Does a Jailbreak for Windows RT Matter?

RTThe latest rumor to hit the ethernets is a pending Jailbreak for Windows RT tablets; but does it matter?

I read on Computerworld that a jailbreak for Windows RT has been discovered that will allow unsigned applications to run on Surface RT and other Windows RT based tablets.

The big question is – While this is cool, what does it matter?

A jailbreak would only be relevant and important if there were a market for unsigned apps. Windows RT barely has a viable market for SIGNED applications, let alone unsigned apps.

Computerworld is siting a developer who was able to get an unsigned, compiled for x86 .NET app to run without recompiling the source, but again, who cares? The big need for this or similar jailbreak is to get legacy applications from previous versions of Windows to run on Windows RT. Since Windows RT doesn’t run on an x86 (or Intel compatible) platform, having apps like any of those available in Soft32’s vast Windows software library run on a Surface RT or similar Windows RT tablet, is unlikely.

surface

What is interesting about this whole discovery was that there’s little to no difference between Windows RT and Windows 8. It really amounts to nothing more than a security bit that was set to require apps to be signed in order to run on Windows RT. While the discovery – or really validation – of this was important (Microsoft already told us they were effectively the same OS), it doesn’t get the latest version of running on a Windows RT tablet.

Most applications that run on Windows 8 won’t run on Windows RT without some serious tweaking to account for the differences in microprocessors. As such, the jailbreak, while interesting and somewhat exciting, doesn’t mean much – yet. Again, there’s not much Windows RT compatible software in the Window RT software store; and zero unsigned or “forbidden” software that Microsoft has refused to put in the Store.

Until MS can court enough developers and interest in non-jailbroken software, this jailbreak, while interesting, really amounts to nothing more than an interesting, but irrelevant story.

There’s nothing to see here people… This isn’t the development you’re looking for…. Move along.

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Top 5 Tech Predictions for 2013

Technology-Predictions-For-2013Here are my top 5 predictions for 2013:

2012 was a changing year for technology. Mountain Lion, Windows 8, the iPad Mini and Google’s release of Jelly Bean are among the hot releases of the year. There were obviously a great many more.

2013 is going to be pivotal for technology as a number of other developments capture the lime light and bring Nerd-dome into the average American home. In no particular order, here are my top five predictions for 2013.

1. BB10 Fails
Despite its best efforts to right the ship, RIM’s much heralded Blackberry 10 OS and associated devices are met with lukewarm to no public interest. Enterprise sales never take off, as users are more interested in using their own iOS or Android device at work.

2. RIM Declines, is Purchased by Dell or Microsoft
Because BB10 flops, interest in RIM’s associated new devices dwindles to next to nothing. Once their existing enterprise customers see how the new devices are received, many more jump ship for greener iOS and/or Android pastures. This dramatic drop in enterprise revenue is going to get a lot of play by the tech media and press and Wall Street’s reaction won’t be kind. Their stock will drop sharply, making them an easy target for acquisition. Likely buyers will be either Dell or Microsoft, the latter will be interested in RIM for their IP/patents. Dell, if successful in purchasing RIM, will try to make a go of it as RIM Part Deux, but that will fail too, as the whole BB BIS/BES model has been obsoleted by Exchange ActiveSync and other sync options offered by both Apple and Google.

3. Microsoft Surface RT Products Don’t Survive 2013
Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet is having trouble with adoption. While its thin and light and very portable, consumers don’t understand Windows RT and Enterprises are interested in a 1.0 version of ANYTHING. As such, Surface RT dies as Microsoft can’t justify sustaining the product in the consumer market. As such, Microsoft abandons Surface RT near the end of Q2 2013 in favor of the much more enterprise friendly and consumer understood Surface Pro, but its price-point is set so high (starting at $899), that consumers ignore it for more affordable, traditional Windows 8 laptops or ultrabooks. By mid-2013, Microsoft will begin drastically discounting Surface Pro tablets in order to generate interest and sales. Eventually, MS will discover that they aren’t making any money on the devices and will announce and/or discontinue them before the end of 2013 as well.

4. Windows 8 is Declared a flop
Sales of Windows 8 have been less than impressive. Consumers don’t understand it. Microsoft has “moved their cheese.” Enterprises won’t adopt it until much, much later. Many companies are still using Windows XP, let alone, Windows 7, and it’s been out for more than 3 years. 2013 will be a huge sales target and opportunity missed for Windows 8, as it doesn’t do well without a touch screen, and most legacy hardware doesn’t have it. Legacy styled laptops won’t incorporate them, and so, sales of Windows 8 will go nowhere, thus creating a bigger flop than WindowsME or Windows Vista.

5. No Public Jailbreak of iOS 6 will be Released
Every published jailbreak of IOS shows Apple exactly what bugs have been exploited in order for RedSn0w to work any of its Cydiaic Magic. It was recently announced that a jailbreak was created by the DevTeam; but wouldn’t be immediately released. The DevTeam wanted to hold back a bit, as iOS 6.1 is scheduled to be released soon, and usually with every new release of iOS, the current jailbreak is broken, requiring rework by the DevTeam to rejailbreak it. Given that it’s getting harder and harder for the DevTeam to jailbreak the mobile OS, I predict that the DevTeam will likely hold back releasing any jailbreak for iOS 6 until iOS 7 is released; or at least until they get a better understanding of where Apple is taking their mobile OS and can see how difficult it will be for them to continue to provide any kind of support, OR if it would be better to branch out and pursue another to-be-determined direction.

BONUS. Competition between Apple & Samsung heats up with Revamped Apple TV
2013 will see competition between Apple and Samsung reach new levels in and out of the courtroom. Apple will most likely take competition with their Korean rivals to the next level by releasing a TV with an enhanced version of their popular set top box built-in, an enhanced update to their popular set top box, or both. Apple will cut some new content deals with a few low-end content providers, but the larger ones – cable companies, cable operators, etc.) will still be missing. Apple will get close enough to cracking this nut to kick off another new round of anti-trust/patent litigation with those that don’t sign with them or with other competing companies like Samsung, Sony, etc.

I have no idea how accurate these will be. We’ll have to revisit them near the end of 2013 to see how accurate or out to lunch I was.

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Web Browser Roundup

Find the best browser for you with this informative Web Browser Roundup

Introduction

Back in the days of the Browser Wars, it was a battle between two well established titans – Internet Explorer and Netscape.  IE dominated the Windows world largly because it was the default browser for Microsoft’s flagship OS; and it was causing issues for other organizations who were trying to make money via providing a competitive browser.

We all know what happened – Netscape eventually died and Microsoft was put on double-super-secret probation via global anti-trust actions. Today, they still have to present a browser choice screen allowing European users the option of downloading and installing a different desktop browser. Effects of that anti-trust decision have been long reaching.  The browser wars were effectively over more than 10 years ago.

However, IE innovation has been largely stagnant since IE7 was released. IE8 and IE9 provided evolutionary updates, but nothing really to write home about. My wife, upon using IE9 for the first time, wanted to know what else might be available to her, something that she’s never asked for or about…EVER.  Let’s take a quick look at a few different browsers and talk about the ups and downs of each in their own, separate reviews.

Opera for Windows

Its hard, sometimes to get past IE. There’s so much that its done wrong in the past.  Finding a replacement browser isn’t always easy.  This is one reason why I like Opera. It’s a web browsing alternative for Windows. Read more…

Mozilla Firefox for Windows

Directly from the folks who helped bring you Netscape, Firefox is perhaps one of the best 3rd party browsers available for Windows today. Read more…

Google Chrome

The number of people using Google’s Chrome browser has almost doubled in the past year, and most analysts expect it to take over from Firefox as the lead challenger to Internet Explorer sometime in 2012. Why the growth? Well, simply put it just works. Read more…

Safari

If you’re looking for an alternative for your Windows platform, or have made a switch to OS X, then you’re going to want to take a look at Apple’s Safari browser. It’s one of the best browsers around, and like most, it’s free. Read more…

IE 10

Browse the internet with ease with Microsoft’s premier browser for Windows and Windows RT. Read more…

 

Conclusion

While IE 10 isn’t bad, I have an issue with full screen browsing, and despite what you might think, IE really wants to function in a full screen, fully hiding the rest of the OS from the user, especially on a Windows RT tablet. This is a paradigm shift issue with me mostly; but I’m sorry…I just can’t help not liking full screen mode.  I don’t use full-screen mode on my Mac, either.  IE10 runs in full screen on Windows RT machines, and should run windowed on Windows 8 Pro tablets; but again, it wants to run full screen. I prefer a windowed look and the ability to tile app windows throughout.

While IE10 is much faster than previous versions, and there is a Windows 7 version available for download, Microsoft has always had performance issues with retro fitting current version browsers for previous version operating systems. IE10 was written for Windows 8. Expect to see the best performance for the browser on Windows 8.

Its difficult to pick between Opera and Firefox for Windows. They are in many ways, very similar. They’re both based on WebKit; and both perform well and offer what many would consider improvements over current and past versions of IE.

Honestly, it comes down to a matter of personal preference and choice. I use Firefox at work under Windows XP. It’s a great browser, and I am very satisfied with its performance. Its tabs are great, and I like its system of managing plugins and add-ons. Opera offers equivalent features, but it never seemed to catch on as well as Firefox has.  That shouldn’t keep you from downloading and giving the browser a chance, however. Its fast, easy to use, and offers the same value as Firefox, if with a different presentation. Its “O” button at the top left corner of its window is a great way to present all of its menu choices in one easily accessible place.

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Browse the web in speed and style with Opera Web Browser

Its hard, sometimes to get past IE. There’s so much that its done wrong in the past.  Finding a replacement browser isn’t always easy.  This is one reason why I like Opera. It’s a web browsing alternative for Windows.

There are usually a few important reasons why you use a third party browser. More than likely, you’re looking for something, some important feature that you just can’t seem to find or find to your satisfaction with the OS’ default browser. This is where Opera for Windows can come in, and come on strong.

If you’re looking for search improvements, Opera has  you covered.  With Opera, you get predictive search suggestions, as you type, making searching quicker and easier. Common searches for the major search engines are now built in. You can type your query right into the address field, and Opera does the rest.  If you want to use a specific search engine, simply right click in the search field of a search engine’s website and select “Create Search”.

Opera allows you to customize it to your liking. With a catalog full of colorful themes, you can give the browser a look you love, instantly. You can also create a design of your own.  You can also add, remove or reposition buttons and toolbars or change the entire layout of the browser.

If you’re looking for technology support, Opera has that too. Its Carakan JavaScript engine has been further enhanced to run quicker than ever.  This enhanced engine makes Opera the fastest browser on Earth.  With support for current web standards, Opera supports interactive apps and multiplayer games, easily.  It has a high-performance Vega graphics library.  even pages with lots of images load quickly and smoothly.  It also supports geolocation.  You can share your location with websites like Google Maps, without risking your privacy.

Download Opera Web Browser

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The Flock will be with you…always

If you’re a fan of the Angry Birds, then you need to listen up. If you’re a fan of George Lucas’ Star Wars saga, then you’re definitely going to be interested in one of the latest releases from Rovio – Angry Birds Star Wars. It combines the best of both worlds, and it’s a great multi-platform game that is high on my must have list.

The story starts the same way – A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… a group of desperate rebel birds faced off against a galactic menace: the Empire’s evil Pigtroopers! You command the Rebel birds, striking from a hidden base.  They have won their first victory against the evil Imperial Pigs. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the PIG STAR, and are racing to deliver the plans to the Rebel Birds.

The game plot line follows the movies with, of course, the Angry Birds bent thrown in.  You can use the Force, wield your light saber, and blast Pigtroopers.  You’re on an intergalactic journey from the deserts of Tatooine to the depths of the Pig Star.  There, you’ll face off against the terrifying Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Pigs.  It’s time to grab your light saber and join the adventure! May the Flock be with you!

I really like the Angry Birds franchise.  I usually play the games multiple times a week while commuting on the train to and from work.  Angry Birds Star Wars initially struck me as a bit tacky, but the bird abilities and powers were cool and I quickly got hooked.  You get to use light sabers, blasters and the Force throughout the entire game.  The game has more than 80 levels in iconic locations like Tatooine and the Pig Star. It’s a must have on any platform you have available to you.

download Angry Birds – Star Wars

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Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2012

I first discovered Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2012 on Android for the first time, and my first impression was shocking… I had a feeling that I’ve stolen something… A high quality software… For FREE! My curiosity was hungry, so I downloaded and installed it on Windows. First impression was WOW! The download package was only 39.1 MB…I wondered what kind of Microsoft Office alternative software would have that little space? Certainly there was an explanation. Kingsoft Office Suite consists only of Writer, Presentation and Spreadsheets modules, the equivalent of Word, Excel and Power Point modules from Microsoft Office. But considering the free aspect, they do what they are made to do!

Many times I tried to make a document in MS Word and the text was messing with my nerves, and the text formatting was giving me the impression that it has a mind of its own that is meant to piss me off, especially if I was trying to add an in-text image or any other graphics. I really got myself consoled with the idea that this is it, and there is nothing better than that. Until I found Kingsoft Office Suite! It’s the best alternative, and it is FREE! I played with a long text (lorem ipsum samples) and with some images in the text, also paragraphs, mathematic formulas and expression, and all you need, it’s there.

I got the feeling at the first use, that I have been using this software since forever. It’s easy, the text stays in place no matter where I drag the picture with the mouse (of course, select the proper wrapping option for the image), but for the first time, the text was not messed up by the position of the image! The paragraphs can be spaced with ease, and of course, it has the thing that made a revolution in the web browsers some good years ago: TABS. This means: all your documents can be opened in a single window, in different tabs. Plus, if you need you document to be safer, you now have the build-in feature to export your file to a PDF file, with just 3 clicks!

Another cool feature is the Homepage tab. Looks more like an online store, but most of the stuffs are free. You can find here many templates for presentations, background templates, business templates, resume templates and much more. Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2012 it’s the best MS Office alternative. It is free, and it’s working as it should. Also it looks very familiar and you learn to use it very fast.

Download Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2012

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Take your music anywhere you can get an internet connection with Pandora Radio

One of the hottest technologies in recent years, especially with the implementation of faster mobile broadband technology like HSPA+ and LTE, is audio streaming. While streaming in and of itself isn’t new, heck, other apps have been out for a while, one that has stood out since its introduction is Pandora Radio. It’s a music anywhere app; and its available on a computing device near you, including your Windows PC.

Regardless of where you are – in the car, at the gym, on the train – you can use Pandora Radio to listen wherever and whenever you’re in the mood for your music. The application comes in a number of mobile formats and includes a web-based version as well.

You can enjoy all of your stations right from your PC. You can also create new stations and rate songs using the standard thumbs up or thumbs down. Pandora on mobile devices is fully integrated with Pandora on the web, so everything you create and personalize on your device appears next time you’re back on the web and vice-versa.

Over and above the standard PC to mobile experience, you can easily set up and listen to all your stations in your vehicle. Some implementations of Pandora Radio even have voice support for song and station changes.

Pandora Radio is a great way to listen to your favorite music no matter where you are. As long as you have access to the internet, you can get your music no matter where you are. Its PC and mobile device integration provide a consistent experience with the software and service no matter where you are.

Download Pandora Sidebar Gadget

 

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Raspberry Pi gets its own Appstore

The tiny Raspberry Pi computer is the latest device to get its own app store. The Pi Store opened for custom on 17th December contains a range of apps from games to developers’ tools. Currently there are twenty five apps available to download in the Pi Store, but this number is expected to grow significantly in the coming months.

The Pi Store is a collaboration between the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Indie City – operators of an online marketplace for independent game developers – and Velocix. The foundation launched the store with the aim to enable “young people to share their creations with a wider audience, and maybe to make a little pocket money”. Currently all apps are free to download except Storm in a Teacup. Storm in a Teacup features 50 levels of physics based puzzles and is priced at £1.99.

The range of apps on the Pi Store is already diverse. There are five games on offer including Freeciv which is an open source empire-building strategy game. OpenTTD, the popular open source transport simulation game can also be found in the store. Despotify is a Spotify client for the Raspberry Pi and is free to download, however users need a Spotify Premium account to use the app. LibreOffice brings an extensive suite of office applications to the Raspberry Pi and is compatible with Microsoft Office files. There are also several apps intended to assist Raspberry Pi developers. The Pi Store is also intended to be the hope of “Pi-related” media including the MagPi e-magazine and tutorials produced from the community.

The Raspberry Pi has widely been regarded as a success since its launch earlier in the year. Amateur and professional developers alike have written and ported a wide range of applications to run on the system but until now there has been no obvious place to find or distribute these applications. The Pi Store changes this and will greatly simplify the experience for developers and users.

A blog post on the Raspberry Pi foundation website encourages the community of Raspberry Pi users to embrace the store. The community has been asked to submit their own projects to populate the store and to review and rate the apps already on offer. The store features a clever recommendation engine which will learn about you and your preferences as you rate, review and download apps. These recommendations will improve as you interact more and more with the store.

The Pi store itself is easily browsed and well constructed. Apps can be found through their category or through their tags. There is also useful search and sort functions in the store. All apps on the store have a content rating so users know whether the content is appropriate for the recipient. Given that the Raspberry Pi is based upon an open source platform all apps also detail their associated licences so users are aware if they can modify or redistribute the app.

To download apps from the store, Raspberry Pi users must first download the Raspberry Pi Store application. Users can download the application from Raspberry Pi’s official download page.

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