The New iPhone, The $99 iPhone, and Snow Leapord

June 8, 2009

It’s tech conference season, and as such there have been lots of new technology announcements over the last few weeks. With Windows 7, Office 2010, Project Natal, Bing, and Google Wave, to name just a few, announced, it’s been an exciting year in the technology world.

This week was no different. This time it was Apple’s turn to add some new products to the mix. The biggest announcement at their WWDC 2009 conference was the June 17 release of the iPhone 3G S. This new generation of iPhone is faster, has a better camera, and a better battery. They dropped the 8GB and the 16GB of the iPhone 3G S will cost $199 with new contracts (or renewals after two years).

In addition, the iPhone 3G 8GB will now cost $99 with new contracts (or renewals after two years).

Apple’s other major announcement was the pending release of their new operating system, Snow Leopard. To be released in September, the new Mac OS will cost $29 to upgrade from Leopard.


Windows 7 Release Date

June 2, 2009

Microsoft just a few minutes ago announced that Windows 7 will it store shelves on October 22, 2009. The RTM will occur during the second half of July. Also, a Windows 7 update program that will be available for some new PCs will be beginning shortly.

After all of the false-alarms (I recently even saw a magazine say that it would be released on June 3), the count-down will finally begin. But will you see me first in line come October 22? Nope.

After the whole Vista experience, I think I’m going to sit tight for at least a few patches. I know the Beta and the RC look promising. I know that I’m excited about it. But I actually use my computer, and I don’t want to experience any avoidable problems. Vista works for me (I found that if you feed it enough RAM, it’s happy enough), and I’m happy to stick with it for a little longer. That, and I don’t really feel like coughing up whatever it will cost (I’ve heard some pretty high numbers, but I haven’t verified any of them). Talk to me in October and maybe I’ll have changed my mind, however.


Bing Goes Live This Morning

June 1, 2009

A few days late, Microsoft this morning launched their new Bing search engine. live.com will now redirect to bing.com, as Bing is the replacement to Live.

Here’s a general review of it. Before we start I wanted to point out that, at the time of this writing, Bing still has “preview” below it’s logo. I wonder if this is simply an oversight, or if this is Microsoft’s equivalent to “Beta”…

First of all, and I know this is really basic. I like the home page. It’s interesting. The background changes daily. I personally like it better than a white background with occasional logo variations…

Next, categorized search. Say you were to type in some movie, Ironman for example. On the search results page, you will be given the standard results, images on top, as normal. But if you take a look on the left, you’ll see various categories within your search (script, images, trailer, etc). If you were to click on the trailer button, it will do another search for “ironman trailer”.

The next feature I want to show you is one that has been given some bad feedback around the internet. If you’re still on that “ironman trailer” page, you will see some trailer videos on the top of the screen. If you were to hover over one of them, the trailer will begin playing, right there in the search engine. This is a neat feature, but here’s what has some (including me) concerned. If you’re not careful with your safe-search settings, Bing will preview anything. Not the best plan in the world.

Another feature is a text preview of websites. Many times, I don’t know whether a site is worth my time to see if it contains what I’m looking for. Bing has a feature where if you hover over the right side of a search result, Bing will give you a text preview of the website.

One more feature that stood out to me. Travel search will compare airlines, rental cars, hotels, etc. This isn’t anything new, but it is certainly convenient to have it all in one place (with search, etc.). It will also compare it’s results with other companies like hotwire.com, expedia.com, etc.

To close, I think I’ll keep using Google for my search, but I think Bing might be a close second. If I were a big Windows Live guy, maybe. But I’m not, I’m a Google-ite.

How about you? The comments are open for you to share your likes and dislikes of the new Bing.


Google Wave – A New Generation In Cloud Computing

May 28, 2009

Google today released information about their newest product. To be released later this year, Google Wave has the potential to truly revolutionize cloud computing. In the keynote from today’s I/O conference, some of the Google team did a demo on what might be the most significant piece of technology released this year.

Unlike normal internet applications like email, photos, and documents, Google Wave is in real-time. It is a fully collaborative system. Instead of the standard “threads” or individual emails, conversations are organized as “Waves”, which can be thought of as living conversations. It works similar to Email and IM, except that typing is in real-time (optionally), cutting down the time it takes to process the other users information. Also, you can insert a response to an entry at any point, making responding to an earlier message a snap. With email, you would have to go and dig up the email within the thread and edit it all out. With Google Wave, you can add it at any point in time.

Wave is multi-user, so you can add anyone to a “Wave”. The neat thing is that you can specify access settings to each individual message in a “Wave.” So if you have 3 of your buddies talking about something and you want to give a brief aside to one of them, you have that option.

Other features include maps, blogs, pictures (including drag and drop from desktop, provided you have Google Gears installed), and a full API, allowing you to write your own apps for it.

Google Wave is opensource, making development for it easier.

I will be posting more information on Google Wave as the project becomes more developed.

You can view the Google Wave home page, with the keynote from Google’s I/O conference, here: wave.google.com/. From this page you will be able to link to some of the preview pages.


Tony’s Geek Tips For Mobile!

May 28, 2009

If you like to read Tony’s Geek Tips on your mobile device, it just got easier. The next time you browse to tonysgeektips.com with a mobile device, you will be greeted with an easier to navigate interface that will allow you to find what you’re looking for much faster. Please note that tonysgeektips.wordpress.com does not support this feature.


Skype 4.1 Beta

May 28, 2009

Yesterday, Skype released their new Skype 4.1 Beta. Apart from bug fixes and minor additions, the major new feature is built-in screen-sharing. Although the Mac version has had this for awhile, it will now be available for Windows. To use it, both users will need to have Skype 4.1.

Other notable features include contact sharing, birthday reminders (really nice for those like me who can’t keep birthdays straight), and extended contact importing capabilities (adding support for “email content providers”).

Again, this is a beta, so there will probably be some bugs in it. This isn’t like installing a service pack or OS beta, though. so don’t lose sleep over it.

You may download it here: http://www.skype.com/download/skype/windows/beta/

The release notes are available here: http://share.skype.com/sites/en/2009/05/27/Skype%20Release%20Notes.pdf


Windows Vista SP2 Released

May 27, 2009

Microsoft yesterday released the Windows Vista Service Pack 2. I’ve gone over some of them major new features in the past, so I won’t go into it in this post. Microsoft put together a list of the new features here.

It has not yet been included in a Windows update yet, but the direct installers can be found here:

X86 – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a4dd31d5-f907-4406-9012-a5c3199ea2b3&DisplayLang=en

X64 – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=656c9d4a-55ec-4972-a0d7-b1a6fedf51a7&displaylang=en


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