Computers

Five Best Online Meeting Services

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If you work at a company with employees in offices around the globe, or you work in a small company but want to collaborate with a contractor who works from home or vendor across the country, you need a service that will let you connect with your team, share documents, collaborate on them, and in some cases even share your screen or webcam with them. Here are five of the best services to conduct productive online meetings, based on your nominations.

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Cisco WebEx ($19/mo – $49/mo)

WebEx is probably one of the oldest and most commonly used online meeting services in the market. WebEx’s customer portfolio is impressive, and their online meeting service is incredibly easy to use. Install the WebEx plugin on your desktop that allows you to quickly host or join meetings, and a few clicks will get you working with your team, sharing screens, passing around the “presenter” role to others who have documents to show, or even chatting face-to-face in minutes. WebEx integrates with apps on your desktop so you can schedule an appointment and instantly add a meeting to it, start a meeting and email the attendees quickly, or even join a meeting on your mobile device or tablet. WebEx has a number of products and subscription plans for individuals, small businesses, or large enterprises that offer different features depending on what you need (and what you can afford), but one thing is sure-these features don’t come cheap.

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GoToMeeting ($49/mo)

GoToMeeting is another tool used by individuals and enterprises to host online meetings, collaborate on documents, and share desktops and screens among colleagues. The service offers a wealth of enterprise features even to individual users, like desktop sharing, HD video conferencing, and mobile apps that allow you to attend GoToMeeting meetings on your iOS or Android device. Install the GoToMeeting application on your Mac or PC and you can start meetings with a single click, or set them up meticulously so you only share the information you want to with the people you want to invite. Attendees get a tiny plug-in to install before they can join your meetings, but once installed, joining your meetings is a one-click affair.

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Google+ Hangouts (Free)

A number of you mentioned that Google’s recent addition of screen sharing and document collaboration to Google+ Hangouts has rocketed it to the top of your list of online meeting services. We can’t blame you—it’s no secret we love Google+ Hangouts, and the service keeps getting better, with free voice calls and large, clear video. In addition to the ability to see your friends clearly, host a meeting with several of them, share documents via Google Docs and collaborate, you get the benefit of being able to do it all on the web, for free. The only thing you need is a Google account, a webcam, and a microphone.

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TeamViewer (Free)

TeamViewer has a reputation for being a fast and hassle-free method to troubleshoot remote computers, but it’s also a great method to get a team together on the web, share screens, chat, and work together on documents. TeamViewer allows you to—for the low price of free—start instant meetings, schedule them in advance and email your attendees when they should join and the access code needed to see your screen, share your screen or pass the “host” role to another meeting attendee so they can share theirs, and even stream video from your webcam to the group so you can all see one another’s faces while you talk. TeamViewer also offers mobile apps so you can attend online meetings from your iOS or Android device.

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Join.me (Free, $19/mo Pro)

Also more often considered a remote control and support tool than an online meeting service, Join.me, a free service from the folks at LogMeIn, has the features to pull double duty. The service allows you to bring up to 250 viewers into the same room, share your screen with them, chat, send files around to your attendees, and, like the others, offers iOS and Android apps for remove viewing. If you’re willing to spend some coin, the Join.me Pro gets you the ability to make another attendee the presenter so they can share their screen, the ability to pre-schedule and lock meetings, and a desktop app to make meeting management easy.


InfoConnect 2012 is coming soon…

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It has been announced that InfoConnect will be taking place in International Fairs Ground, Halls 5, 6, 7 & 8 on 29th of January 2012 and till 4th of February 2012.

The timings will be 9AM to 1PM and 4:30PM to 9PM

It’s nothing compared to Gitex of course, but it will be a good gathering for the Geekz in Kuwait 😉

We shall be writing a small review about the event shortly.


Top 12: Amazing gadgets to watch out for in 2012

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2012 will see 3D technology and lot more cloud computing technology occupying the consumer mindspace, says Get Ahead reader Nadeem Taslim. Here is the list of 12 most amazing gadgets to watch out for in 2012.

Nadeem is a tech blogger and runs two technology blogs: techbung.com and aliengang.com.

1. Apple Ipad 3 / Ipad 4

Apple is likely to ship the ‘iPad 3’ in March and ‘iPad 4’ in October, according to reports attributed to component makers in Taiwan.

Apple will ship the so-called ‘iPad 3’ with a full HD display in March and then ‘iPad 4’ — named so by its component suppliers — with killer applications in October, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

The iPad 3 will come with a QXGA (1,536 X 2,048 pixels) display and longer battery life although its other hardware specifications may not be so amazing as expected, said these sources.

The 9.7-inch iPad 4 is expected to come with much upgraded hardware specifications and integrated applications so as to compete with an array of Android, Wintel or WoA (Windows on ARM)-based tablet PCs to be released in the fourth quarter.

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2.Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III will have quad-core processor, Ice Cream Sandwich, 720p screen and 3D technology that might be an integrate part of the S III. Some other reports however suggest that the S III will sport a 1.8GHz, dual core processor embellished with a 4.65-inch SuperAMOLED capacitive touchscreen.

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3.PlayStation Vita

Sony is all set for the launch of its Play Station Vita with quad-core graphics processor. It will have touch controls as well as dual analogue sticks. Check out the official site for more info on Sony Vita.

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PCs and laptops with Thunderbolt ports

According to DigiTimes, Intel’s super fast port will be available on Windows PC in April 2012. Thunderbolt port will enable the user to transfer data to and from the system and USB at a much faster rate. The transfer rate of this port will be around 10GB per second.

Lenovo has announced its first Thunderbolt-equipped laptop, the ThinkPad Edge S430. Apple too uses Thunderbolt technology.

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Windows 8 tablet PC

After Android tablet we will see Windows 8 tablet PC in 2012. Samsung and HP will be the first movers to showcase a Windows 8-based tablet PC which will use the ‘Metro’ interface on tablets that presently enriches the user experience used on Windows Phone 7.

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Reliance 4G Tab

After Aakash tablet being the cheapest tablet, Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani will be entering the arena with another cheap tablet sometime in 2012. The group will roll out its 4G network first and give users a unique experience, super fast Internet speeds on the Reliance 4G Tab.

The Reliance 4G Tab could come for a price as low as 20KD with high speed 4G connectivity.

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Apple iOS6

Apple will be coming out with iOS6 that will have novel features. Like: at-a-glance information, file system, a new map App, iMessaging to OS X, Facetime 3G, Voice Choice, multi-tasking App Store, more graceful app switching, app data backup and cloud computing, etc.

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Android 5 or the Jelly Bean

Google’s next Android iteration is titled ‘Jelly Bean’. Android 5 is expected to have some game changing features like full chrome browser, file manager, Android 5 lite for fast technology, user interface on/off toggles and better keyboard, power efficiency and theme options.

Google Nexus Ultima, the first phone with Android Jellybean is likely to make its debut soon.

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Sony’s portable HD TV

Sony is shrinking the TV screen into a size of a headphone. This Personal 3D viewer will give full HD experience. The user experience will be like you are watching a huge TV screen. This portable home theater will cost around 220KD.

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Makerbot

This small, Brooklyn-based company isn’t very big but it’s very powerful. The company just raised $10 million and is working on better ways to get 3D printing to the masses.

The Makerbot technology will make 3D printing possible this year.

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Asus Padfone: Tablet-Smartphone Hybrid

Asus Padfone is a first of its kind innovation created to fulfill the demand of both smartphone and tablet users.

It allows the user to toggle between pad and phone that best fits their activities. Asus’s Padfone will have a Tegra 3 chipset and four Cortex-A9 cores.

According Engadget Padfone is expected to lunch at Mobile World Congress 2012, in February.

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Ultrabooks

An Ultrabook is a computer in a category of higher-end thin and lightweight ultraportable laptops, defined by a specification from Intel.

Lenovo has announced ThinkPad T430u Ultrabook for Business UsersLenovo ThinkPads, the T430u features the same soft-touch black matte design, but with an aluminum construction. It has a 14-inch display, 0.8-inch thin profile, and weighs less than 4 pounds. The keyboard is full-size, but Lenovo’s laptop keyboards are renowned for their comfortably sculpted keys.


Multi-gigabit Wi-Fi is here and 5 reasons it matters

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Broadcom is expected to show off silicon that offers 1.8 1.3 gigabit per second Wi-Fi at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The technology will help prepare home networks for the era of whole-home video streaming. To promote the chips, which will use the 802.11ac standard, Broadcom has hijacked the G used by cellular networks, calling the new standard 5G Wi-Fi.

Terminology aside, here’s why this latest iteration of Wi-Fi is so cool:

  1. It’s fast. The standard can deliver up to 3.6 Gbps around the home, although initial chips offer 1.81.3 Gbps. The current top-of-the-line Wi-Fi chips (802.11n) top out at 600 Mbps.
  2. It’s designed for video. The technology uses the 5 gigahertz band as opposed to the 2.4 gigahertz band. The gigahertz band has wider channels to deliver more capacity and competes with fewer other wireless devices, which means the channels can carry more data such as fat high-definition and maybe even 3-D video streams.
  3. It’s designed for multiple devices and concurrent streams. Those wider channels also mean a home can support more devices trying to send lots of data, such as sending multiple, concurrent HD video streams around the home, while someone else plays a game or video conferences. So while you might not think you need a gigabit home network without a gigabit pipe leading to your home, if you’re streaming cached content from a hard drive or another device, this helps.
  4. It’s more power-efficient. The wider channels allow for more data to travel over the network, which means downloads take less time. At that point, the radio powers down to save on battery life or power. This doesn’t help when streaming, but would be good for keeping devices and hard drives synced.
  5. It goes the distance. The physics of transmitting data using airwaves over distances and through certain materials doesn’t change, but because the standard can deliver faster speeds from the router, folks will get proportionately faster speeds as they move away from the router in their homes and offices. It also uses beamforming technology (basically, it compresses the signal like a laser compresses light to make it more powerful) to better pass through buildings, especially through those made of concrete. The end result is a better signal — even if it must pass through a few walls — and a decent end-user experience.

Broadcom expects to start shipping chips in the middle of this year and appearing in a wide variety of products from phones and laptops to set-top-boxes and home routers that will ship in the second half of the year. In November, Quantenna, a chipmaker startup that has raised more than $60 million, announced its own 802.11 ac chips, and in September, I spoke with Craig Barratt, president of Qualcomm Atheros about that chipmaker’s vision for the next generation of Wi-Fi.


Who Came Up With Computer Symbols?

Since computers came into our lives, we really didn’t ask questions about how they got here or the process of naming the keys and symbols. But aren’t you curious about where the names and symbols came from?

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The Power Button

Back in the 1940s, WWII engineers used the binary system to label individual power buttons, toggles and rotary switches: a 1 meant “on,” and a 0 meant off. In 1973, the International Electrotechnical Commission vaguely codified a broken circle with a line inside it as “standby power state,” and sticks to that story even now. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, however, decided that was too vague, and altered the definition to simply mean power.

The “At” Symbol

It has been known by many names: the snail (France and Italy), the little mouse (China), the monkey’s tail (Germany). In 1971, a Bolt, Beranek & Newman programmer Raymond Tomlinson decided to insert the symbol between computer network addresses to separate the user from the terminal. Prior to Tomlinson’s use, the @ also graced the keyboard of the American Underwood in 1885 as an accounting shorthand symbol meaning “at the rate of.” Some also suggest that @ has its origins in the sixth century, when monks adopted it as a better way of wirting the word ad-Latin for “at” or “toward”-that was not so easily confused with AD, the designation for Anno Domini, or the the years after the death of Christ.

USB

Created as part of the USB 1.0 spec, the USB icon was drawn to resemble Neptune’s Trident, the mighty Dreizack. In lieu of the pointed triangles at the tip of the three-pronged spear, the USB Promoters decided to alter the shapes to a triangle, square and circle. This was done to signify all the different peripherals that could be attached using the standard.

Firewire

Back in 1995, a small group at Apple, the main developer of FireWire, set about designing a symbol that could accurately reflect the new technology they were working on. Originally intended as serial alternative to SCSI, FireWire’s main allure was that it promised high-speed connectivity for digital audio and video equipment. So designers opted for a symbol with three prongs, representing video, audio and data. Initially, the symbol was red, but was later altered to yellow for unknown reasons.

Apple’s Command Symbol

While working with other team members to translate menu commands directly to the keyboard, Hertzfeld and his team decided to add a special function key. The idea was simple: When pressed in combination with other keys, this “Apple key” would select the corresponding menu command. Jobs hated it-or more precisely the symbol used to represent the button-which was yet another picture of the Apple logo. Hertzfeld recalls his reaction: “There are too many Apples on the screen! It’s ridiculous! We’re taking the Apple logo in vain!” A hasty redesign followed, in which bitmap artist Susan Kare poured through in international symbol dictionary and settled on one floral symbol that in Sweden, indicated a noteworthy attraction in a campground. Alternately known as the Gorgon loop, the splat, the infinite loop, and, in the Unicode standard, a “place of interest sign,” the command symbol has remained a mainstay on Apple keyboards to this day.

Bluetooth

The Bluetooth symbol is actually a combination of the two runes that represent Harald’s initials. It just so happens the first Bluetooth receptor also had a “teeth-like” shape, and was-you guessed it-blue. But the symbolic interplay doesn’t end there. As the Bluetooth SIG notes, Bl??tand “was instrumental in uniting warring factions in parts of what are now Norway, Sweden, and Denmark – just as Bluetooth technology is designed to allow collaboration between differing industries such as the computing, mobile phone, and automotive markets.” [via Bryan Gardiner of Gizmodo]


The 50 Best Registry Hacks that Make Windows Better

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We’re big fans of hacking the Windows Registry around here, and we’ve got one of the biggest collections of registry hacks you’ll find. Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of the top 50 registry hacks that we’ve covered.

It’s important to note that you should never hack the registry if you don’t know what you’re doing, because your computer will light on fire and some squirrels may be injured. Also, you should create a System Restore point before doing so. Otherwise, keep reading.

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How to configure your Xbox 360 Controller for Windows on a Windows XP- or Vista-based computer

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Configure the controller

You don’t have to configure the controller unless you want to customize the range of motion of the axes. To configure the controller, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type joy.cpl in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. In the Game Controllers window, click XNA Gamepad, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Settings tab, and then click Calibrate.
  4. Follow the steps in the Device Calibration Wizard.
    Note When you’re prompted to use the directional pad (D-Pad), use the left stick instead. If you use the D-Pad, the left stick configuration may be incorrect.
    1. To use this wizard to configure the axes of your game controller, click Next.
    2. Leave the D-pad (left stick) centered, and then press a button on the controller.
    3. Press all the D-pad’s corners (left stick), and then press a button on the controller.
    4. Leave the D-pad (left stick) centered, and then press a button on the controller.
    5. Move the Z Axis (left and right triggers) all the way up and down, and then press a button on the controller.
    6. Move the X Rotation (right stick – left right movement) all the way up and down, and then press a button on the controller.
    7. Move the Y Rotation (right stick – up down movement) all the way up and down, and then press a button on the controller.
    8. To save your configuration, click Finish.
  5. Click Apply, and then test the operation of the controller.
  6. If you’re satisfied with the new settings, click OK twice.
    If you’re not satisfied, click Settings, and then click Reset to defaults. When you click Reset to defaults, the device controls are reset to the default settings that are obtained from the device.

Plug the Adapter and convert your Movies!!

I just discovered a very good tool which can convert any format of movies you own to flash, Called ADAPTER

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It’s a free video converter for Mac & PC. It converts avi, saves flash .flv, crops video and more! It even works with audio and image files so you can convert wav to mp3 and transform jpg files! This tiny freeware program lets you quickly and easily change any file type to any other file type.

This tool can be downloaded from Adapter (more…)


15 Must know Firefox shortcuts

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For many years I was a die-hard Safari fan, you couldn’t have pulled me away from it… that is, until Firefox came along. Firefox is speedy, secure, and entirely cross platform compatible, and is now my primary web browser of choice. One of the better ways to improve the user experience with any application is by learning some essential keyboard shortcuts, so here are fifteen such shortcuts for Firefox. Whether you are new to Firefox or a long time user, this list of keyboard shortcuts will likely be useful to you.

Must Know Firefox keyboard shortcuts
  • Spacebar (page down)
  • Shift + Spacebar (page up)
  • Command + D (bookmark current page)
  • Function + F5 (reload current page)
  • Command + T (open new tab)
  • Command + W (close current tab or window)
  • Control + Tab (navigate forward through browser tabs)
  • Control + Shift + Tab (navigate backward through browser tabs)
  • Command + K (go to search box)
  • Command + L (go to address bar)
  • Command + Enter (auto-complete URL within address bar)
  • Command + = (increase screen text size)
  • Command + – (decrease screen text size)
  • Command + F (find text)
  • Control + N (find next occurrence of text)

These commands will work on Linux and Windows versions of Firefox as well, simply use the Control key in place of the Command key where appropriate.


68 best free torrent search sites that don’t require registration

Bittorrent is amazing, the most common protocol for sharing large files roughly accounts for 27–55% of traffic on the internet as of Feb 2009 (source).

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