever since Google disclosed in January that Internet intruders had stolen information from its computers, the exact nature and extent of the theft has been a closely guarded company secret. The program, code named Gaia for the Greek goddess of the earth, was attacked in a lightning raid taking less than two days last December, the person said. Described publicly only once at a technical conference four years ago, the software is intended to enable users and employees to sign in with their password just once to operate a range of services.

The intruders do not appear to have stolen passwords of Gmail users, and the company quickly started making significant changes to the security of its networks after the intrusions. But the theft leaves open the possibility, however faint, that the intruders may find weaknesses that Google might not even be aware of, independent computer experts said. Ultimately, the intruders were able to gain control of a software repository used by the development team. The details surrounding the theft of the software have been a closely guarded secret by the company.

In March, after difficult discussions with the Chinese government, Google said it would move its mainland Chinese-language Web site and begin rerouting search queries to its Hong Kong-based site.

Google continues to use the Gaia system, now known as Single Sign-On. Hours after announcing the intrusions, Google said it would activate a new layer of encryption for Gmail service. The company also tightened the security of its data centers and further secured the communications links between its services and the computers of its users.

Several technical experts said that because Google had quickly learned of the theft of the software, it was unclear what the consequences of the theft had been. When Google first announced the thefts, the company said it had evidence that the intrusions had come from China. The attacks have been traced to computers at two campuses in China, but investigators acknowledge that the true origin may have been concealed, a quintessential problem of cyberattacks.

Similarities and differences Several people involved in the investigation of break-ins at more than two dozen other technology firms said that while there were similarities between the attacks on the companies, there were also significant differences, like the use of different types of software in intrusions.

They then transferred the stolen software to computers owned by Rackspace, a Texas company that offers Web-hosting services, which had no knowledge of the transaction. It is not known where the software was sent from there. The intruders had access to an internal Google corporate directory known as Moma, which holds information about the work activities of each Google employee, and they may have used it to find specific employees.

Tech companies are on cloud nine. This year, Netflix made what looked like a peculiar choice: But the online retailer, based in Seattle, has lately gained traction with a considerably more ambitious effort: The idea, though typically expressed in ways larded with jargon, is actually rather simple. The concept of renting computing power goes back decades, to the days when companies would share space on a single mainframe with big spinning tape drives.

The technology industry has matured to the point where there is now an emerging mass market for this rental model. Led by Amazon, most cloud services have largely been aimed at start-ups, like the legion of Facebook and iPhone applications developers who found they could rent a first-class computing infrastructure on the fly.

Now cloud providers are trying to bring these types of flexible services to the more conservative and lucrative world of large corporations. Although most large companies have taken their first cautious steps into the cloud, many are anxious about data failures and slow delivery of data over a network.

To alleviate those concerns, Google held a daylong conference last week called Atmosphere at its Mountain View, Calif. Companies have also used Amazon as a backup system, either to handle sudden spikes in computing demand or to keep information in a secondary spot in case of a disaster. For that to happen, Amazon and other cloud providers will have to convince big business.

Thinking deep Almost every big company is cautiously testing the waters these days. Paul, Minn. When given a clean slate, many new companies have chosen a full embrace of the cloud model, figuring the technology industry has matured to the point were these types of services make basic business sense. For example, Arista Networks, a five-year-old company that makes networking equipment, runs its sales software with a cloud software company called NetSuite, its corporate e-mail on Google Apps, and other Web infrastructure with Amazon.

Instead it sequentially scans through the files on the hard drive and looks inside the contents of each one of them. Though Agent Ransack is quite fast for an unindexed search program, it is slow compared to the index-based ones like Everything Search.

PST files. And, the Print preview lets you check out the results before printing, and the search can be carried out by modified, created, or last accessed date. Password Keeper Many of us find it difficult to recall confidential information which can include, for example, passwords, serial numbers, and codes.

Enter FlyingBit Password Keeper which lets you store data in a special encrypted database. The reliable encryption algorithms AES, Twofish and Blowfish keeps your password database secure and it can be read only with a password that only you know. With a simple click you can securely erase your Internet tracks, computer activities and programs history information stored in many hidden files on your computer. Internet Window Washer supports scores of applications.

The WePad, with its When it hits stores starting late July, it will also boast a complete open source office package, he said. Ankershoffen declined to give a sales estimate. This would give the iPad roughly a three month lead on its German competitor.

Neofonie seems determined to face its big California rival: However, both companies have to prove that the touch screen device will not only amaze the tech-savvy early users, but will also appeal to mainstream consumers at a time when people have already a lot of Internet-connected gadgets — smart phones, laptops, e-book readers, set-top boxes and home broadband connections. Microsoft, the maker of computer software, is flirting with the idea of selling its own version of a slate, joining traditional computer companies like Hewlett-Packard that have already committed to such products.

In part, these companies are feeling the pressure to respond to the iPad, which went on sale on April 3. But their decisions to develop the hybrid products also demonstrate their desire to expand their core businesses, and to experiment with varying kinds of business models and technologies.

For consumers, it could all be good, as more companies offer their version of the slate, a new breed of consumer electronics, in a design free-for-all.

But their devices have been similar, and limited in what they offer. The software, based on Microsoft Windows, never seemed flexible enough to fit a variety of mobile computers. Now there is much more software and hardware available to build low-cost, capable, hand-held devices, called slates, that are thinner, lighter and typically omit physical keyboards altogether.

Apple, Google and Nokia all have their own software platforms, with Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Marvell rushing to provide the chips for this next wave of products. Meanwhile, Microsoft is considering building its own slate hardware to try to offer as cohesive a package as Apple and the other competitors. Drawbacks of Apple iPad Apple says it sold more than , iPads in the first few days after the device was available. The iPad has also been criticized for its inability to allow users to multitask, but the company announced on Friday that it will have that ability in the fall.

Another drawback to the iPad is that it relies on a cellphone chip, with less horsepower than a computer chip. Notably, it will have a camera, as well as ports for add-on devices, like a mouse. It delayed releasing the product, he said, until the price could be lower. This kind of early marketing is a change for H P, which rarely talks about yet-to-be released products. But Apple may face the biggest risk from the offerings of nontraditional computer makers.

The company also hopes to make its own apps marketplace available for new slate-like devices. But Google is going one step further, exploring the idea of building its own slate, an e-reader that would function like a computer. Eric E Schmidt, chief executive of Google, told friends at a recent party in Los Angeles about the new device, which would exclusively run the Android operating system. Microsoft has generated some Apple-esque buzz on blogs as well as through leaked videos of the prototype of its slate, the Courier.

According to a Microsoft employee who has seen the device, the Courier is about as big as an ordinary paperback and folds out to reveal two screens.

Users would be able to take notes on the device with a pen, and easily drag and share content between the screens. But Microsoft engineers have concerns about the battery power needed to keep the two screens going, these people said. And internally the company is struggling to identify the right market. At first the idea was to market the Courier for designers and architects, but lately the company is thinking of a broader market of consumers and so would include e-books, magazines and other media content on the device.

Microsoft engineers have talked about getting the Courier out by early , though no firm decision has been made to sell the product. At Nokia, meanwhile, a team of engineers, designers and publishers are working on designing an e-reader, with the hope of making the company dominant in the digital books and apps marketplace.

He argued that Nokia had more reach through its broad international sales channels to distribute content and more experience dealing with local content in countries like India and China than, say, Apple or Google. New MS phones aim at the younger crowd. Microsoft is trying to home on in a younger, chattier demographic with two new cellphones centered on social networking.

The start menu displays a montage of photographs from friends with notes about what they are doing rather than a more traditional menu that caters to phone functions. The Kins also have touch screens, links to the Zune music service and high-powered cameras for capturing photographs and video. Phone makers like Nokia and Samsung have long built a variety of models, including those aimed at younger buyers, many of which also link to social-networking sites.

But in its focus on social networking, Microsoft has taken one of the more aggressive stances in going after this market, which the company believes is receptive to a fresh pitch. Microsoft could use a runaway cellphone product since it has been steadily losing market share despite selling mobile software for far longer than Apple.

A full keyboard slides down at the bottom of the phone. The Kin Two has the more familiar rectangle shape, an eight-megapixel camera up from five megapixels on the One and can take high-definition videos. Verizon Wireless has an exclusive deal in the United States for the Kins, made by Sharp; the phones are to go on sale in May for an undisclosed price. Vodafone will sell them in Europe. Kevin Restivo, an analyst with the research firm IDC, said many phone makers and carriers had recently emphasized social networking.

But he commended Microsoft for picking a clear target. Microsoft has been in the cellphone software market for years, trying to make a mobile version of its Windows software as popular on hand-held devices as the regular version is on PCs.

But the strategy has not been successful. In February, Microsoft showed off a new version of its smartphone software, Windows Phone 7.

The Kin phones build on the same core software as the Windows Phone 7 products, although they look different. And while the Kins emphasize social networking, the Windows Phone 7 software and devices merge consumer and business functions.

The Kins are largely updated versions of products Microsoft acquired in its purchase of Danger. One software feature unique to the Kin phones is the Spot, a place near the bottom of the interface where users can drag photos, messages, videos, maps and other content, which can then be sent to a friend with a flick of the finger.

Microsoft has decided to retain tight control of the Kin software, meaning that there is no applications marketplace for the products, and will determine which social networks have built-in support on the phones. And, though Calibre does not explicitly support the iPad yet , but it does support the ePub format, the e-book format of iPad.

Calibre v0. Do note its whopping size, its Windows version is around 28 MB. StatPlanet StatPlanet is an interactive data visualization and mapping tool used by a range of international organizations and universities. For example: StatPlanet Map Maker v2. Do It Again Do It Again can be configured to make your computer automatically perform a task for you, whenever you want, the way you want. You will find this utility useful if you do something on your computer exactly the same way every time, like backing up your pictures, checking web-based email for new messages, etc.

Do It Again can perform the task the way you would do yourself otherwise - will automatically click the buttons and press the keyboard keys in exactly the same way as when you created the task, while you sit back and watch the task being performed. Do It Again is also known as macro or automation software, as it lets you record a macro, then play it back to automate the actions of that macro.

Do It Again can be downloaded at www. Chinese hackers attack Indian defence sites. Turning the tables on a China-based computer espionage gang, Canadian and United States computer security researchers have monitored a spying operation for the past eight months, observing while the intruders pilfered classified and restricted documents from the highest levels of the Indian Defense Ministry.

In a report issued on Monday night, the researchers, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, provide a detailed account of how a spy operation called the Shadow Network systematically hacked into personal computers in government offices on several continents.

The intruders breached the systems of independent analysts, taking reports on several Indian missile systems. The intruders even stole documents related to the travel of NATO forces in Afghanistan, illustrating that even though the Indian government was the primary target of the attacks, one chink in computer security can leave many nations exposed. They requested and were given instructions on how to dispose of the classified and restricted documents.

The attacks look like the work of a criminal gang based in Sichuan Province, but as with all cyberattacks, it is easy to mask the true origin, the researchers said. Given the sophistication of the intruders and the targets of the operation, the researchers said, it is possible that the Chinese government approved of the spying.

Tensions have risen between China and the United States this year after a statement by Google in January that it and dozens of other companies had been the victims of computer intrusions coming from China. The spy operation appears to be different from the Internet intruders identified by Google and from a surveillance ring known as Ghostnet, also believed to be operating from China, which the Canadian researchers identified in March of last year.

Ghostnet used computer servers based largely on the island of Hainan to steal documents from the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, and governments and corporations in more than countries. An investigation Into Cyberespionage 2. Mail to automate the control of computers once they had been infected. The Canadian researchers cooperated in their investigation with a volunteer group of security experts in the United States at the Shadowserver Foundation, which focuses on Internet criminal activity.

A university spokesman could not be reached Monday because of a national holiday. The investigators linked the account of another hacker to a Chengdu resident whose name appeared to be Li. Reached by telephone on Monday, Li denied taking part in computer hacking. Li, who declined to give his full name, said he must have been confused with someone else.

He said he knew little about hacking. Rohozinski noted that civilians working for NATO and the reconstruction mission in Afghanistan usually traveled through India and that Indian government computers that issued visas had been compromised in both Kandahar and Kabul in Afghanistan. Other documents included personal information about a member of the Indian Directorate General of Military Intelligence.

Even after eight months of watching the spy ring, the Toronto researchers said they could not determine exactly who was using the Chengdu computers to infiltrate the Indian government. Developers scramble to strike iPad gold. Jenna Wortham tells the interesting and challenging story behind the creation of new apps for the Apple iPad, that mark a revolution. As the creators of a best-selling iPhone game called Doodle Jump, the Pusenjaks were well aware of the financial opportunity that the iPad represented.

So over the weekend they joined perhaps thousands of other software developers in an unusual scramble that drew people from as far as Australia.

The rest had to wait until the device went on sale on Saturday for the moment of truth: How well does our app work on the iPad? Does it look and feel right? Or do we have a lot more work to do? Pre-considerations For small developers, the stakes are high. Having an app accepted for a highly coveted Apple product means reaching a passionate group of consumers who have demonstrated their willingness to spend over and over again on applications for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The potential revenue is huge; the apps market for those two devices alone is already worth a billion dollars a year in sales. Adding to the urgency was the knowledge that many of the earliest apps for the iPhone ended up being among the most successful.

The challenge for the Pusenjaks will be to recreate that success on a new device that, if it sells well, could significantly expand the market for apps. Apple provided simulation software to developers that allowed them to mimic the look and functions of an iPad on a Mac, and it began inviting them to submit iPad applications to its App Store last month.

But the Pusenjaks and many other developers were apprehensive about submitting programs without first testing them on a real iPad. Alexandra Peters, community manager at a developer company called Firemint, flew to New York from Australia to pick up several devices, which at the moment are on sale only in the United States.

Peters said her colleagues at home were hoping her return flight would be on time. But they changed their strategy after seeing that the competition for iPad applications would be stiffer than they had thought. Marko, 33, got on a plane and arrived in New York late on Friday night. The brothers spent some time working on designs for the new version of Doodle Jump, then got some sleep before lining up at the Apple store in the meatpacking district at 8 a.

Two hours later, iPad in hand, the lanky pair hurried up two flights of stairs to the airy apartment Igor shares with his wife. The pair took a minute to check out the competitive landscape, flipping through the iPad apps that Apple was highlighting in the store. Problems in the way A few hours later, the scene was less jovial. When the app is finally ready, there is likely to be a substantial iPad audience in place. Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, wrote in a research note that Apple might have sold as many as , iPads on Saturday alone, double what he had predicted.

By comparison, when Apple released the two most recent iPhone models, it took the company three days to sell a million phones. As far as the platform goes, there is the potential for a second gold rush. FlipAlbum FlipAlbum Standard with a natural and intuitive interface is a digital photo album utility to organize your digital images, better.

Easy to use, yet highly customizable, FlipAlbum can automatically create realistic, book-like albums. The features include - Auto Flip function; Auto Slide Show - present the contents of your book as a slide show with auto-play. The slide show options include variable time interval between slides, transition effects, number of rows and columns of photos, etc; Realistic 3D Page-Flipping provides a pleasant viewing experience, Multi-page rapid flipping for album browsing; Preview; Supported Multimedia Formats include: FlipAlbum Standard v7.

Please note the standard version freeware of FlipAlbum may not include all the features. The fully Netbook compatible Essential PIM can store your appointments, tasks, to do lists, notes, contacts and email messages in a graphical and easily accessible form.

The freeware edition of Essential PIM offers quite a lot of features to make it an interesting and effective choice for many. Categories, priority, completion status, due date, and reminder fields; Tree-like multilevel structure, unlimited number of folders and notes; Contact Manager Wide selection of fields - adding a new data field to a contact is easy and quick; Fast search and sorting; EssentialPIM v3.

A portable edition can be downloaded at http: XMind XMind is a brainstorming and mind mapping software to share your ideas with others. The Drag-and-drop feature helps to reorganize topics, move markers, take a mapshot, and add attachments.

You can even search on topic with Google and drag images into your map without leaving the working window. Its intuitive design and powerful features lets you focus on your work and share it easily with others by exporting it through popular formats such as PDF, Word and PowerPoint. XMind v3. DH reader L Vincent wrote Please suggest a freeware to convert the video files to 3gp.

DH suggested You could try Format Factory which can be downloaded at http: The features: To create professional quality tutorials, presentations and software demos download the 7. There are 3 editions Express, Standard and Professional.

You can compare the versions at http: FileWing features include - checks out internal disks, external hard disks, and USB-drives to identify files that have been deleted and recover most of them; recovers deleted files, just name the folder from where you want to resurrect the files; FileWing can also make sure that your deleted files stay deleted - choose among 7 different algorithms to overwrite the files to be deleted with different patterns; Helpful interface and user-friendly wizards help in file recovery or its deletion.

The Pro version features includes: Additional Overwrite Free Space, Deep scan, filters and more. Network Scanner SoftPerfect Network Scanner can help both system administrators and general users who are interested in computer security. Key features include: Online User Manual at http: Just what makes this mighty media organisation tick? An exclusive extract from the new book about the company offers some insights, reports Ken Auletta. Those laptops are gifts from the company, as is free food, wi-fi-enabled commuter buses, healthcare, dry cleaning, gyms, massages and car washes, all designed to keep its employees happy and on campus.

A non-engineer attending engineering meetings would be wise to come with a translator: And appropriately for a company with such mighty ambitions, instead of one CEO decision-maker, Google has three: Inside the office Schmidt is a rarity in that he usually wears a conservative white or pale-blue shirt, suit and tie.

By contrast Page and Brin, like most of their colleagues, wear T-shirts, jeans and sneakers — though Brin is partial to colourful Crocs. Each of their parents were scientists and both attended Montessori schools, where they were accustomed to making their own rules. They nurtured their Google search idea in their dorm rooms, downloading the entire web and all its links their prototype search engine used these links to chart and connect not just an island of the web, but the entire ocean.

They were, though, no more breathtakingly brilliant than their Stanford peers, according to one of their engineering professors, Dr Terry Winograd.

But where Page and Brin stood out, he says, was in their boldness. They spoke of changing the world, of making all of its information available to everyone. They would sneak into the loading dock where Stanford computers were delivered to boost the computing power of their search engine. They refused to make lots of quick money by selling their search idea to corporate suitors.

I started visiting the Google planet in I first emailed Schmidt, whom I had previously interviewed, but he was cautious, saying Page and Brin were always reluctant to give any of their time to books or journalists. It took several trips to Silicon Valley and a torrent of emails to win tentative approval.

Yet in the end, Google was extraordinarily cooperative: Their mission is to figure out how to eradicate these inefficiencies. It did not take long for Google, born only 11 years ago, to stop calling itself a search engine and start referring to itself as a media company. Little wonder that when the traditional, non-engineering led media companies finally woke up to the fact that their business model was imperilled by Google and the internet, it was very late in the day.

Users would be offended, they said. Page and Brin also rejected the idea that anyone should be allowed to pay to rank higher in the search results. They insisted that one way to build a team culture was for everyone to share an office. And they defied the conventional wisdom of the time, that portals like Yahoo! What mattered, Page and Brin said, was building user trust. Build it right, they believed, and the people will come.

Media mogul Barry Diller remembers arranging to see the co-founders when they were still in their second-floor offices above a bicycle store in Palo Alto. As they talked, Diller was disconcerted to see that Page did not lift his head from the keyboard of his hand-held device, and that Brin arrived late on his Rollerblades. I always do this. At the time, Diller was insulted and conversed only with Brin. Brin, who is more sociable than Page, has his own quirks.

He will often get lost in deep thought and forget about meetings. So focused is he on engineering and maths, he sometimes displays a fundamental innocence about how the world works. During one interview in a small conference room, down the hall from the second-floor glassed office he shares with Page, Brin playfully ribbed me for writing a book. Stephen King tried it, and gave up the effort because he thought it was doomed.

The usually voluble Brin grew quiet. With no publisher, who would edit the book, and how would they get paid for their work? Who would pay lawyers to vet it? And who would hire people to market the book, so that all those potential online readers could discover it? But this exchange hinted at a truth about Brin and Page, and the company they have forged.

Their starting predicate — that the old ways of traditional media are inefficient and scream to be changed — is one reason why Google has fundamentally misread the reaction of publishers and authors to its quest to digitise the 20m or so books ever published.

While Google did reach agreement with a variety of libraries, including those of Harvard and Oxford universities, like good Montessori students Page and Brin did not first ask the permission of publishers and authors before digitising their copyrighted books — backing off only after a lawsuit was filed.

Such clarity was reinforced by the engineering ethos that underpins the company, of wanting to measure and quantify everything. They measure the value of adverts by the number of clicks they attract.

They measure the worth of YouTube, which they acquired in , by the user traffic it generates. They hire engineers by relying heavily on their SAT scores. They rejected CEO candidates who lacked engineering degrees, finally hiring Schmidt in late because, like them, he had one. Google in China And then came China.

Searchers seeking information about tanks in Tiananmen Square or the Dalai Lama could not find them. Google was making a corporate compromise in order to reach the largest consumer marketplace in the world. The decision made Brin particularly uncomfortable. As a refugee from the former Soviet Union — his parents fled when he was six because they were Jewish, and scientific opportunities were closed to them — human rights was one area where he did not behave like a cold, calculating engineer.

When a resolution was introduced at the annual Google shareholder meeting in May to abandon China, the management voted it down. But there was one management abstention: Then, late last year, Google announced it was tired of compromising with China and might pull out.

Allow such behaviour to go unpunished, and Google risked subverting the user trust that had been at the core of its success. So the threat to leave China unless the government agreed to keep its hands off search results and personal data was as much a business as a personal decision. Accepts worldwide challenge Today, Google confronts challenges from governments across the world.

Britain and the EU are concerned about privacy and monopoly. France is alarmed about how Google books might threaten the copyrights of its authors. The US and other governments are concerned about its size. But again, because engineers cannot measure fears or xenophobia, Google has been slow to react.

As Bill Gates and Microsoft learned when it was brought to trial for violating anti-trust laws a decade ago, governments are the lb gorilla — much more formidable than a business competitor. The company often lacks an antenna for sensing how governments, companies and people will react to its constant innovations.

As late as traditional media was to wake to Google, it too was late in understanding how advertisers think. In the past year, Google has paid to lure more professionally produced content on to YouTube, and is starting to charge for it. Traditional media, desperate to tap fresh sources of revenue, has suddenly found that Google may be a willing ally in charging for content after all. No Google search can tell the future. If, on the other hand, Google maintains its deposit of public trust, continuing to put users first, and does not start to lumber like an elephant, it will be difficult to catch.

The full story Googled: But mainland Chinese users on Tuesday could not see the uncensored Hong Kong content because government computers either blocked the content or filtered links to searches for objectionable content before it reached them. There were other signs of possible escalation on Tuesday. Businessmen close to industry officials said the company was planning to scrap the deal under government pressure despite the fact that it has yet to find a replacement.

Both technology analysts and the businessmen, who demanded anonymity for fear of retaliation, said that Google may also face problems in keeping its advertising-sales force, which is crucial to the success of its Chinese-language service. Total shutdown? As of Tuesday, users who go to google. At the same time, Natkin said that government might still be wary of agitating a loyal Google user base in China that tends to be highly educated and vocal. Viable compromise Google declined to comment on its talks but said that it was under the impression that the move to the Hong Kong site would be seen as a viable compromise.

In a blog post, Google said it would retain much of its existing operations on the mainland, including its research and development team and its local sales force. Instead, specialists say, the Beijing authorities have tightened their grip on the internet.

Despite its size and reputation for innovation, Google trails its main Chinese rival, Baidu. The decision to shut down google. Ads that once appeared on google. The recent hacker attacks were aimed at Google and more than 30 other US companies.

While Google did not say the attacks had been sponsored by the government, the company said it had enough information about the attacks to justify its threat to leave the mainland.

Augmented reality: Fantasy meets real life. Charles Arthur investigates how the ways in which we watch sport, read media and do business could change for ever. You can see a collection and, at visualcard. Or pretty much anything you want. London Fashion Week has tried them out too: Benetton is using augmented reality for a campaign that kicked off last month, in which it is trying to find models from among the general population. The idea is straightforward enough: Sports coverage on TV has been doing it for years: But those required huge systems.

AR took its first lumbering steps into the public arena eight years ago: They can simply be overlaid onto real life. A prototype application demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February took things a little further again.

Point the phone at a person and if it can find their details, it will pull them off the web and attach details — their Twitter username, Facebook page and other facts — and stick them, rather weirdly, into the air around their head viewed through your phone, of course.

Adidas, too, has launched trainers with AR symbols: The process by which the strange symbols get translated into images is simple enough: Videos and pictures are then sent back to you. Cameron can also see huge potential which could even revive the fortunes of print advertising. And of course where advertisers go, the publications are sure to go as well. But there are more possibilities for journalism using AR: Book publishers too are leaping in: Carlton Publishing will release an AR book in May, featuring dinosaurs that pop out of the pages when viewed, yes, through a webcam.

Future releases include war, sport and arts titles which will also have extra AR elements. Yet there are some who think that AR has already had its brief time in the sun. At the Like Minds conference in Exeter at the beginning of March, Joanne Jacobs, a social media consultant, described an AR application that demanded you buy a T-shirt and then go and sit in front of your webcam — so you could play Rock, Paper, Scissors.

By yourself. The Observer. DH reader Mahesh wrote Could you suggest a utility to view the video cache? Mp3 Ripper can easily extract audio CD tracks to various digital audio formats. It can watch your composing on the fly and alert you about a misspelled word, almost immediately. The other features of tinySpell include: The KB tinySpell v1. Its key features are: The developers aver that Mp3 ripper is free of virus, spyware, advertisement, and nag screen. Xcelerator Xcelerator is a download-accelerator.

Among its featurs are: The developers claim Xcelerator can help to manage the bandwidth effectively and is a powerful combatant of slow downloads, disconnections and traffic congestion. The KB Xcelerator v1. System Requirements: In a meeting at Google in , the discussion turned to an e-mail message the company had received from a fan in South Korea. Sergey Brin, a Google founder, ran the message through an automatic translation service that the company had licensed.

The message said Google was a favourite search engine, but the result read: Google green onion thing! Six years later, its free Google Translate service handles 52 languages, more than any similar system, and people use it hundreds of millions of times a week to translate Web pages and other text. Its digital books project has been hung up in court, and the introduction of its social network, Buzz, raised privacy fears.

The pattern suggests that it can sometimes misstep when it tries to challenge business traditions and cultural conventions. Google is using that machine to push the limits on translation technology. Last month, for example, it said it was working to combine its translation tool with image analysis, allowing a person to, say, take a cellphone photo of a menu in German and get an instant English translation.

But Google understands something about data that nobody else understands, and it is willing to make the investments necessary to tackle these kinds of complex problems ahead of the market.

For decades, computer scientists tried using a rules-based approach — teaching the computer the linguistic rules of two languages and giving it the necessary dictionaries. But in the mids, researchers began favouring a so-called statistical approach.

They found that if they fed the computer thousands or millions of passages and their human-generated translations, it could learn to make accurate guesses about how to translate new texts. Experts say it is exceedingly difficult for a computer to break a sentence into parts, then translate and reassemble them.

Like its rivals in the field, Microsoft and IBM, Google has fed its translation engine with transcripts of United Nations proceedings, which are translated by humans into six languages, and those of the European Parliament, which are translated into This raw material is used to train systems for the most common languages. But Google has scoured the text of the Web, as well as data from its book scanning project and other sources, to move beyond those languages.

And the system could lead to interesting new applications. Last week, the company said it would use speech recognition to generate captions for English-language YouTube videos, which could then be translated into 50 other languages.

The effort paid off. A year later, Google won a government-run competition that tests sophisticated translation systems. Google has used a similar approach — immense computing power, heaps of data and statistics — to tackle other complex problems. In , for example, it began offering GOOG, a free directory assistance service that interprets spoken requests.

It allowed Google to collect the voices of millions of people so it could get better at recognising spoken English. A year later, Google released a search-by-voice system that was as good as those that took other companies years to build. Later last year, Google introduced a service called Goggles that analyses cellphone photos, matching them to a database of more than a billion online images, including photos of streets taken for its Street View service. Work going on in Hatfield could create robot home helps or even one day robot girlfriends and boyfriends, reports Lucy Tobin.

On a weekday morning in a Hertfordshire street, people are knocking on the door of an ordinary-looking house. Inside, a living room hosts a sofa, bookshelves, coffee tables and a TV. Through an archway, the kitchen kettle is boiling up, ready for the first of many cups of tea.

When they were ready for testing, the team invited people to their lab, where they were monitored while they interacted with the robots. The robotics faculty first decamped from their laboratory into a local flat, but that soon became too small. The projects differ depending on the particular issue the researchers are working on. In one, a person sits at a writing table, triggering a robot to fetch a pen. In another, robots try to negotiate rooms without crashing into moving humans.

A further trial programmed a robot to persistently interrupt TV-watching participants to ask if they wanted a diet Coke.

If the tester said no, the robot repeatedly returned to offer alternative drinks, checking what kind of robotic interruptions participants would bear. Earlier research found that humans felt alarmed when robots approached head-on, so the robots now approach from the side. Trials suggest that people are often happy for robots to get nearer than humans.

Humanoid Like people, the robots vary: Dautenhahn is using Kaspar for the Aurora project, which looks at how robots can become therapeutic toys for children with autism. The tapes, plus the surveys the participants complete about their experience with the robots and their personal background, help the team work out how best to improve the robots and make them more like social animals.

Although other researchers, mainly in Japan, focus on robotic engineering, the Hertfordshire work is distinctive in its focus on how robots can adapt to social behaviour.

Dautenhahn now has a team of 20 working with her, including PhD students and research assistants, with backgrounds ranging from robotics and engineering to psychology and computer science. She thinks companion robots, with realistic human-like features and intelligent functions that allow them to speak and understand speech will be available within years. ControlPad ControlPad can help turn the numeric keypad on your keyboard to a Windows command execution system —— Execute any program, open any document, open any web address or send any series of keystrokes to the OS.

Pressing the code followed by Enter will execute the associated command. Commands can be easily configured through this interface, and instead of numeric codes words can be used. ControlPad is highly customisable. You can: ControlPad is equipped with a simple installer and uninstaller, does not register anything in the Windows registry.

ControlPad v0. The 7. PIXresizer PIXresizer is a photo resizing program to easily create web and e-mail friendly versions of images. The reduced files are saved in a different folder, the originals remain unaltered as they are retained in a separate folder. PIXresizer offers several different resizing methods to choose from, and can automatically recognise image sizes to calculate the best fit.

The 3. DH suggested You could try the 3. What does the net look like now? Is it stronger or weaker in terms of its resistance to failure? John Markoff finds out. What Polar does there is to informally wire together the networks of different businesses that want to freely share their Internet traffic. The practice is known as peering, and it goes back to the earliest days of the Internet, when organisations would directly connect their networks instead of paying yet another company to route data traffic.

Originally, the companies that owned the backbone of the Internet shared traffic. In recent years, however, the practice has increased to the point where some researchers who study the way global networks are put together believe that peering is changing the fundamental shape of the Internet, with serious consequences for its stability and security.

Others see the vast increase in traffic staying within a structure that has remained essentially the same. Instead, it has begun to cascade in torrents of data on the edges of the network, as if a river in flood were carving new channels.

And some flows through so-called dark networks, private channels created to move information more cheaply and efficiently within a business or any kind of organisation. For instance, Google has privately built such a network so that video and search data need not pass through so many points. By its very nature, Internet networking technology is intended to support anarchic growth. Unlike earlier communication networks, the Internet is not controlled from the top down.

From the start, the information moving around the Internet was broken up into so-called packets that could be sent on different paths to one destination where the original message, whether it was e-mail, an image or sound file or instructions to another computer, would be put back together in its original form.

It made delivery of a message through a network possible even if one or many of the nodes of the network failed. Indeed, this resistance to failure or attack was at the very core of the Internet, part of the essential nature of an organic, interconnected communications web with no single control point.

During the s, a method emerged to create a network of networks. The global network of networks, the Internet, transformed the world, and continues to grow without central planning, extending itself into every area of life, from Facebook to cyberwar.

A zettabyte is a million petabytes. And a yottabyte is a thousand zettabytes. Traffic flows A study presented last year by Arbor Networks suggesting that traffic flows were moving away from the core of the network touched off a spirited controversy. The study was based on an analysis of two years of Internet traffic data collected by large and geographically diverse cable operators, international transit backbones, regional networks and content providers.

The changes, though, are not happening just because of the growth of the hyper giants. But elsewhere in the world, huge peering fabrics are beginning to emerge. However, he added that the rise of giant distributed data centres built by Google, Microsoft and others as part of the development of cloud computing services is increasing the part of the network that constitutes a so-called dark Internet, making it harder for researchers to build a complete model.

All of these changes have sparked a debate about the big picture. What does the Internet look like now? Is it stronger or weaker in terms of its resistance to failure because of random problems or actual attack. Developing models Researchers have come up with an array of models to explain the consequences of the changing shape of the Internet.

Some describe the interconnections of the underlying physical wires. Others analyse patterns of data flow. And still others look at abstract connections like Web page links that Google and other search engine companies analyse as part of the search process.

The consequences of such a model are that although the Internet is resistant to random failure because of its many connections and control points, it could be vulnerable to cyberwarfare or terrorism, because important points, where the connections are richest, could be successfully targeted.

Other researchers say changes in the Internet have been more fundamental. They argued that the real-world Internet is not a simple scale-free model. For example, they noted that Google has built its own global cloud of computers that is highly redundant and distributed around the world. This degree of separation means that Google is insulated to some extent from problems of the broader Internet. Another consequence was that even if Google were to fail, it would have little impact on the overall Internet.

So, as the data flood has carved many new channels, the Internet has become stronger and more resistant to random failure and attack. There is a host of futuristic devices on display at CeBIT. These underline that it is not all work and no play. But, as ever, the CeBIT is not all work and no play.

This year, however, the CeBIT takes place against a tricky backdrop for the high-tech sector, as the industry recovers gingerly from a crisis and cautiously eyes better days ahead. After a catastrophic , where turnover shrank 4. The CeBIT fair itself has also seen better days. This year, fewer than 4, companies are at the event, in Hanover, northern Germany.

This is around half the number attending in the halcyon days of the dotcom boom. Despite the crisis, the digital sector in Germany still enjoys a captive audience. Are they living in a wood? A BITKOM poll showed that nearly one in four Germans would be prepared to have a microchip implanted into their body if they thought they would derive concrete benefits from it.

But not everyone is convinced by the relentless march of technology. The new news junkie looks very different from even five years ago. Now, she is likely to scan the headlines on her phone in the morning, check a handful of different Web sites over the course of the day and click on links that friends have e-mailed or posted on Facebook or Twitter Ninety-nine per cent of American adults get news each day, but they are getting it from a wider variety of sources and in many different forms.

The Internet now outranks print newspapers and radio in popularity as a source of news. Sixty-one per cent of Americans said they read news online, while 54 per cent said they listen to news on the radio, 50 per cent read a local newspaper and just 17 per cent read a national newspaper. One-third of cellphone owners read the news on their phones. Only TV news stations are more popular than the Internet. About three-quarters of Americans say they get news on TV.

That is despite the fact that the networks are laying off reporters. Still, print and radio news organisations need not pack up their computers. Just 2 per cent of people read the news exclusively online. Fifty-nine per cent get news from both online and offline sources.

Many start-ups, investors and news organisations have been making a push into local news online. Surprisingly, only half of Internet users told Pew that they read local news on the Web unless you count the weather, which is the most popular topic for online readers , while three-quarters said they read national news online.

Friends as editor Readers are turning to their friends to serve as their editors. People have always read the news in part for fodder for dinner party or water-cooler conversations. Que Jue? The Colombian tropical master demonstrates his percussive prowess once again on these ten, sprightly cumbia tracks. Ore by Andrea Belfi. The latest from drummer-producer Deantoni Parks; frenetic beats and skittering samples, an amalgamation of synapses and sine waves. Wizarding by Don Gero. This is where you add a track, album, or merch.

Got it. Explore music. Time by L. Paisley Shirt Records. Bill Roe. Rob Yazzie. Jacob Daneman. E Steele. Ben Hubbird. Thomas Hyland. Julien Riou. Linley Kissick. Capes and Fog. John Beckinsale. Joe Duffy. Hockey Dad Records. Chef LeClam. One-Dimensional Man. Tadej Strok. Dora Cardinal. Lisa A.

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