For the past few months I have been pondering: will I stick with Android or switch to iPhone? One of the strongest arguments for me to go for a new generation Android phone as the replacement of my (rather crappy) HTC Desire is the dedicated Gmail app. In my opinion this app is the best email experience on a mobile device available today. As a big fan of Gmail, this app is something I simply cannot live without. It has all the important features that the desktop version has: conversation threading, labeling and starring email, email address autocomplete using my Google Contacts, et cetera.
Well, the argument I made above may actually go out of the window. Rumor has it that a dedicated Gmail for iPhone is on the way. This app could be the argument that tips the balance in favor of the iPhone and steer me away from the Android platform.
Link : The Next Web – Could a native Gmail iPhone app finally be on the way?
Are you a web developer and is Firefox your main browser? Then I suggest taking a look at Tilt: an addon that enables you to view the structure of a webpage in 3D. Not only does this look truly awesome but it is also very helpful and educating when used to view existing websites.
You can even use it with Firebug and Style Editor at the same time. Here is a quote from Mozilla blog post, which is linked below:
Because Tilt is able to detect when a webpage’s DOM structure changes or when a repaint is necessary, integration is seamless with existing Developer Tools. Using Tilt and Firebug or Style Editor at the same time is easy. One can enable or disable CSS properties, changing the style of a node, and the visualization changes accordingly.
Tilt can be extremely useful for solving nesting problems:
Tilt is useful when searching problems in the HTML structure (like finding unclosed DIV elements for example) by providing the extra third dimension, layering each node based on nesting in the DOM tree. Stacks of elements visually represent branches in the DOM, and each node can be inspected for the inner HTML contents, its computed CSS style and the attributes.
For a detailed explanation of the addon and a couple of cool videos that demonstrate it, click the link below.
Link : hacks.mozilla.org – Debugging and editing webpages in 3D
A device called the Knowledge Navigator is presented in the video linked below which looks very familiar compared to some devices and apps that Apple released in the last few years and even very recently in the iPhone 4S. It’s amazing to see how close their predictions came to the present day!
Apple’s Future Computer: The Knowledge Navigator
Update February 6th, 2012: The album has been rescheduled for an April release. Check out this post on the Facebook page of “Notes From The Edge” for more details.
The following news update was posted on the Facebook page of “Notes From The Edge”, a leading Internet resource of news and information on present and former Yes band members:
Trevor told us that his new album of instrumentals titled “Jacaranda” is scheduled to be released in early January, and features Tal Wilkenfeld, Vinnie Colaiuta, Lou Molina, and Ryan Rabin (Trevor’s son).
The post on Facebook contains a link to the cover of the new album which can also be viewed in a smaller size in this post.
What really excites me is the rhythm section of the new album. Vinnie Colaiuta and Tal Wilkenfeld are both amazing players. I am especially a big fan of Tal, which may not surprise you since I love playing the bass guitar. Her playing style and great tone remind me of Jaco Pastorius.
After the break you’ll find two YouTube movies of Tal Wilkenfeld showing of her bass chops and her great tone.
Continue reading Trevor Rabin’s New Album “Jacaranda” Scheduled for January Release
Some interesting quotes from Ars Technica’s summary of Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report (linked below). The first one talks about spam volumes. We’re talking about billions of messages a month here, which is mind-boggling if you try to imagine this.
Microsoft … attributes the drop [in spam volumes] primarily to the “takedowns of two major botnets: Cutwail, which was shut down in August 2010, and Rustock, which was shut down in March 2011 following a period of dormancy that began in January.” Consequently, the biggest drops in e-mails blocked occurred in September 2010, when spam dropped to about 65 billion messages, and in January 2011, when it fell under 40 billion. The low point was in May 2011, with about 22 billion, but it ticked up again in June.
The next quote is about Java, and it’s not really good news for Java:
The most commonly observed exploits target vulnerabilities in Java, specifically the Java Runtime Environment, Java Virtual Machine, and Java SE in the Java Development Kit. “Java exploits were responsible for between one-third and one-half of all exploits observed in each of the four most recent quarters,” Microsoft said.
For more details and some interesting graphs, visit the link below.
Link : ars technica – Microsoft finds 64 billion fewer spam messages per month after …
Looking at the graphs in the article linked below, the iPhone 4S is about 80% faster than the Samsung Galaxy S2. That’s nearly double the performance of this flagship Android device. The benchmarks of the iPhone 4S are getting close to those of an iPad 2. Quite impressive.
I am very curious how the Nexus Prime with Ice Cream Sandwich will perform compared to the iPhone 4S. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out.
Link : AnandTech – iPhone 4S Preliminary Benchmarks: …
And when I say jaw-dropping, I really mean jaw-dropping.
Adobe MAX 2011 – Photoshop Image Deblurring sneak
(Video shot by Peter Elst)
Talking about a U-turn…
Oracle must have thought: “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
A few quotes from the article on Wired.com that I linked below:
Just four months ago, Oracle released a very official-looking corporate white paper intent on “debunking the hype” surrounding the NoSQL movement — a widespread effort to build a new breed of database that can juggle vast amounts of “unstructured” information in ways a traditional Oracle database can’t.
“The NoSQL databases are beginning to feel like an ice cream store that entices you with a new flavor of the month,” the white paper read. “[But] you shouldn’t get too attached to any of the flavors because it may not be around for too long.”
Last week, a few words sprinkled onto the OpenWorld website indicated that such a database was on the way, and with his Monday morning keynote, Oracle executive vice president of product development Thomas Kurian officially acknowledged the unkept secret, announcing that the Oracle NoSQL Database will be included with a new hardware system known as the Oracle Big Data Appliance. Big Data is the moniker du jour for the epic amounts of unstructured web data facing many of today’s businesses, and with the new appliance, Oracle is embracing not only NoSQL, but Hadoop, the other open source movement so often associated with the term.
Link : Wired – Oracle Defies Self With ‘NoSQL’ Database
If you check the table in the article at Engadget.com linked below you’ll see that the Samsung Galaxy S2 beats the iPhonse 4S on 13 points where it comes to the hardware. That’s a not a good sign considering the iPhone 4S is not even in the shops yet. Every new Android flagship phone from Samsung, HTC, LG and other phone makers will leave the iPhone even more behind.
Link : Engadget – iPhone 4S vs. the smartphone elite: Galaxy S II, Bionic and Titan
Toto – Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam – June 23rd, 2011
A small part of me died when Steve Lukather announced that “there is no more Toto” in June 2008. The end of an era. I had been a fan of this band for more than 20 years and I was devastated that day. You can imagine how incredibly happy I was when Steve announced a reunion tour in February 2010. The circumstances were very, very sad though. Bassist Mike Porcaro was diagnosed with and suffering from ALS; a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control the muscles in your body, which eventually leads to death. The reunion of Toto was meant to benefit Mike to help him pay his medical expenses. “The Groovemeister” would be replaced by bass veteran Nathan East during the 2010 reunion tour.
Continue reading Review: Classic Toto Line-up Plays Great Show in Amsterdam
Update: “We Can Fly” is also available on Spotify in a high-quality stream. Click here to open.
RollingStone.com has an exclusive stream of Yes’ new single “We Can Fly” available on their website. The track is a section of the long epic track “Fly From Here” that will be the first track on the new album with the same name. The new album has been produced by Trevor Horn, who has been a part of Yes on one album called “Drama” and produced the band’s two albums that followed: “90125”, with their number 1 hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, and the album “Big Generator”.
The new album “Fly From Here” will be the second album in the history of Yes that does not feature singer and co-founder of the band Jon Anderson. The new singer is Benoît David who has been picked up from a Yes tribute band. He has been touring with Yes for over a year now. Keyboards on the new album are played by Geoff Downes, who collaborated with Trevor Horn in the past with The Buggles and also played on the “Drama” album with Yes.
Continue reading Listen to New Yes-Single “We Can Fly” on RollingStone.com
Next to the website you are looking at right now, there is an other blog I maintain that resides at Amplify.com which is called an Amplog. This website enables you to curate and clip content from the Internet, add your take on the subject and add it to your Amplog.
Posts you create can be shared on Twitter, Facebook, Ping.fm and other social media sites. You can also follow other people on Amplify as news sources, which generates a news stream on the site. And of course you can fire up a discussion by commenting on posts.
Below you will find a top 10 of the most popular posts from my Amplog from May 2011.
Continue reading My Top 10 Amplify Posts for May 2011
A lot is going on in the world of Yes and their current and former band members this year. A few months ago I discussed the excellent Yes Union deluxe box-set. But that was only the beginning. Check out this round-up of releases that I am looking forward to hear and have been released lately or can be expected in the next few months.
Yes – Fly From Here
Of course there is the new Yes album titled “Fly From Here” that was announced end March. The album was co-written and produced by Trevor Horn, who also produced their hit album “90125” and their less successful “Big Generator”. The new album won’t feature Jon Anderson on vocals but their new singer Benoît David. This release also marks the comeback of Geoff Downes (The Buggles, Asia) behind the keyboards who has been a part of the band together with Horn when they recorded, released and toured with the “Drama” album.
Continue reading Interesting Times for Yes Fans
Great news for fans of The Flower Kings: the new DVD which has been announced a few months ago is now available for pre-order from Reingold Records.
The DVD has been titled “Tour Kaputt” and contains the live show that was recorded in 2007 at the Boerderij in Zoetermeer in The Netherlands. The show features drum maestro Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, Mr. Mister) and has a running time of 142 minutes.
Continue reading The Flower Kings’ New DVD Available for Pre-order