The Podiyan

Thursday, September 30, 2010

India Vs Australia - 2010 - Test Series - Part 01

An ankle sprain to Harbhajan has cast a cloud over India's hopes of having their first-choice attack back in action, following endless fitness issues in Sri Lanka. Dhoni said India will take a call on the offspinner on Friday morning. If Harbhajan does not make the cut, Pragyan Ojha will assume the role of lead spinner. Mohali's seamer-friendly reputation gives Sreesanth an opportunity to make the final XI as the third fast bowler, ahead of legspinner Amit Mishra. The batsmen pick themselves and, barring last-minute fitness issues, M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara are likely to sit out.

India (possible) 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt and wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh / Amit Mishra / Sreesanth, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Pragyan Ojha

Australia are waiting to see how well Doug Bollinger and Michael Hussey train after their last-minute dash to India from the Champions League in South Africa. However, it would be a surprise if either man was left out. The only change from the team that lost to Pakistan at Headingley in July is likely to be the inclusion of Nathan Hauritz, who has recovered from his foot injury, at the expense of Steven Smith.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Simon Katich, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Marcus North, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Ben Hilfenhaus, 11 Doug Bollinger.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Facebook Extends Reach of 'Like' Button to Apps!!!

Facebook this week added a few updates to its "like" button that will make the feature a bit more pervasive on the site.

The three upgrades are directed primarily at developers, but users will see the results in their favorite apps, Pages, and on the Facebook news feed.

"Since we launched social plugins in April, we've been listening to user feedback and working with developers to optimize the Like button to make it as seamless as possible for people to like content around the web and share it with their friends," Facebook wrote in a blog post.

The first change will allow users to "like" something within an application. Did your friend get a high score on a game you both play? If the developer enables this functionality, you can "like" it. Anything you do "like" will be sent to the news feed, and anyone who clicks on that mention will be directed to the app in question, potentially generating more traffic for developers.

Second, Facebook has enabled the "like" button for Facebook Pages. A developer can opt to put a "Like button" or a "Like Box" on their site, and anyone who clicks on it will be directed to the developer's Facebook Page.

Finally, Facebook introduced a new "like" button that includes a box count, or the total number of likes the app has received. As Mashable pointed out, this might signal the end of the Facebook "Share" button, which was introduced in October and essentially does the same thing.

In other Facebook news, reports that Facebook has filed a patent application for a "social CAPTCHA" system. CAPTCHA's are the words that some Web sites ask you to type in before you enter a secure site or make an online purchase, for example. A "social" CAPTCHA would apparently ask you to identify something you should know - like the identify of someone in a photo - instead of typing in a bunch of letters.
-pc mag

Apple iOS 4.1: Faster or Not?

The new iOS 4.1 update for the iPhone and iPod touch offers security fixes and new features on different models. But does the new operating system change the speed of the phones? After running five benchmarks, we found no significant speed gains or losses on an iPhone 4, 3GS or 3G.

The benchmarks were first executed on the phones running the previous version of iOS, version 4.02. We then upgraded all the phones to 4.1. After running the benchmarks in 4.1, we found speeds on the various tests remained within about 10 percent of the iOS 4.02 results. Click on the charts below to see the scores.

• Graph: Change in Performance 
• Chart: Change in Performance 
• Chart: iPhone 4 Scores 
• Chart: iPhone 3GS Scores 
• Chart: iPhone 3G Scores

Our benchmarks were split into three categories: processor and memory performance; application loading speed of a complex game; and Web browser performance.

Processor and Memory 

BenchTest 1.4 ($0.99 in the iTunes store) tests memory allocation, floating point and integer calculation, 2D drawing performance using CoreGraphics, filesystem writes, and some JavaScript functions.

Geekbench 2 ($1.99 in the iTunes store) tests floating point and integer calculation and measures sustainable memory bandwidth and memory performance.

Application Load Time 

"NFSU Launch" is the time for the device to launch "Need for Speed Undercover 1.2.0" ($4.99 in the iTunes store) to playable mode.

Web Browser Performance

SunSpider and V8 (version 5) are complex JavaScript benchmarks that test JavaScript runtime performance. The iPhone 3G could not run the entire V8 suite, so we picked two tests, "Richards" and "EarlyBoyer."

All tests were run with devices connected to a Wi-Fi network.

-pc mag.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Suraj Randiv gets one-match suspension!!!

Suraj Randiv has been suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket for one match following the no-ball controversy that denied Virender Sehwag a century during Monday's match between India and Sri Lanka. In an extraordinary and unprecedented decision, he has also been docked his match fees for the game, as has Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was reported to have encouraged Randiv to bowl the no-ball. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has been advised to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.

The decision, taken by a six-man committee set up by Sri Lanka Cricket, capped a day on which the issue - which involved a transgression not of any law but of the spirit of fair play - escalated beyond proportion. Upping the ante were statements issued by the ICC - which said it would wait for SLC to act - and the Indian board, which called for strict action. In Dambulla, on the eve of a crucial match against New Zealand, Sangakkara's routine press conference was consumed almost entirely by questions relating to the issue.

In a statement announcing the punishment, the SLC said the incident went against the spirit of the game. "Sri Lanka Cricket is extremely proud of its team and their achievements over the years. It is of paramount importance to maintain the discipline of the Gentlemen's game, especially with Sri Lanka Cricket being winners of the 'ICC Spirit of the Game' award for two consecutive years," it said.

With Sehwag on 99 and India one run away from victory, Randiv bowled a big no-ball that denied the batsman a chance to get his century. Sehwag's initial reaction was to shrug it off in typical manner but he later said Randiv had done it deliberately. Sehwag also speculated that Randiv was acting on orders from senior players in the side.

Sangakkara denied playing any role in the incident and said he hoped it was not deliberate. Though Randiv later apologised to Sehwag, SLC instructed the team management to probe the incident. Following the enquiry, Dilshan's role in the incident has come to light.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Apple Global Supply Manager Accused of Accepting $1 Million in Kickbacks!!!

A mid-level Apple manager faces twenty-three counts of a federal grand jury indictment alleging that the 37-year-old Paul Shin Devine, a global supply manager, is guilty of wire fraud, money laundering, and kickbacks related to his position at the company. Andrew Ang, of Singapore, faces the same charges as well.

And if that's not bad enough, Apple itself has filed a separate civil suit against Devine, alleging that the Sunnyvale, CA-based (former) employee accepted more than $1 million in bribes and kickbacks from countries including China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.

According to the indictment, Devine allegedly used his position at Apple to acquire various bits of confidential information about the company. He would turn around and sell this information to more than a half-dozen Apple suppliers—including the aforementioned Ang—and both would receive payments for their efforts. Using the confidential knowledge, said suppliers would be able to better position themselves to bid for and receive Apple contracts.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the companies in the indictment remained unnamed, but they're said to be involved in supplying materials for Apple's iPods and iPhones.
"Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business," said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling in a statement. "We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company."

The somewhat-complicated scheme, reads the indictment, involved a number of U.S. and foreign bank accounts, as well as the falsified company "CPK Engineering," to process the payments. Devine allegedly attempted to conceal the money transfers using code words as to not clue his employer into what was actually transpiring, and would even go so far as to open the foreign bank accounts in his wife's name.

The Internal Revenue Service reports that Devine is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshals, awaiting a 1:30 p.m. court appearance this coming Monday in the U.S. Northern District Court in San Jose.


Google Pondering Paypal-based Purchases for Android Applications???

If you want to pick up a new app on an Android-based smartphone, you have one option with which to pay for your new purchase: Google Checkout. At least, for now—sources indicate that Google is chatting with eBay's PayPal business to bring the latter as a secondary option for smartphone-based payments.

While that doesn't necessarily help the speed of the transaction—Google Checkout is, after all, is still a fairly convenient method for purchasing applications—it does help Google attract users who, for whatever reason, have simply opted not to use Google's single payment service for their purchases.

Integrating Paypal would open up Android phones to the service's 87 million active accounts, which would surely go a long way toward increasing the propensity of a user to pick up a new application on a whim—especially if the Paypal service is integrated into the mobile operating system in a similar style to how purchases work on Apple's App Store.

"As an Android user, I'd certainly be more inclined to buy apps from the Android Market if PayPal was a payment option," writes Intomobile's Marc Flores. "Make it a one-click feature and perhaps I'll even go nuts loading my EVO 4G with new applications."

Neither Paypal nor Google are discussing the alleged talks, which may or may not lead to a finalized deal between the two companies, reports Bloomberg.

According to the research firm Gartner, Google's Android operating system is now the most popular piece of smartphone software in the United States. Sales of Android-based devices rank third of any smartphone in the world in 2010 thus far, nestled behind RIM and Symbian's respective sales of 11.2 million and 22.3 million units. Apple's iPhone sales rank fourth at 8.7 million, or a market share of 14.2 percent to Android's 17.2 percent.

It's quite a turnaround from this same time period one year ago, when Apple commanded 13 percent of the market to Android's 1.8, and Symbian carried the majority market share at 51 percent. Microsoft's Windows mobile phones continue to lag with only 3 million units sold in 2010, a market share of a paltry 5 percent (itself, a decrease from 2009's 9.3 percent)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Speak Commands with Google's Voice Actions for Android Application!!!

Google on Thursday introduced the next generation of interaction with its Android operating system: voice-driven actions.

Google executives outlined 12 new "Voice Actions for Android," including phone calls, reminder e-mails, direction search, and music search. (Searching for generic links, a traditional function of Android, is number 13.) The app is called "Voice Search," requires Android 2.2, and is available in the Android Market now, Google executives said.

A second improvement, dubbed "Chrome to Phone," allows users to click on a new "mobile phone" icon to send links, YouTube videos, even directions, to the phone.
So far, the features are exclusive to Android phones and U.S. English, although the capabilities will be moved to other languages and other operating systems (including the iPhone) in the future, executives said. "It's probably, on Android, the easiest," said Hugo Barra, director of product management for Google.

Voice actions can be triggered by clicking the "microphone" icon on the screen. Saying "call John Smith at home" will trigger the contacts list and voice dialer, "find art museums in Amsterdam" would launch a Google Maps application, and "listen to Ace of Base" will search for music from the artist on Pandora,, or another music application. A "note to self" command, meanwhile, will send an automated e-mail to a default e-mail address. If Android is confused about which application to use, or a location, it will present a list of choices.

Within the phone, the microprocessor can power just hundreds or thousands of MIPS, a measure of processing power. But connecting the phone to the cloud allows the phone to basically put a supercomputer in your pocket, Barra said.

Voice actions allow the user to essentially command the phone's actions, where previous iterations have focused on looking for links. Google has no plans to add sponsored search listing, and the company will use your location if you provide it. Barra said that there is a roadmap to increasing the capabilities of the voice actions, including the possibility for adding a scripting language.
"There's a place where you want to type, and there's a time and place where you want to use voice," said Dave Burke, an engineering manager at Google and the author of the "Chrome to Phone" function. About 25 percent of the data Google processes via Android is search data, Barra said.

"Chrome to Phone" is as described: within Chrome, clicking the "phone" icon sends a search result, a YouTube link, or directions directly to an Android 2.2 phone. The Chrome to Phone capability is a Chrome extension, and is available on the App Market, Burke said.
For now, the transfer is one-way; data can not be sent from the phone to the PC, Barra said. The phone-to-PC capability may be added in the future, Barra said.