Tag Archives: Technology

Internet Explorer 9: 10 Things to know

The software giant Microsoft is all set to update its IE browser. The Redmond-based company released a platform preview of Internet Explorer 9 for developers at MIX10 Web developer conference in Las Vegas.

Microsoft is betting on IE9’s speed and performance to expand its majority share in the browser market. The company claims that the new browser will be faster than Firefox 3.6. According to Microsoft, Web and application developers will want to upgrade to the next version of Internet Explorer for its optimized performance and HTML 5 support.

Here’s all about Internet Explorer 9’s very first release.

What’s new in IE9?

For now, Microsoft is betting on IE9’s speed and performance. The company claims that the new browser will be faster than Firefox 3.6. The company says Web and application developers will want to upgrade to the next version of Microsoft’s Web browser, IE9, for its optimized performance and better support for several standards: HTML5, DOM, and CSS3. IE9 is also the first browser to provide hardware-accelerated SVG support.

IE9’s new script engine, internally known as `Chakra’ compiles JavaScript in the background on a separate core of the CPU, parallel to IE. HTML5 will also allow IE9 to move beyond resource hogging browser plug-ins to display multimedia content online.

How IE9 looks?

How IE9  looks?

It is too early to comment on IE9’s user interface. For, there is still no beta release. The platform preview is essentially a frame for showing off the new browser’s JavaScript and rendering engines. So, there’s no Back button, bookmark manager, history feature, toolbars, and other so-common features in a browser interface.

What exactly is IE9 Platform Preview?

Internet Explorer Platform Preview is not a full Web browser. It is intended to give developers an opportunity to test and provide feedback on the underlying platform for Internet Explorer 9. To distinguish it from a full browser, the company calls it a Platform Preview. Microsoft plans to update the release every 8 weeks.

Can I use IE 9 release for my regular browsing?

No. As mentioned above, the Platform Preview is not a fully-functional browser. It opens links in a user’s default browser, not the Preview app. Since the Platform Preview cannot be registered as a default browser on a user’s system, the links do not open in it.

Also, some of the features may or may not be the part of the shipped version of IE9, depending on developers’ feedback through various stages of Platform Preview

Does IE9 release replace my current Internet Explorer?

No, it does not, though it does share some settings with your existing Internet Explorer installation. Platform Preview installs side-by-side with earlier versions of Internet Explorer and any other browser(s) on your computer.

Any cool feature in IE9 release?

Microsoft has released some technology demos that show IE9’s better support for JavaScript, its HTML5 capabilities, and support for hardware-accelerated graphics. Some demonstrations include, flying images, map zooming, pulsating bubbles and GPU-powered falling balls.

What are system requirements for IE 9 release?

Users need a Windows PC running either Windows 7 or Vista. On Vista, you need to have installed Internet Explorer 8 and you need to install the Platform Update for Windows Vista, available on Windows Update since October, 2009. Platform Preview is only available in a 32-bit x86 version but it will install and run on 64-bit Windows 7 and Vista.

Can IE 9 release run on Windows XP?

No. Microsoft has said that IE9 will not be available on Windows XP. According to the company, “IE9’s GPU-powered graphics take advantage of new technologies available in Windows 7 and back-ported only to Windows Vista. These technologies depend on advancements in the display driver model introduced first in Windows Vista.”

When will first IE 9 beta ship?

Microsoft has still not given any fixed time period for the beta release of IE9. The company says that the beta version will be released as a full browser once the build has reached the customer quality bar.

How can I download IE 9 release?

The IE9 Platform Preview can be downloaded from Microsoft’s Web site ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/ .

VIA  Infotech.Indiatimes

SAP cancels NetWeaver BW 7.2 release, plans to roll features into 7.3 release

SAP has cancelled its planned NetWeaver BW 7.2 release, and will instead roll 7.2 functionality into a NetWeaver BW 7.3 release set for later this year, the company said today.

Today, SAP told customers participating in a ramp-up program for NetWeaver BW 7.2 that it would be cancelled. The program was set to begin on March 1, and about 10 customers were participating, according to SAP. SAP’s ramp-up is its process for introducing a product to the market, and the program allows a select group of customers to use the software before it becomes generally available.

“The feedback from our customers was loud and clear: while they appreciated the features that would be available via the 7.20 release, they prefer one more complete feature release and fewer upgrade steps,” Franz Aman, vice president of platform marketing for SAP BusinessObjects, said in an email. “SAP listened, and will consequently not release SAP NetWeaver BW 7.20 in favor of consolidating the 7.20 and 7.30 functionality into one go-to release.”

SAP last released a version of NetWeaver BW, in October 2005 NetWeaver BW 7.0. Customers have had complaints about NetWeaver BW, including slow query responses, limited data volume scalability and limited visibility into non-SAP data, according to analysts. SAP released the BW Accelerator to deal with the performance issues.

Some of the functionality customers can look forward to getting in the NetWeaver BW 7.3 release includes the full technology platform release supporting all of the NetWeaver hubs, tighter integration with the SAP BusinessObjects tools and enhanced business planning, Aman said.

NetWeaver BW 7.3 will also include support for Teradata and HP Neoview.

MS, Google slug it out in local languages

It’s difficult to say how many in India understand English. But it might be fair to say, as a Microsoft release recently did, that about 95% of the countrys population prefers working in their regional language. That means computing and the web, which is probably 99% English, is largely beyond the vast majority in this country.

This is increasingly being seen now as a huge opportunity. The biggest players in computing are creating applications and tools that make it simple to compute in the local language. For Microsoft, this means it can sell more of its Windows 7 or Office Suite. But as more and more of our activities move to the internet, its a fight with the likes of Google to see who can create the most acceptable applications for local language emailing, messaging, blogging, or social networking.

The attempt is also to help create more local language content. As Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, senior product manager in Google India, says, Unless this content is there, the value of search is diminished. And search, with its associated advertisements, is where Google today makes most of its money.

Transliteration is a tool that is now available with a range of applications. All you need to do is write the local language word using the English alphabet and it converts to the local language script. For example, you can type, Bharathathil pala bhashaigal pesapadugirathu to get the sentence automatically in Tamil. Sanjay Manchanda, director in Microsoft India, says the desktop version can be used with any application working on Windows, such as Word or Outlook, and the web version allows the user to enter text on any web page such as Live mail or Windows Live Messenger without requiring a software download.

Google initially introduced this facility in online services like Gmail, Blogger and Orkut. More recently, it launched an offline transliteration technology for 14 languages that could enable businesses, students, teachers, etc to leverage local languages to communicate with their stakeholders.

Transliteration, of course, requires that you know the English alphabet. Google has provided this technology to SEWA (Self Employed Womens Association) in Gujarat. The women told us that they used to write to their managers in English, but they knew they were not writing it properly and would feel embarrassed about it.

But with this technology, they now write in Gujarati and they say they know they are writing it correctly and feel good, says Roy-Chowdhury. Google has also developed an application programming interface (API) that can be used by any website to enable it to use local language inputs. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation used it to enable people to enter their voter registration information in Marathi. The sulekha.com blogging platform uses this API.

Microsoft recently developed what it calls the Captions Language Interface Pack (CLIP) that makes it easy for developers to develop sophisticated local language applications using Visual Studio. Google, and recently MShave also created translation technology, but these remain far from perfect.

How your email gets hacked

Experts have warned that hackers can comfortably crack questions used as security checks in webmails.

Joseph Bonneau, a security researcher at the University of Cambridge, insists that attackers can break into at least 1 in every 80 accounts if they get three chances to guess answers.

“The numbers were worse than we thought,” the BBC quoted him as saying.

He recommends webmail firms to replace simple answers with more complex tests to confirm a person’s identity.

Bonneau teamed up with Mike Just and Greg Matthews, from the University of Edinburgh, to check how frequently attackers can be successful in answering security questions.

The researchers claim that hackers are successful in getting answers to security-check questions correct every 80 accounts, as information people use as answers are often publicly accessible, such as US marriage and birth records which were viewable online for a long time.

He said, “We measured how hard it was to guess answers. Asking what was the name of someone’s first grade teacher seems like a secure choice. The problem is that there may be many teachers out there named Mrs Smith.”

Bonneau warns that cyber criminals maintain a long lists of e-mail addresses to attack. He added, “They have the big list and most of them they will not get enough access to.

“Webmail was never really designed for security but it is taking on a pretty important security role. Once you have an e-mail account you can take over a lot of other things with it.”

However, the researchers believe Webmail firms can tighten their security. Bonneau explained, “They can make guessing a lot harder if they shape the answers that they allow. Such as not letting you register Smith as an answer.”

“The chance of guessing three things simultaneously is pretty low.” Websites such as Google, are already sending reset passwords by text message in a bid to protect the account of its users.

Google’s Acquisition Binge: Why It Bought Picnik

Google CEO Eric Schmidt backs his words with his wallet. In September, Schmidt announced that Google would buy one small company per month. In a bit less than seven months since, Google has bought — um — seven small companies. Google’s latest acquisitions are all about doing things faster online and on your phone. In addition to buying Aardvark, a service that helps people get quick answers from their network of contacts online, Google last month bought reMail, which simplifies searching e-mail messages on a phone.

This week, Picnik became the latest high-flying start-up to join the Google team. The popular photo-editing site has 17 million unique monthly visitors and traffic growth of 10% a month. Picnik simplifies the process of cropping, editing and adding special effects to photos stored on your computer or on sites such as Flickr, Picasa or Facebook. Apple’s much anticipated iPad release later this month will overshadow Google’s recent stealthy acquisitions. But as social networking, cloud computing and phone applications loom ever larger, Google’s purchases may add up to equally significant impact.

Here are six reasons why Google is betting on Picnik.

1. Filling a Critical Gap Google fills software gaps as much through acquisitions as it does with engineering. After buying plain-Jane photo-management service Picasa in 2004, Google bought Neven Vision in 2006 to spice Picasa up with facial recognition. But after Yahoo! snatched up Flickr in 2005, Picasa never caught on as broadly as its competitors. Even as digital photography has exploded, Picasa has continued to lack sophisticated editing capabilities, making Picnik a crucial acquisition.

2. Cloud Power Over the past few years, Google has been snapping up leading Web-based software start-ups that make it easy to edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations online. Now Schmidt and Co. have added the best available photo-editing tool. Strategically speaking, you might think of it as a carefully orchestrated effort to gradually sideline Microsoft’s lumbering desktop software suite. To that end, Picnik will bolster Google’s launch of its new Web-oriented Chrome operating system later this year. “The consumer market is evolving into a model where every useful or interesting application starts with a login to the cloud,” says Nat Burgess, president of the Corum Group, an M&A advisory firm, and a member of Picnik’s advisory board. (See pictures of China mourning the potential loss of Google.)

3. Apps As more consumers use their phones for snapping and sharing photos, Google’s new, no-stress editing tool could soon give it a key competitive advantage in phone photography. In an interview with TIME a month before the acquisition, Picnik CEO Jonathan Sposato said developing a great, easy-to-use phone app was an important project for Picnik. By launching a feature-rich, easy-to-use app version of Picnik, Google can speed ahead in the race for phone-software supremacy.

4. Defense Google couldn’t afford to repeat the mistake it made in letting Flickr go to Yahoo! in 2005. When asked about potential acquirers before selling Picnik to Google, Sposato said potential matches ranged from tech giants Apple, Yahoo! and Microsoft to photo companies such as Snapfish, Shutterfly and Kodak. Google had to act decisively to avoid a Flickr-like missed opportunity.

5. Data With a billion uploads in its database, Picnik has a mountain of information about how people edit their photos. Because Picnik now enables people to edit photos they have stored through Yahoo! Mail, Flickr, Facebook and other services, Picnik also has info on photo usage all across the Web. Google craves data of that sort, particularly as it prepares to launch its cloud-based Chrome operating system.

6. Talent Google puts deals in one of two baskets — small talent buys and big strategic buys. In Picnik they got two for the price of one. Among Picnik’s 22-person staff are three former Microsoft employees — “three of the best guys ever to step off the Redmond campus on one team,” boasts Picnik adviser Burgess — along with other respected Web talents. Marcelo Calbucci, an entrepreneur who founded Seattle 2.0, a service for Seattle start-ups, estimates on his blog that Google paid at least $46 million for Picnik, possibly twice that much. Picnik and Google have both refused to disclose purchase terms.

“It is the best example that I have seen to date of the extraordinary power of Google’s culture,” says Burgess. “There were many reasons why this acquisition could have stalled — the political issue of paying a premium to buy the company of an employee who left Google, the fact that Google already has a photo-editing suite and Picnik’s reliance on the Flash platform. Google as a company was able to navigate past these hurdles and close the deal. Other bidders were stalled by their own political inertia.”

Via Stumbleupon