Sunday, December 7, 2008

Amir Khan wins world lightweight boxing title

Amir Khan clinched the vacant WBA international lightweight title on Saturday with a second-round stoppage of Ireland's Oisin Fagan.

Referee Mickey Vann stepped in to end proceedings after one minute and 37 seconds of the round.

The victory was Khan's 19th in 20 fights and restored the 2004 Olympic silver medallist's reputation which had been so badly damaged by his 54-second loss to Colombia's Breidis Prescott in September.

That was the sixth time the 21-year-old had been knocked down and raised doubts over his ability to challenge for a major belt.

Earlier, Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli made an explosive heavyweight debut when a series of vicious body shots blasted Mathew Ellis into submission in the second round.

Maccarinelli's planned WBO world cruiserweight title clash with Francisco Alvarez fell through when the Puerto Rican failed a medical but Ellis stepped in on Friday.

Audley Harrison's world title aspirations were left in tatters after Belfast taxi driver Martin Rogan edged their heavyweight clash with a points decision over the 2000 Olympic gold medallist.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Share the (photographic) wealth! Now you can share your orkut photos with whoever you want

It seems like pretty much everyone knows at least one person who loves photography. The orkut team is no different– Navneet, one of the orkut engineers, is absolutely obsessed with taking pictures. Whenever we leave the office, he immediately whips out his camera and starts snapping photos of everything in sight. (I once caught him taking a close-up picture of my left foot– needless to say, I was not pleased.) All of these photos are of course uploaded to orkut, where he invites his orkut friends to compliment him on his artistic prowess. Like any budding artiste, however, our Navneet is constantly seeking exposure to a wider audience. To help Navneet share his "gift" with the world, and to help all of the rest of us stay connected with our friends who don't have orkut accounts, we're excited to announce a new photo sharing feature on orkut. Now you can share your orkut photos with all of your friends who have email addresses, whether they use orkut or not.

Here's how it works:

When you create an album, go to the "share with" drop down menu and choose "only selected friends". In addition to being able to enter the names of your friends on orkut who you want to share photos with, now you can include the email addresses of all of your friends who aren't on orkut as well.

If you decide that you want to share or stop sharing an album that you've already uploaded, just click on the blue "Share Album" button to add/remove whichever friends you want from your "Currently Shared List."

All of the non-orkut friends that you've included in the list will be emailed a special URL bringing them to your photo album. As this is a limited-access orkut page, your non-orkut friends will not be able to view your profile or any other part of orkut unless they join the site.

Keep in mind that non-orkut friends who receive the link to your orkut photo albums can (and, if your photos are interesting enough, probably will) forward it on to other people who may also want to check your photos out. The only way to ensure absolute privacy over your photos is to restrict your album to specific orkut friends, as we showed you in the last blog post.

So, whether you want to share your graduation glamour shots with all of your friends and relatives (even the ones who've never used orkut), or have photos from the party that you threw last weekend that you'd rather limit to just a few people, photo albums on orkut now give you the ability to choose.

As Navneet can attest to, sharing photos is too much fun to limit just to orkut users. So get out there and start inviting all of your friends, family, and coworkers to join in the experience with you!

Source Orkut Blog.

Two Pakistanis in last eight at international women tennis

Two Pakistani players among eight have entered into the quarter-finals in the second leg of the ITF Pakistan Women Futures Tennis Tournament here at the PTF Tennis Complex on Monday.

They are Sarah Mahboob and Meheq Khokhar, who have joined six others - Dipti Srivastava, Prerana Partahap, Treta Bhattacharyya, Jung Yoon Shin, Arthi Venkataraman and Prathad Prathana.

Pakistan’s top player Sarah Mahboob defeated Saba Aziz of Lahore in straight set 6-4, 6-0 while Meheq Khokhar beat Mehreen Izhar of Lahore in straight sets 6-1, 3-1.

The best ccontest of the day was seen between Prerana Prathap of India and Ushna Suhail of Pakistan.

The three-hour long encounter was finally won by Prerana 7 6 (2), 4-6, 6-4.

The other three set good match of the day was won by Venkataraman against Anushree. The match lasted two hrs and 30 minutes.

In the Doubles, Kim Hae Sung and Shung Yoon Shin of South Korea, Prerana Prathap and Prathana Prathap (India) and Arthi Venkataraman and Archana Venkararaman (India) moved into the second round of Women’s Doubles event by winning their respective matches.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Apple suggests Mac users install antivirus software

In what appears to be a first, Apple is recommending that Mac users install antivirus software.

But don't read this as an admission that the Mac operating system is suddenly insecure. It's more a recognition that Mac users are vulnerable to Web application exploits, which have replaced operating system vulnerabilities as the bigger threat to computer users.

Apple quietly signaled its shift with an item titled "Mac OS: Antivirus utilities" posted on its Support Web site November 21:

"Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult."

The item offers three software suggestions: Intego VirusBarrier X5 and Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh, both available from the Apple Online Store, and McAfee VirusScan for Mac.

Brian Krebs, who first reported on the Apple antivirus recommendation Monday in his Security Fix blog at The Washington Post, said an Apple store employee told him he didn't need antivirus software when he purchased a MacBook three months ago.

For years, Apple has enjoyed a period free from concern over viruses, while Windows has been blasted with viruses that were written to make the biggest impact by targeting the dominant OS platform.

Microsoft's software patch releases are watched closely by the entire industry. The company overhauled its own software development practices and constantly urges Windows users to install and update antivirus and other security software.

Meanwhile, Apple's message has been that Mac users are immune to viruses, as evidenced by this television ad.

It's unclear exactly what prompted this move at Apple. Apple representatives did not immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment on Monday.

Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee, said Apple was reacting to the realities of the market, where Mac users are finding they are not immune to Trojans and other Web-based malware that malicious hackers write to steal data from computers.

"Apple is realizing that malware these days is targeting data, and valuable data exists just as much on an OS platform that is a Mac as it does on an OS platform that is Windows,"

he said.

Threats to applications are rising while exploits of operating system weaknesses are declining. Operating system vulnerabilities representing about 6 percent of disclosed vulnerabilities while more than 90 percent of vulnerabilities were found in applications, according to a Microsoft security report from last month.

Trojans that are secretly dropped on a computer from a malicious Web site are the most prevalent malware threat. In April, Microsoft reported a big spike--a 300 percent increase year-over-year--in the number and proportion of Trojan droppers that its Malware Protection Center detected and removed.

"The malware we see today is Trojans, password-stealing Trojans,"

Marcus said.

"They are little apps that are dropped onto the machine to do something. They don't infect files and copy themselves. They are looking for specific information and they send that information somewhere else."

Trojans, which often masquerade as legitimate applications like video players, exploit vulnerabilities in the application code or take advantage of a weakness in the browser, and thus can be equally threatening to Windows and Mac platforms, he said.

Although Windows is the more popular target, even for Trojans, there have been Trojans that target the Mac, including one that targeted porn surfers last year and one this summer called "AppleScript.THT."

Meanwhile, the biggest targets for application vulnerability exploits are Office and Internet Explorer, according to Marcus.

McAfee's antivirus software protects against viruses that target the operating system as well as Trojans and other malware that exploit weaknesses in the applications, "regardless of what type of way in it is using, via the browser, Word or Firefox," he said. (Marcus, however, didn't agree with Apple's advice to run multiple antivirus products on one computer, saying they would fight for resources and could run into conflicts.)

A Symantec spokesperson provided this statement when asked for comment:

"Symantec has long encouraged consumers to use a security solution, regardless of the platform, especially with the rise in platform-agnostic threats like malicious Web sites and online scams."

The changing threat landscape from one where attackers try to worm their way onto victim PCs through holes in the operating system to one where more attacks are coming at computers through the applications and browser should change the nature of the Mac versus PC security debate.

No platform can claim to be safe now.

"At the end of the day, they're (Apple is) advising people to be safe and take precautions,"

Marcus said.

"That's a prudent thing to tell people in Web 2.0 world."

Google reveals Chrome extensions plan

Google has published its plan to build into Chrome what is arguably its most requested feature: the ability to accept extensions that can customize how the open-source Web browser operates.

And guess what? Google's dependence on advertising notwithstanding, one of the extension examples the company points to is the ability to block advertisements.

The Chrome extensions document, spotlighted Saturday by Google programmer Aaron Boodman, doesn't include a timeline, but it does shed light on why the project is a priority for Chromium, the open-source project behind Chrome.

"Chromium can't be everything to all people,"

according to the document.

"User-created extensions have been proposed to solve these problems: the addition of features that have specific or limited appeal; users coming from other browsers who are used to certain extensions that they can't live without; bundling partners who would like to add features to Chromium specific to their bundle."

When Google launched Chrome three months ago, it promised a Chrome extensions framework. Extensions are a popular feature of Chrome's most likely rival, Mozilla's Firefox, and one very popular extension is AdBlock Plus.

And AdBlock makes a specific appearance on the list of extension uses that Google said it would like to support eventually:

• Bookmarking/navigation tools: Delicious Toolbar, StumbleUpon, Web-based history, new tab page clipboard accelerators.

• Content enhancements: Skype extension (clickable phone numbers), RealPlayer extension (save video), Autolink (generic microformat data--addresses, phone numbers, etc.)

• Content filtering: AdBlock, Flashblock, privacy control, parental control

• Download helpers: video helpers, download accelerators, DownThemAll, FlashGot

• Features: ForecastFox, FoxyTunes, Web Of Trust, GooglePreview, BugMeNot

Demand for extensions is real.

In an unscientific CNET News poll about why people don't use Chrome, about 19 percent pointed to the lack of an extensions feature. And on Google's issue tracking site for Chromium, a Chrome extensions feature is the top-requested item.

"Of all the Firefox plug-ins, this is the one essential one,"

said Firefox user Ole Eichhorn.

"Chrome is faster until you factor in all the cruft that gets downloaded as ads, then it isn't faster anymore. When Chrome supports AdBlock, it will be the winner, but until it does, Firefox is the only choice."

In its document, Google described some of its goals for Chrome extensions. The extensions should silently update, just like Chrome does. They should be isolated for security reasons and only get access to resources it's entitled to use. Installation should be easy, taking only two clicks.

They should permit rich user interface options--rich enough to implement some parts of Chrome as extensions, Google said. Among the interface options should be "toolbars, sidebars, content scripts (for Greasemonkey-like functionality), and content filtering (for parental filters, malware filters, or AdBlock-like functionality)," Google said. Some interfaces will require the user to grant specific permissions, such as "access to the history database" or "access to," Google said.

Google will play a major role in extensions, providing a central service that can be used to issue updates and to blacklist "malicious or harmful extensions" so the browser won't use them.

"It's likely in the future we may want to provide a consumer front-end which would allow users to more easily find the most popular, highest quality and trustworthy extensions,"

Google also said.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Barack Obama is new US President

Democratic Senator Barack Obama has been elected the first black President to lead the United States of America.

Mr Obama was elected President on projected electoral college votes and winning key battleground states, according to BBC News.

The Democrats have secured a total of 47 seats in the Senate with Republican sealing 33 and the Independents taking two seats.

The Democrats again led in the House of Representatives with 42 seats, Republicans securing 21.

The final result is yet to be announced as counting for few states continues.

New US president must learn all lessons of Bush’s stupid adventures

Respectful US diplomat Charles Freeman described the period of George W. Bush’s presidency as the stage of stupid adventures that weakened the United States. The official believes that the new US president must change the home and foreign policies of the nation, Saudi newspaper Al-Watan wrote Sunday.

Former Ambassador Charles Freeman, who chaired the US mission in Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1992 (during Operation Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation) said in an interview with the newspaper that the current US administration exhausted its friends, weakened its allies and eventually exhausted and weakened the United States itself.

The diplomat, which replaced Senator George McGovern at the chairman of the US Council for Middle East Policy in 1997, set out a hope that the period of stupid adventures was over. The official added that the new US president must learn the lessons of Bush’s presidency well.

In the meantime, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says that former secretary of state Colin Powell is welcome to campaign for him and might have a place in his administration.

Powell crossed party lines Sunday and endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Obama told NBC's "Today" show Monday that Powell "will have a role as one of my advisers." Whether Powell wants to take a formal role, Obama said, would be "something we'd have to discuss."

Obama said Powell, a retired four-star general, did not tell him ahead of time that he'd be making the endorsement. At the time, Powell said he didn't plan to campaign for Obama before the Nov. 4 election, the AP reports.

Obama said he would love to have Powell on the campaign trail.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Is Blogspot blocked again ????

On trying to access my Blogger account, I am getting the following messege.

The requested URL could not be retrieved

While trying to retrieve the URL:

The following error was encountered:

* Access Denied.

Dear Valued Customer: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority ( has directed all service providers of the country to block access to some blasphemous web content/movies. This content would remain blocked till the further orders from PTA.
Generated Fri, 03 Oct 2008 05:43:55 GMT by (squid/2.6.STABLE17)

What the f**k this government is trying to do ??

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Eid Mubarak to all Muslim Ummah

Eid Mubarak to all Muslim Ummah, from S. M. Faisal (Owner of News Cracker)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Google Chrome : Download Offline Installer

Google Chrome is a newly introduced web browser by Google and its getting very good feed back, even i like i it personally.

You may download this from Google Home Page or for further details check our related posts. But while downloading, you may be able to download only 474kb Setup file which download online or via internet.

Gear up guys, here I'm giving you a link from where you will be able to install Google chrome Offline. No Need of internet connectivity for installing.

Apple selling unlocked iPhone 3G in Hong Kong

Apple has made an unlocked version of the iPhone 3G available in Hong Kong, letting consumers pick whichever carrier they so choose.

This is in sharp contrast to Apple's policy for the almost everywhere else on the planet. Unlocked iPhones are rampant worldwide, but that isn't something that Apple has sanctioned.

Freedom doesn't come cheap. The 8GB version is available for about $695 (5,400 Hong Kong dollars), while the 16GB iPhone costs about $798 (6,200 HK dollars), according to Apple's site.


"iPhone 3G purchased at the Apple Online Store can be activated with any wireless carrier,"

the site states.

"Simply insert the SIM from your current phone into iPhone 3G and connect to iTunes 8 to complete activation."

Friday, September 26, 2008

RIM shares tank on lower profits for new BlackBerrys

For the second straight quarter, soaring earnings weren't enough to satisfy Research In Motion investors worried about the prospects of lower profits to come.

RIM reported its second-quarter results Thursday, posting an 88 percent jump in revenue and a 72 percent jump in net income compared to last year. The numbers, $2.58 billion in revenue and $495.5 million in net income, were roughly in line with the company's own expectations but slightly below those of financial analysts.

But RIM revealed that its gross margins will be lower than usual for the next several quarters as it introduces new products that are slightly more expensive to build than its current models. In addition, the U.S. launches of the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Pearl Flip will come a little bit later in the company's third quarter than it had expected earlier in the year, meaning they'll contribute a little less to this quarter than RIM had anticipated.

That news sent RIM's stock down around 20 percent in after-hours trading as investors digested the news. RIM's gross margins are pretty solid, at around 50 percent, but they are heading down into the mid-40s as the company starts building the more expensive handsets in large volumes.

Still, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsille wasn't worried about his company's prospects heading into the rest of the year, on a conference call following the release of RIM's numbers. Balsille compared the current market for smartphones as a bit of a "land grab"--the same term he used last quarter--and said RIM would regret missing out on the opportunity to take advantage of demand for smarter mobile phones if it wasn't willing to take a bit of a cost hit through more sophisticated hardware and increased marketing expenses.

During the upcoming quarter the BlackBerry will be the centerpiece of several so-called "hero" campaigns launched by partners, presumably carriers and software developers, Balsille said.

"Everyone has a hero campaign where we are a featured or the featured device for the holiday season,"

he said.

RIM has been trying to expand its footprint beyond the enterprise to consumers, the target for devices like Apple's iPhone. Right now, consumers make up 42 percent of RIM's subscriber base, but more than half of all new subscribers in the second quarter were consumers, Balsille said.

BlackBerry sales were roughly in line with what Wall Street analysts had expected, at 6.1 million units shipped, but below some of the more optimistic estimates.

Do You Have Addiction Of Blogging


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Federer wins fifth US Open in a row for 13th Slam crown

Roger Federer won his 13th Grand Slam crown and fifth consecutive US Open title on Monday, defeating British sixth seed Andy Murray 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 to move one Slam title shy of the all-time record.

Federer's 56th career crown moved him into sole possession of second place on the all-time Slam title list, one more than Roy Emerson and one below the career record 14 won by Pete Sampras.

After losing this year's Wimbledon and French Open finals and his number one ranking to Spain's Rafael Nadal, Federer's aura of invincibility had dimmed but his US Open title served notice he still remains a force in tennis.

Federer became the first man to win five Slams in a row at two different events, having also completed the feat last year at Wimbledon. No one had won five US titles in a row since Bill Tilden in 1924.

Swiss second seed Federer stretched his US Open match win streak to 34, his last loss at Flushing Meadows coming to David Nalbandian in the fourth round of 2003, and took home the top prize of 1.5 million dollars.

It was Federer's 17th Slam final, two shy of Ivan Lendl's all-time mark. It took Federer 38 Slam appearances to win his 13th Slam, five fewer than Sampras
needed to reach the same total.

Federer had not won a prior hardcourt title all year. The last player to make the US Open his first hardcourt crown of a season was Sampras in 2002 for his last Slam crown.

Murray, playing in his first Slam final, had won two of three prior matches with Federer but was outclassed to bring a disappointing end to a run that will see him rise to fourth in the rankings, matching the best-ever British mark.

Federer, 27, thrilled a sellout crowd of 23,763 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the first US Open final since 1987 pushed to Monday by bad weather. It was the first Monday men's Slam final since Goran Ivanisevic won at Wimbledon in 2001.

Murray, who took one million dollars, would have been the first British man to win a Slam since Fred Perry at the 1936 US Open and the first British Slam champion of either sex since Virginia Wade won in 1977 at Wimbledon.

Murray's loss was the fifth for a British man in a Slam final since Perry's triumph, including Greg Rusedski at the 1997 US Open, John Lloyd at the 1977 Australian Open and Bunny Austin at the 1937 French Open and 1938 Wimbledon.

Federer broke Murray in the sixth and eighth games of the match to win the first set in 27 minutes. He broke Murray again in the second game of the second set but Murray broke back at love in the next game and the fight was joined.

Murray went to 0-40 on Federer's serve in the fifth game of the second set but Federer denied the Scotsman and the two traded holds of serve until the last game, which Federer finished with three winners to break for the set.

Federer broke Murray's first two service games at love in the third set and, after surrendering a break when he was serving two points from the title, broke him again in the last game on his third overhead smash of the point.

Murray sent the ball into the net after one hour and 51 minutes and Federer fell to his knees and then rolled onto his back, overcome with the moment as he screamed his joy before rising and raising his hands in a salute to the crowd.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Asif Ali Zardari elected new President of Pakistan

Pakistan People’s Party Co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari was elected as the next President of Pakistan after securing majority of votes in the presidential elections held here on Saturday.

Asif Ali Zardari is Pakistan's 11th President since 1956, when the country became a republic, excluding acting presidents.

According to the unofficial result out of 702 Asif Ali Zardari secured 479 votes, of which he got 281 from Parliament, 22 from Punjab, 6 from Sindh, 59 from Balochistan and 56 from NWFP.

Justice retired Saeeduzaman Siddique got 153 and Mushahid Hussain got 43 votes.

In the Parliament Zardari secured 281 votes, 111 by Justice (Retd) Saeeduzaman Siddique and 34 by Mushahid Hussain Sayed, out of 436 total votes, of which ten were declared invalid.

Asif Ali Zardari secured 123 in Punjab Assembly, 162 in Sindh Assembly, 107 in NWFP, and 59 in Balochistan Assembly.

His rival Justice (Retd) Saeeduzaman Siddique got 201 votes in Punjab Assembly, none from Sindh, 10 from NWFP and 2 from Balochistan Assembly.

Mushahid Hussain got 36 from Punjab Assembly, none from Sindh, 3 from NWFP and 2 from Balochistan Assembly.

The PML-N candidate Justice (Retd.) Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui outshone in Punjab assembly with 201 votes, followed by Asif Ali Zardari securing 123 votes while Mushahid Hussain Syed could muster support of only 36 members.

Zardari bagged 100 percent votes from his native Province’s Sindh Assembly; he bagged 162 votes out of 163 cast in the house of 166 with one vote declared invalid. The result was announced by Presiding Officer, Chief Justice Sindh High Court, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali immediately after the counting was over. In the house of 166, not a single vote was cast in favor of any of the other two presidential candidates Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Justice (Retd.) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui.

Asif Zardari emerged victorious in the Balochistan Assembly by securing 59 out of the 63 votes polled for the presidential election. The other candidates for the post, Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui of PML-N and Mushahid Hussain Sayed of PML-Q got 2 votes each.

The result was announced by the Presiding Officer, Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court Justice Amanullah Yasinzai after counting of votes. Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind and Tariq Hussain Masoori abstained.

In the NWFP Assembly, Asif Zardari secured record 107 votes out of a total of 124 votes polled. Justice ® Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui of PML-N grabbed 10 votes while Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of PML-Q obtained only three votes. While four votes were declared invalid as it were wrongly marked. Presiding Officer Tariq Pervez, Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court declared the unofficial results after counting of the votes.

Earlier, The voting process was held through a secret ballot by the two chambers of the national parliament, the National Assembly and Senate and the four provincial assemblies.

Chief Election Commissioner, Justice (Retd.) Qazi Muhammad Farooq conducted the proceedings as Returning Officer for election to the Office of the President. At the Parliament House, members from both the Houses, Senate and National Assembly, cast their votes to elect the President, being the Electoral College for Presidential election.

Security has been beefed up across Pakistan and additional contingents of security forces were deployed in major cities.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pervez Musharraf resigns as Pakistani President

Pervez Musharraf announced today that he was resigning as a President of Pakistan to avoid an impeachment battle that would harm the nation’s interests.

Mr Musharraf made the announcement during a lengthy and at times emotional televised address in which he said that he was leaving office knowing that whatever he has done "was for the people and for the country".

"After consultations with legal advisers and close political supporters and on their advice, I’m taking the decision of resigning,"

the former general said.

"My resignation will go to the speaker of the National Assembly today."

Until he confirmed his resignation towards the end, however, much of his defiant speech was spent denying that any of the impeachment charges against him could stand and angrily defending his time in power.

"Not a single charge in the impeachment can stand against me,"

he said.

"No charge can be proved against me because I never did anything for myself, it was all for Pakistan."

Mr Musharraf dominated Pakistan for years after seizing power in a 1999 military coup, making the country a key strategic ally of the United States by supporting the war on terror.

But his popularity at home sank over the years. Many Pakistanis blame rising violence in their country on his alliance with the United States, and his reputation suffered further last year 2007 when he ousted dozens of judges and imposed emergency rule.

He has been increasingly isolated since a parliamentary election last February elected a coalition government opposed to him.

The government, led by the party of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, said earlier this month that it planned to impeach Mr Musharraf for violating the constitution and other alleged crimes, in what was seen as a clear attempt to force him from office.

Officials from Saudi Arabia, as well as the United States and Britain, have been involved in negotiations aimed at ending the damaging confrontation between President and Goverment.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Five Ways to Extend Battery Life on Subnotebooks

Whether you end up with an Asus Eee PC, MSI Wind, or Acer Aspire One, the vast majority of these subnotebooks suffer from less than stellar battery life. Realistically, the whole purpose of these small form factor laptops was that they were supposed to be ultra portable. They were supposed to be light and compact enough that you would have no problem tossing it into your backpack or messenger bag, carrying out the web-surfing machine with you everywhere that you go. It's almost self-defeating when you are constantly looking for a wall outlet.

For this reason, I have compiled five tips for extending the battery life on your favorite netbook. It shouldn't matter if you buy a HP Mini-Note, Dell Inspiron Mini, or whatever other small laptop, because these tips will still apply. Heck, even if you are bouncing around town with a larger notebook, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pay attention too.

1. Dim That Display As Far As You Can Handle

All laptops give you the ability to set the brightness level of the notebook, so it's a really good idea to make use of that. Yes, you may need to crank up the brightness to get a reasonable level of visibility under high-light conditions, but if you're sitting in a coffee shop or working out of the library, it's not necessary to have the brightness jacked to the max. This is a huge burden on the battery. It's probably not the best idea for your eyes either. Dim that display and conserve some battery.

2. Turn Off Any Radios or Devices You Don't Need

Depending on the model that you get, many of these subnotebooks come with additional radios that you may not be using all the time. Given their Internet-minded functionality, there's a good chance that you'll have the Wi-Fi on all the time, but do you really need Bluetooth? Furthermore, any USB devices that you have connected to the Eee PC or MSI Wind, for example, will be a power draw. If you can help it, avoid using external mice and other peripherals if possible. This is especially true of running higher-draw devices like USB scanners, webcams, and portable hard drives.

3. Carry An Extra Battery or Two

This will cost you a little bit of money, but real road warriors will probably want to grab an extra battery or two. This is especially true of the netbooks that only come with a three-cell battery. Let's face it. Two hours of life just doesn't cut it. Poke around on eBay and other sources to see if you can find inexpensive third-party batteries. Just be sure to buy from a reputable seller and keep an eye on the mAh rating.

4. Make Use of a Car Charging Accessory

I invested about $15 on a Black & Decker power inverter for my car. In effect, it translates the power coming out of the cigarette jack into what appears to be a standard wall outlet. You don't need to break the bank with a high-wattage converter. The converter that I got only outputs 100 watts and that's usually enough for most small consumer electronics. If you've got a cell phone, iPod, or some other device, it can make use of this charger as well. Keep that battery topped up while on the road!

5. Hack and Mod Your Way to Greatness

If all else fails and no one wants to come to your rescue, then you might want to take matters into your own hands. One modder decided to create his own 9-cell battery for the MSI Wind. If the math holds up, that would provide six hours of web surfing on a single charge. Asus is also promising a version of the Eee that will provide "all day power". That's a waiting game though.

MotorolaTETRA system to be used at Beijing Olympics

Motorola, Inc. announced an agreement with the Beijing Police Bureau to provide its 350MHz TETRA digital trunked radio communications system to support the security needs of the Olympic Games. Beijing is the first city in China to implement a 350MHz TETRA digital trunked radio communication system.

Under the agreement, Motorola will provide the Beijing Police Bureau with a comprehensive TETRA digital trunked radio communication solution that includes 30 base stations, switches, terminals, and additional products and services. The Bureau's plans to establish a new wireless communication system alongside with its existing wireless network was based on a stringent assessment findings conducted to strengthen, safeguard, and to ensure the complete success of the Olympic Games. As this project involves Olympic Games security tasks, the system is strictly required to provide efficient and reliable support for the Olympic Games.

As the pioneer and global leader in the digital trunked radio communication industry, Motorola has strong capabilities to provide a complete line of products for 350MHz TETRA digital trunked systems, including base stations, switches, terminals and other related accessories. Over the years, Motorola has established several long-term relationships serving many Chinese local entities within the sector and is very experienced in China's public safety industry. Motorola is a trusted partner and reputable in the industry for providing its customers with a range of customized solutions that include single cluster stations, multi-slot packet data processing, and mobile base stations, among other products and services.

The communications' department of the Beijing Police Bureau stated,

"It is important to use high-quality communications solutions and services to ensure we dispatch effective and reliable radio communications solutions during the Olympic Games. I am pleased that Motorola is able to meet all our needs as it has tremendous experience and sophisticated communications capabilities."

"We are delighted to collaborate with the Beijing Police Bureau to provide wireless communication systems and solutions to enhance the Olympics' security. Motorola has been supporting the needs of mission critical users for Olympics dispatch radio communications since 1972. We provide the most advanced products and services and are highly experienced in digital trunked radio communications for the public security sector worldwide, meeting the stringent needs required by the Beijing Police for a secure Olympics event. We would like to take this opportunity to wish the Beijing Police Bureau a successful mission in handling their security assignments during the Olympic Games. It is our hope for Beijing to succeed in this global event,"

said Mr. Chew Hock Siong, General Manager, Government & Public Safety, Enterprise Mobile Solutions, Motorola (China) Electronics Ltd.

As an industry leader, Motorola initiated and strongly advocates the TETRA digital trunked radio communications standard. Motorola has served customers in China's public security sector for many years. As early as March 2001, Motorola implemented the first 800MHz TETRA digital trunked radio command and communication system on a full IP platform for the Shanghai Metropolitan Police Bureau. With the support of Motorola's TETRA digital trunked system, the Shanghai Police carried out safe and successful law enforcement for the 2007 Special Olympics World Games, garnering subsequent praise by China's Ministry of Public Security. In January 2008, Motorola signed a contact with Beijing Central Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection to provide a 350MHz TETRA digital trunked system to support radio communications for exit and entry inspection at the Beijing International Airport.

Mobile-TV equipped TD-SCDMA handsets delivered to China Mobile

Lenovo Mobile and Spreadtrum jointly presented Lenovo Mobile's TD900, the new digital mobile-TV equipped TD-SCDMA handsets, to China Mobile. The TD900's design is based on Spreadtrum's TD-SCDMA platform and mobile-TV solution. Officials attending the press conference included Mr. Xinsheng Zhang, Deputy Director General, Science and Technology Department, MIIT, Mr. Bo Zhao, Deputy Director General, Electronics and Information Technology Products Department, MIIT, Mr. Xiaojie Wang, Director General, Science and Technology Bureau, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television ("SARFT"), and officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology and from China Mobile.

This batch of mobile-TV equipped TD900 will be distributed to the Beijing Olympics volunteers and staff members. Lenovo Mobile is expected to deliver more TD900 handsets to China Mobile before the Beijing Olympic Games. With the Beijing Olympics approaching, China has become the focus of the world. Currently, China Mobile is increasing its testing of the mobile-TV function while preparing its third round of public bidding for the purchase of TD-SCDMA handsets. Lenovo Mobile and Spreadtrum's distribution of the first batch of mobile-TV TD900 handsets to China Mobile at the earliest opportunity shows the two parties' strong joint efforts and determination to serve the Beijing Olympics.

Lenovo Mobile's TD900 is one of Lenovo Mobile's "new vision" model series released in July 2008. TD900 is a tablet phone; it supports TD-SCDMA/GSM dual mode and 3G applications such as video phone, mobile-TV, auto-roaming, auto-switching and high speed download. As the first batch of mobile-TV equipped TD handsets, several radio programs and approximately eight TV channels including CCTV1, CCTV Olympics and CCTV News, are provided free and with good signal reception and smooth video display. The combination of TD-SCDMA and CMMB, both of which are China owned standards, offers a wonderful solution to serve the Beijing Olympic Games.

The TD900 deploys Spreadtrum's solutions for TD-SCDMA and CMMB standards. As the only wireless baseband solution provider in the industry for the innovative technologies of TD-SCDMA and CMMB, Spreadtrum developed successfully the TD-SCDMA digital mobile-TV application. Spreadtrum's chip solution offers mobile-TV play, simultaneous transmitting and receiving of communication signals without interference, and a good experience with the TV services of the TD-SCDMA digital mobile.

"It is our pleasure to jointly present with Spreadtrum the TD900, the innovative mobile-TV equipped TD handset, to China Mobile. TD900 is designed to address the needs of the mainstream market and is developed independently and to bring us the latest digital mobile TV experience. Being the national industry leader, Lenovo Mobile will make its best efforts to unite the industry's strengths and advance the development of China's 3G technology,"

said by Mr. Yan Lv, President and CEO of Lenovo Mobile.

Dr. Ping Wu, President and CEO of Spreadtrum said,

"We are pleased that Spreadtrum and Lenovo Mobile were able to jointly deliver the digital mobile-TV equipped TD-SCDMA handsets to China Mobile. Spreadtrum has pursued independent innovation and has supported China's self-developed standards for many years. We hope to maintain a strong cooperative relationship with Lenovo Mobile to drive together the next level of development in China's communications industry."

According to a recent forecast from China Mobile, the second phase of the TD-SCDMA network infrastructure will be completed by early next year, when all provincial capitals and select cities will have network coverage by then. With the successful kick-off of the third round of public bidding for the purchase of TD-SCDMA handsets by China Mobile and the mobile-TV TD handsets in the market, it is believed that a new "vision" awaits.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Apple MacBook to Feature Glass Touchscreen for Trackpad?

Part of the reason why the iPhone is so popular is because it has a fantastic glass touchscreen. In this way, it wouldn't take much for Apple to plunk that technology into the next-generation MacBook. That's the rumor swirling around on the Internet at the moment, but without any sort of substantial source, it's really hard to confirm.

What they're saying is that the trackpads on the upcoming redesigned MacBooks will be made of glass, feature multi-touch, and come with full support for gesture inputs. This kind of tech, aside from the glass thing, is already in play with devices like the MacBook Air. They also say that the exterior will be sculpted from a single sheet of aluminum.

Rounding out the rumor sheet are processor revisions based on Intel Centrino 2 and 16:9 aspect screens. This means that the Macs will be offered in 14" and 15.6" variants, rather than the 13.3" and 15.4" that you've got now. Look for a formal announcement in September. Maybe.

Motorola's home and networks mobility business reorganizes

Philadelphia (Reuters) -- The home and networks mobility business, led by Dan Moloney, will now comprise three businesses: broadband home solutions, broadband access solutions and cellular networks, the company said.

Alcatel-Lucent ousts CEO and Chair

"The telecoms equipment group on Tuesday said it would part ways with chairman Serge Tchuruk and chief executive Patricia Russo after cutting market expectations again, raising hopes a new team would turn the group round and improve its fortunes."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yeh Hum Naheen - English subtitles - We are not that (We are not Terrorist)

This is a new Musical video that has become a huge hit in Pakistan. I resounded very much with me. When people talk about "Muslims" and how they are (all) violent and terrorists, and this and that... I scratch my head and think... who are these people talking about?? That's not me!

Microsoft Windows 7 on track

Windows unit head Bill Veghte said on Thursday that Windows 7 development remains on track.

The company has officially said it would ship by January 2010, but top executives have also said from time to time that it would be done by the end of 2009.

"The product is tracking very, very well,"

Veghte said.

"We are committed and looking good, relative to our commitment--(shipping Windows 7) three years from general availability of Windows Vista."

Microsoft has released few details on the product, largely assuring customers that it would be making big architectural changes and that it will have a new multitouch user interface.

Most of Veghte's talk, as expected, was on Windows Vista and how Microsoft sees a large perception gap. Veghte showed the Mojave Project, first detailed here, in which users predisposed against Vista reacted favorably when shown Vista when it was presented under the guise of being a new version of Windows, code-named Mojave.

Even outside focus groups, Veghte said that not only are customers buying the operating system, but more are liking it, pointing to recent internal figures showing that 89 percent of users said they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the product. Some 83 percent said they would recommend Vista to a friend or family member, Veghte said.

He also demoed Internet Explorer 8, which he said would be released in final form later this year. An early beta was shown off at the Mix '08 trade show in the spring.

Update: In the closing Q and A session, CEO Steve Ballmer was asked what Windows 7 would look like, but declined to offer any new details saying to do so would be a "no-win" situation.

"It's going to look great; It's going to be quite compatible,"

he said, to some laughter.

"If I wanted to start selling Windows 7 today, we'd start selling windows 7 today. Then you'd complain."

He did reiterate what has already been said, saying that Windows 7 is designed to avoid making big changes.

"The design point is compatible form the get-go in large measure,"

he said.

Nokia and Qualcomm Enter Into a New Agreement

Nokia and Qualcomm today announced that they have entered into a new agreement covering various standards including GSM, EDGE, CDMA, WCDMA, HSDPA, OFDM, WiMax, LTE and other technologies. The agreement will result in settlement of all litigation between the companies, including the withdrawal by Nokia of its complaint to the European Commission.

Under the terms of the new 15 year agreement, Nokia has been granted a license under all Qualcomm's patents for use in Nokia's mobile devices and Nokia Siemens Networks infrastructure equipment. Further, Nokia has agreed not to use any of its patents directly against Qualcomm, enabling Qualcomm to integrate Nokia's technology into Qualcomm's chipsets. The financial structure of the settlement includes an up-front payment and on-going royalties payable to Qualcomm. Nokia has agreed to assign ownership of a number of patents to Qualcomm, including patents declared as essential to WCDMA, GSM and OFDMA. The specific terms are confidential.

"We believe that this agreement is positive for the industry, enabling the market to benefit from innovation and new technologies,"

said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia Corporation.

"The positive financial impact of this agreement is within Nokia's original expectations and fully reflects our leading intellectual property and market positions."

"I'm very pleased that we have come to this important agreement."

said Paul Jacobs, CEO of Qualcomm.

"The terms of the new license agreement, including the financial and other value provided to Qualcomm, reflect our strong intellectual property position across many current and future generation technologies. This agreement paves the way for enhanced opportunities between the companies in a number of areas."

Buy an iPod touch for Same Price as iPhone 3G, Sans Contract

As compelling as the iPhone 3G may be, it's quite possible that you don't want to lock yourself down to a lengthy contract with one of the pre-selected providers. By and large, the Apple iPod touch is effectively the same device as the iPhone, except for the fact that it doesn't have the "phone" part of the picture.

If you're mostly interested in the multi-touch, Wi-Fi, and App Store, then the iPod touch just might be the ticket for you. You don't have to deal with a monthly bill, but you may have to pay for software upgrades when those come along. And now you can get the iPod touch, without a contract, for the same price as the iPhone 3G.

Refurbished models of the iPod touch are available through Apple. The 8GB and 16GB models are going for $199 and $299, respectively. If you want to hit up the 32GB iTouch, that goes for $429. I have a feeling that this could be paving the way for a refresh or a new generation.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sony Ericsson Introduces Three Walkman Phones

Sony Ericsson is rolling out a trio of cell phones in its Walkman line to enable customers to take their music on the go.

All three of the phones are built to offer a pleasing music experience, and they deliver high-quality audio playback. The music phones also have features like the music recognition application TrackID, shake control to change tracks with a flick of the hand, and the SensMe application.

The W902 Walkman is the top-of-the-range device, and the candy-bar phone sports 2.2-inch screen with accelerometer sensors for auto-rotating.

The handset is also capable of using a carrier's 3G-network with a maximum downlink speed of 3.6 Mbps. Customers can use this to browse the Internet on the phone's HTML browser, and the music phone is also capable of receiving push e-mail.

The W902 has a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus capabilities and a flash. There is an image viewer and picture editor on board, and images can be geo-tagged using cellular tower locations. Users can also record video and there's a front-facing camera for video calling.

Along with the music player, the phone has a built-in FM radio, and it's capable of using stereo Bluetooth headphones. It will also come with an 8-GB Memory Stick Micro for storing tunes and pictures.

The W902 measures in at 4.3 by 1.9 by 0.5 inches, and it weighs 99.8 grams. The music phone will have four color options and will roll out to "select markets" in the fourth quarter.

The W595 Walkman is a slider that lacks a few features of the W902, but it still has 3G network capabilities, an HTML browser, and robust music capabilities. The W595 has a 3.2-megapixel camera and comes with 2 GB memory card.

The W595 measures in at 4.3 by 1.9 by 0.5 inches and it weighs 104 grams. It will come out in four colors in the fourth quarter.

The W302 Walkman is a lower-range phone that has a slim form factor. It shares the music and entertainment features of the other Walkman handsets, but it lacks 3G capabilities, and has a 2-megapixel camera. It measure in at 3.9 by 1.8 by 0.4 inches, and it will roll out with the other two music phones.

First Commercial Solar-Powered GSM System Launched

Telecom equipment vendor, VNL, has finally cracked the problem facing mobile operators in the developing world: how to provide affordable mobile services to rural people - and still turn a profit.

Launched today, VNL – and its solar-powered GSM system – will change the telecoms market in rural areas across the world. For years, operators and GSM equipment vendors have struggled with the same problem, namely that traditional GSM was not designed for the unique challenges posed by vast rural areas. It costs too much, is too expensive to run, uses too much power and is too difficult to deploy (especially in areas with no electricity, poor roads and no skilled engineers).

VNL has re-engineered GSM technology to reduce its power requirement and make it suitable for a rural environment where electricity is scarce or unavailable.

The result is VNL’s WorldGSM™ system, which includes base stations that only need between 50W and 120W of power to operate (compared to 3000 W for a typical GSM base station). A WorldGSM base station is entirely powered by solar energy with a 72 hour battery back-up in place (also charged by solar power).

The system also includes a rural-optimised MSC (Mobile Switching Centre), and a compact BSC (Base Station Controller) – making WorldGSM a complete, end-to-end GSM network.

Thanks to solar power, WorldGSM both drastically reduces the operating expenses for mobile operators - and contributes to a much lower environmental impact. VNL has estimated that mobile networks in India alone require 2 billion litres of diesel every year to power back-up diesel generators.

India-based Luke Thomas, from the research and consulting company Frost & Sullivan, says: “India is the fastest growing telecoms market in the world but some urban areas have already reached saturation point. VNL has opened up a whole new area of subscriber and revenue growth for operators by building a commercial – and profitable – GSM system to service remote low-density rural areas.”

Indian infrastructure provider, Quippo Telecom Infrastructure Limited (QTIL,, will be trialling WorldGSM in rural areas of India in the near future. Following the successful completion of the trial, QTIL expects to roll out a complete commercial network that will be fully integrated with the networks of existing operators. Agreements with several prominent operators have been reached and are in the process of being finalised.

Probal Ghosal, CEO of QTIL, says:

“Every so often a company comes along that really changes the telecoms industry. VNL is one such company. Not only that, and more importantly, it’s improving the lives of the world’s rural communities.

I know that there will be considerable demand for and deployment of VNL’s equipment in rural India. The villages of India may be remote but the people who live there are ready and waiting for phones. Take an average small farmer, for example. He may often travel half a day just to get to a local market – only to find it is closed or not accepting his product that day. The advent of mobile phones will solve this type of problem at a stroke.”

VNL’s WorldGSM base stations have a number of unique features:

* Low cost: priced at less than a quarter of traditional GSM base stations and profitable at very low densities and subscriber revenues.

* Easy to transport: an entire WorldGSM base station packs into two carts and can be transported over rough terrain in something as simple as a bullock cart.

* Self-deploying and near-zero maintenance: can be assembled and activated by non-engineers.

* Small solar panels: the solar panels used are 2-8 m² and the power required is between 50 and 120W compared to the 200m² solar panel and 3000W required for traditional GSM Base Stations.

VNL’s WorldGSM base stations are interoperable with equipment from most major equipment manufacturers and are compatible with all standard handsets.

VNL is packed with telecoms industry veterans, most of whom have vast experience in bringing products and services to entirely new markets. Its CEO, Anil Raj, founded Hutch India in 1994 and served as its CEO before moving to Ericsson as President of its India operations.

Anil says:

“Telecoms operators and equipment manufacturers have traditionally failed to deliver GSM to rural areas for the simple reason that it’s just too difficult and ultimately not sustainable. There’s no power, no engineers, no infrastructure, a difficult terrain, low density – and, most importantly, low subscriber revenues. VNL’s equipment has overcome these challenges and provides operators with a truly viable way to connect the next billion mobile users.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Apple iPhone 3G Gets Unofficial Stereo Bluetooth Support

Although it is now boasting some blazing 3G high-speed data and some nifty GPS navigation, there are still a few pieces missing to complete the ultimate iPhone package. The second coming of the Jesus phone is supposed to replace your regular mobile phone and your iPod, but where is the stereo Bluetooth support? It's here.

You will not find official A2DP Bluetooth support from Apple, unfortunately, but the good people at Brando have come up with a simple add-on that latches onto the dock connector in the base your iPhone 3G. With this little dongle, you can now have access to full stereo Bluetooth, cutting out those wires for your portable music enjoyment.

Naturally, you will need to throw in a set of stereo Bluetooth headphones of your own, but this $62 device from Brando will get you heading in the right direction.

Feature: Can AMD Bobcat Compete Against Intel Atom?

When I was in Taipei for Computex last month, a big part of the show was dedicated to the emergence of the small form factor notebook PC. Everyone already knew about the Asus Eee PC and how it sold like hotcakes during the holiday season. With Computex 2008, just about every major Taiwanese laptop maker got in on the small laptop action. Plenty of non-Taiwanese manufacturers entered the fray as well. It's clear that while the market may not be profitable, these guys still want a piece of the pie.

But the prevailing theme was just about small notebook PCs. It seemed to be much more specific than that, because nearly all of the subnotebooks on display were rocking the new Intel Atom processor. We saw the new Asus Eee PC 901, for example, as well as similar notebooks from MSI, Acer, Gigabyte, and more. With so much love for Intel's Atom, where is AMD going to find itself?

AMD Bobcat to Tackle Intel Atom

On Friday, I picked on the story of the upcoming AMD Bobcat. That's just the codename for now, but the gist of the story is that this new microprocessor from AMD would compete directly against the Intel Atom. The existence and development of this small chip was confirmed by Dirk Meyer, the top dog at AMD.

Virtually no details surrounding the exact configuration and specs of the AMD Bobcat processor have been announced. You can't even find any reasonably substantiated rumors out there. At this point, it's little more than hearsay, so we're left guessing what AMD will have in store for the Atom-loving crowd. What we do hear is that they are shooting for a launch some time in November. This could be enough time for laptop makers to implement the new chip into small notebooks for the Christmas shopping season. It's a tight squeeze, but it might be doable.

Performance and Battery Life

These netbooks were never meant to fully replace your main computer. Instead, they're supposed to serve as supplementary devices that you can carry around with you everywhere you go, granting you a near desktop-like experience wherever life's roads may take you. In this way, it's unlikely that you will be using an MSI Wind or an Acer Aspire One as your primary machine. It's just there for web surfing, document editing, and maybe a little spreadsheet updating too. They're not that much more powerful than a good smartphone; they just happen to have a more usable keyboard and a bigger display.

With the arrival of Intel Atom, we were led to believe that these little laptops would afford the same level of performance as the first-generation Centrinos. Battery life was supposed to be a lot better than a real Intel Core 2 Duo processor too, because it wouldn't be drawing nearly as much power. Properly configured, you may be able to get upwards of 6 hours of web surfing time before the battery crapped out.

As you can imagine, you can't really have the best of both worlds. If you want improved performance, your battery life will suffer. If you want better battery life, your performance will have to take a hit. In this way, it will be interesting to see which factor gets more attention from AMD. Will they go for performance or will they shoot for battery life?

Carving Out a New Niche?

If AMD takes the route of performance, there is definitely a market there. In addition to high-end units like the Flybook line, there are other manufacturers who are implementing Atom into some non-budget computers as well. The Fujitsu U2010 is doing Atom and it costs $1,300. That's a far cry from the $400-$500 price point of most netbooks. The same can be said about a potential Atom-powered Pepper Pad with Vista.

The trouble with both of those is that Atom, as it stands, probably isn't powerful enough to pull off that kind of muscle. AMD could jump in and make a low-cost, low-power, but relatively high-performance processor. Bobcat could really pounce on this huge opportunity. (Sorry, that was a horrible pun.)

Still Trying to Catch Up

If AMD is shooting for a November launch of Bobcat, it could be too little, too late. This is just a rumor for now, but dual core Atom chips could be ready as soon as September. This would give Intel a two-month head start on AMD, not to mention the head start that Intel already had with the first generation Atom.

As a result, the public reaction to an AMD Atom-like processor wouldn't be so much a perception of innovation as much as it is a perception of emulation. Just look at all the subnotebooks that look a little too much like the Eee PC and all the touchscreen phones that seem to mirror the iPhone. AMD could already have its work cut out for it before they even get started.

Motorola V750 Clamshell Acts Tough with Verizon Wireless

The Motorola RAZR might not be able to suffer all that much environmental abuse, so if you're interested in getting a clamshell from Moto that's a little tougher, look no further than the V750. Unlike other military-grade phones from Motorola in the past, this phone does not come with a overly clunky rubber exterior.

The Motorola V750 has been designed to resist shock, vibration, drastic altitude changes, dust, extreme temperatures, and solar radiation. Whether you find yourself scaling cliffs, rumbling through the jungle, or jumping out of airplanes, the V750 should have you covered. Strangely, there's no mention of water protection, so might want to avoid jumping into the Amazon River.

Features include push-to-talk, 2.2-inch internal screen, 1.6-inch external screen, 2 megapixel camera, and Bluetooth A2DP. The Motorola V750 is available through Verizon for $100.

Canada wraps up wireless spectrum auction: official

Canada's auction of wireless spectrum has ended after the participating companies halted all bids, a government official told Reuters on Monday.

The official said there had been two consecutive rounds in the auction with no new bids on Monday, prompting auction managers to call an end to the months-long process.

The auction of airwaves over which wireless services are delivered raised C$4.25 billion ($4.25 billion) in 331 rounds of bidding. The proceeds were more than twice the amount analysts had expected.

According to the auction website, Rogers Communications Inc, which owns Canada's largest wireless firm, was the top bidder with offers totaling C$999.4 million.

Telus Corp, Canada's No. 2 phone company, had C$879.9 million in standing high bids. Telecom giant BCE Inc had bids totaling C$740.9 million.

The three companies currently dominate Canada's wireless landscape, though analysts have cautioned that their aggressive spectrum spending could leave them vulnerable to competitive threats posed by newcomers.

The government had set aside a chunk of spectrum exclusively for bidding on by new entrants -- a move the Big Three providers criticized as equal to an unfair subsidy.

As the auction concluded, Quebecor Inc, which had bid a total of C$554.5 million, and Globalive Communications, with bids totaling C$442.1 million, appeared to pose the most serious threat to the existing carriers.

Analysts have suggested that Quebecor, a printing and media firm with an established presence in its home province of Quebec, could partner with Globalive to create a national service provider.

Panasonic LX3 Point-and-Shoot Offers F2.0, Full Manual Controls

It's not going to compete against the real digital SLRs on the market, the newly announced Panasonic LX3 certainly brings a lot to the table for "just" a point-and-shoot. For starters, this is one of very few P&S cameras that comes with F2.0. Even my Canon S3 IS can only go as far as F2.8, so this is quite the improvement.

The Panasonic LX3 maintains the same 10 megapixel count as its LX2 predecessor, but you do get 40% better sensitivity and 35% greater saturation. The 2.5x 24mm ultra-wide angle lens is a definite plus, as are ISO 3200 (in full res), ISO 6400 (at reduced res), full manual controls, RAW output, Intelligent Scene Selector, and HD video recording.

Look for the Panasonic LX3 digital camera to launch next month with an MSRP of $499.