Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Apple Released 2.2.1 of iPhone and iPod Touch Operating System

Apple has released version 2.2.1 of its iPhone and iPod Touch operating system that come with several minor changes.

For instance yesterday's release of the iPhone 2.2.1 firmware may have also fixed a problem with SMS messaging, accounts on Apple's support forums suggest. The issue involves an error message triggered every time a user attempts to send a text, previously impossible to resolve with any resets or settings adjustments, though some success has been reported after switching SIM cards. The problem appears only to manifest after installing the v2.2 firmware.

The iPhone 2.2.1 update, weighing in at a full 246.4MB, is the first firmware release since November's massive Google Street View-bringing and podcast download-enhancing 2.2 offering. The software is said to improve Safari's stability and fix an image issue in which pictures saved from Mail don't display properly in the Camera Roll. And that’s about it.

Unfortunately absent from the 2.2.1 update is the addition of support for push notifications, something that had once been rumored to be in the works. A similar version of the software update available to iPod touch owners includes both of the aforementioned improvements in addition to correcting an issue that caused some Apple Lossless (ALAC) to skip during playback.

iPhone Software 2.2.1 is compatible with the iPhone 3G and the original iPhone, while iPhone Software 2.2.1 for iPod touch is compatible with both the first and generation of the touch-screen media player. Users can update their devices by loading iTunes, plugging in their iPhone of iPod Touch, and clicking the "Check for Updates" button on their screen.

Internet Explorer 8 RC 1 Not Impressive, Not that Secure!!

Microsoft announced the release of Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1(RC1), most likely the final, official version of IE 8.

The IE 8 RC 1 has several improvements from the past versions especially when it comes to enhanced usability, security and flexibility. Microsoft’s new Web browser does look better, but only compared to its older IE versions. When put in the balance with the latest versions of Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera, the new Microsoft Web browser doesn’t impress much.

Numerous IE 8 RC 1 new features are new only for IE and in fact a catching up to the aforementioned Web browsers. IE 8 still has some catching up to do. The IE 8 has just 0.82% of the global market share, compared to Google Chrome’s 1.04%, Mozilla Firefox’s 21.34%, and Apple Safari’s 7.93% (all versions).

The IE (all versions) lost a big chunk of its global market share from 91.27% in 2004 to 68.15%, according to data from Net Applications. 

Nevertheless, there are some new feats on IE 8 that are unique: the tab management is excellent thanks to its feature of color-coding sets of tabs. 

However, when it comes to security, Microsoft’s newly-designed technology released to protect IE 8 users from powerful new Web-based attacks won’t’ do the job, according to security experts. The company said it released the security technology to safeguard users of IE 8 from an attack known as clickjacking.

In clickjacking, attackers use a special Web programming in order to deceit users into clicking Web buttons without realizing it. By controlling a user’s click, the attackers can basically do very nasty things from turning off one’s firewall to executing stock transactions on Web sites.

Google’s Gmail Goes Offline with it's Gears Plug-In

Google announced a long-expected feature – the use of its Gmail Webmail interface in offline mode. This feature, to use the Gmail service even when an Internet connection is not established, has been expected since about mid-2007. 

The offline access to the Gmail Webmail service is provided by Google through the Gears plug-in, which is currently used to get offline access to several other Google applications (the Reader RSS manager, the Docs word processor). 

However, Gmail was “a tough hurdle," as Rajen Sheth, senior product manager for Google Apps, put it. Applying Gears to Gmail was very difficult mainly because of the high volume of messages Gmail accounts can store. 

Users will be able to access the Gmail interface, read their e-mails and reply to them. The latter will be sent to their destination once a broadband connection is detected. The plug-in does not replicate the entire Gmail inboxes to the user’s PC because this would mean gigabytes of data on that PC. Google developed algorithms that determine the messages most important and most-likely to be read by the users and downloads them to the computer. 

"We had to make it such that we're managing a sizable amount of information offline and doing it well in a way that's seamless to the end-user," said Sheth.

The messages most-likely to be downloaded into the PC and available in Gmail’s offline mode are the most recent as well as the messages labeled or tagged with stars to indicate their importance.

The Gears plug-in is available in a beta version through Gmail Labs, but it won’t be immediately available because Google wants to experiment with the new feature first.

Download Google Gears at


Gears is an open source project that enables more powerful web applications, by adding new features to your web browser:

Desktop Let web applications interact naturally with your desktop
Database Store data locally in a fully-searchable database
WorkerPool Run JavaScript in the background to improve performance

Developer site
Frequently asked questions
More help

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 RC1 Released

Internet Explorer's creator Microsoft officially announced the public release of Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 on Monday. The “Release Candidate” label suggests that the product is virtually ready to be rolled out on the market, as the company representatives stated that there is a big number of small improvements compared to the Beta 2 release of the web browser, but there are also some new features that aim to deliver a different user experience.

Esthetically, the RC1 and the Beta 2 versions of the browser are very similar, but people who will make the switch from Internet Explorer 7 will notice several changes regarding the user interface and the overall functionality of the new version.

One of the most important features that come with Internet Explorer RC1 is the InPrivate Filter. In a nutshell, this feature is quite similar to the previous InPrivate Blocking, as it will not allow third party website and services to track the user’s search and browsing patterns, both of which are invaluable information for advertisement companies.

Along with the InPrivate Filter, another sought-after feature that was first implemented in IE 8 Beta 2 is an updated version of InPrivate Browsing, similar to Google Chrome’s Incognito window.

The InPrivate Browsing option is particularly useful when users don’t want to leave tracks of their browsing activity, as this feature makes sure that no browsing information, including URL history, cookies, cache and account information is stored while using Internet Explorer in this mode.

An all-new feature is the clickjacking protection, which is the first ever to be implemented in a web browser. Clickjacking happens when a website containing a login box is covered with an identical frame through which hackers can steal the account information typed into it.

Performance wise, it seems that the new iteration of the Internet Explorer browser narrows the gap between previous versions and its main competitors, Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

Even so, it seems that Java-based websites are still loading slower on IE 8 RC1 compared to Firefox and Chrome, but it is worth mentioning that start-up times are much faster than ever before.

Internet Explorer 8 RC1 has also implemented the “sandbox” concept, the same used in Google Chrome. Therefore, each opened tab has its own corresponding process, which means that if a browsing tab stops responding, it will not affect the other ones.

The RC1 version of Internet Explorer 8 is available for download through Microsoft’s website. The company is offering 32-bit and 64-bit versions for Vista and only a 32-bit version for Windows XP.

Currently, there is no version available for Windows 7, probably because this version of the IE is already bundled with the public beta of the operating system. Microsoft has not yet announced the official release date of the final version of Internet Explorer 8.

Saturday, January 24, 2009



Welcome to Techkran-A blog with definitive taste of tech-knowledge.

This is Kranthi, working as a Software Engineer in an IT firm.

Hope you enjoy reading my blog.