The father of the post-PC era is dead

Yesterday Steven Paul Jobs (Co-founder and former Apple’s CEO) died of cancer at age 56. The world has lost one of the most influential and visionary character of the modern digital era, an entrepreneur and inventor who managed to change the consumer’s mentality in latter years through revolutionary products such as: iPod and the iTunes service, iPhone, iPad, or the latest generation of MacBook Air.

His remarkable career starts in the late 70′s as co-founder of Apple Inc. After a power struggle with the board management in 1985, he resigns and founds his own company NeXT. At the same time he acquires the computer division of Lucasfilm Ltd and renames into the worldwide known Pixar Animation Studios. After the acquisition of the studios by The Walt Disney Company, Steve becomes a member of Disney’s Board of Directors. His company NeXT kept the attention of Apple along its activity so in 1996 they decided to buy his company. In this way, Steve makes his comeback as a CEO in Apple from 1997 to 2011. His career ends in August this year when he resigns again from Apple due to his aggravated state of illness.

He was a loved and hated person at the same time, an aggressive and demanding personality as a result of his haunting perfectionism. He was also colleague, competitor and friend for over 30 years with Bill Gates and an avid fan of the Beatles who were taken as a model in his career. Through his achievements and complex personality Steve Jobs already reached the top of the most influential character of the 21st century remaining in the memory of many generations as a historical figure.

Rest in peace!

Bellow is a picture of the products launched by Apple since its inception until the launch of the iPhone in 2007. They also launched the iPad and iCloud since then.

Apple Evolution
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One of the most memorable speeches is Steve Jobs delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005.

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Avira Antivirus 2012 the basic trusted protector

As we already head for the last quarter of 2011, most of the developers have released their products for 2012. Avira Operations GmbH makes no exception and presents their latest security pack including the popular Avira Free Antivirus 2012.

The first visible difference from former Avira programs is actually the name, which has been changed to be easily accepted on international markets. As a result Avira has changed not only a single name, but the names of its entire product line and some of the most important product modules. Also a strong sense of usability can be seen into the new license renewal method. Starting with 2012 release, the product will automatically detect that a new license has been generated and paid for and will then renew its license. The user is notified via email by the product that the license has been renewed and that there is no interaction required.

Avira Internet Security comes with an improved interface with many visual changes that reflect the status of the most critical components you use. The entire status panel has been redesigned in order to allow a fast configuration and control of all options and features. In case of emergency, the casual user will not be bothered with dozens of settings because now Avira can decide what needs to be done to protect the your computer. And this can be done with only one click: Fix problem.

Along with simplicity comes also a decreased resource usage and a much faster initialization because the engine is loaded only once. A lower memory consumption is the result of re-usage and recycling of components that have already been loaded in memory. The integrity of the program has been strengthened in order to resist against targeted malware attacks. This means that Avira Internet Security can function without many registry keys while featuring better protection against process termination, component deletion and many others.

The FireWall included in the Avira Internet Security is now able to filter Ipv6 addresses on the adapter level and also create rules for applications trying to connect over Ipv6. This completes the FireWall solution and assures the customers that even if they use the newest IP protocol they are still protected. Also, the Mail and Web protection components are able to work now in a pure Ipv6 environment.
download Avira Free Anivirus 2012

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Get rid of malware with the latest version of Emsisoft Anti-Malware

Most PCs are connected to the Internet and networks, making easier the spread of viruses, trojans, spyware, rootkits, worms and other malicious programs. They can get into your computer in a number of ways, including via your web browser, e-mail, or in a bundle with a software that you download from the Internet.

The best way to protect yourself is with a virus or malware scanner. Emsisoft Anti-Malware (previously known as a-squared Free) is a program that can be a good choice to scan and remove malicious software from your PC. The new version comes with great improvements and completely re-written dual scan engine for multi-core optimizations which brings a huge speed improvement on average, with the same things being scanned. Also, the false positive handling was improved too and now with the latest version, there is a caching system which makes the scanning faster with every scan.

Also, the user interface has been simplified for better usability and there are lots of usability improvements all around. You can now set missed scheduled scans to run on next program startup and desired actions to be taken on scan completion can be set before the scan now, too. Another important change refers to the licensing system. User accounts are no longer required and it was switched to a simple key-based system.

If you decide to Emsisoft Anti-Malware, you’ll get the full version including all protection features for 30+3 days for free. However, after that period of time, the software switches to a limited freeware scanner mode that allows you to scan and clean your PC whenever you want, but does not include real time protection.

Download Emsisoft Anti-Malware

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Apple unveils new iPhone 4S: was it worth the wait?

Sorry guys, I know you were hoping for a new redesigned iPhone 5 (including myself) with a larger edge to edge display and a thinner design such as one of those mock-ups we’ve see all over the Internet. Unfortunately, what we have for this year is an upgraded version of the iPhone 4 which is quite disappointing for all the iPhone fans. However, except the fact that the new iPhone 4S looks exactly like the old one with no cosmetic changes, it’s got some great new features and performance improvements.

There is a 2x faster A5 dual core processor with a GPU core that’s seven times faster than the current iPhone 4’s and its camera’s resolution and sharpness have been significantly improved in order to performs better in low light than the iPhone 4. Actually, according to Apple, the new 8-megapixel camera has more than 70 % improvement in light sensitivity per pixel over the old 5-megapixel camera.

Talking about features, iPhone 4S brings is Siri. Siri is some kind of artificial assistant which can handle a wide variety of tasks just by listening to your voice. It can send messages, schedule meetings, manage your agenda, place phone calls and even check the weather for you. You can ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you naturally talk to a person. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and answers back. This means that you can ask pretty much any question you like, such as “any good burger joints around here?” Siri will check your iPhone and get back to you with the results.

This is the introduction video for the  iPhone 4S.

Another thing we find interesting is Airplay, a feature which will allow you to broadcast what you see on your phone (picture, a video, or even a game) directly to your TV. It’s Apple’s version of DLNA, all done via Apple TV.

iPhone 4S specs:

  • Processor - 1 GHz Dual-core Apple A5 CPU (Cortex-A9) which is 2x as fast as the iPhone 4
  • GPU – Up to 7x faster graphics, with dual core graphics (comparative with iPhone 4)
  • Display – Same 960 x 640 display as the iPhone 4
  • Back Camera - 8 megapixel camera sensor which takes 3264×2448 resolution images, f 2.4 aperture
  • Video Recording - 1080p at 30fps  with real-time image stabilization
  • Cellular - Hybrid GSM / CDMA (Great, the iPhone 4S will finally work anywhere around the world)
  • Internet – Faster data speeds, up to 14.4mbps but still be 3G, no 4G
  • Battery Life – Up to 8 Hour talk time, 14 hours of 2G talk time, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 9 hours of wi-fi browsing
  • Storage: 16GB / 32GB and 64GB

The iPhone 4S will be released in 12 October and it will be available in 22 more countries on October 28 and in 70 countries by the end of 2012.

For more info, take a look here.

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Make and share screenshots with Ashampoo Snap 5

Making screenshots is one of the tasks that can be part of your everyday computer activity. Whether at work, school, or at home, you might need a tool that can take screenshots for you. While there is a huge range of products that can do the same thing (for example SnagIt, PicPick, Quick Screenshot Maker) Ashampoo Snap 5 comes as the optimum solution for taking and sharing screenshots.

This program allows you to easily take screenshots of various regions, websites, or even specific windows on your desktop with just a few clicks. Within the same interface you can use several tools for editing. In this way you can easily add images, notes, texts, markings, and watermarks to your screenshots. Even for saving or exporting the screenshots you’ll get a complete set of tools. You can share your screenshots within the program by email, by saving them to the clipboard or a file or just print them. Moreover, you can now upload your result directly to Facebook or YouTube.

The list of new editing tools goes even further with gradient fill support, text notes that can be added with a single click, support for text effects including gradients, outlines, mirror effects and other complex text objects, numbering support and BlurPen support for pixelate areas. There is an obvious change regarding the interface design. It has that touchy feeling that goes very well with the touchscreen support for Windows 7.

For the first time in its line of products, version 5 of Ashampoo Snap provides tools for recording videos. Whether is your desktop that must be captured or even your webcam with audio, Ashampoo Snap can do this easily. Now video greetings have never been so easy to be done and uploaded to YouTube within the program.

download Ashampoo Snap 5

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Turn any USB HDD into a Network Storage Device with LaPlug

Have you ever wanted to turn a USB hard drive (or key) into a Wireless network storage device ? There is an interesting way to do this with a device called LaPlug.

LaPlug can be used to share personal files such as vacation or birthday photos with family and friends wirelessly. The device can stream multimedia content and back up multiple computers to one central location. Even better, all this functionality can be achieved with a USB hard drive(s) you may already have. All you need to do is to connect LaPlug to the network and connect the USB drive(s) to the LaPlug and you’ll have a Wireless network storage device. Moreover, you can connect a USB printer to the LaPlug and make it wirelessly available to all computers on the network. LaPlug also supports remote access. Instead of emailing large files between friends, you can simply give them access to the LaPlug – all they need is an Internet connection. You can even set up a custom web address so access to the LaPlug as easy as typing a URL.

Shortly, LaPlus can be used to:

  • Plug and share USB disks or printers on your network
  • Access your files from any computer, even remotely
  • Stream your media wirelessly on your gaming console
  • Easy automatic backup; Time Machine compatible

The LaPlug retail price: $74.99. More info here.

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Google Chrome is coming to Android

Back in September 2008, Google released two important products that shortly become widely used and very popular worldwide: the Android platform which owns most of the smartphone market this days and Chrome, one of the most popular web browser on the planet, actually, the third most widely used, just behind the second place Firefox browser.

As expected by many, Chrome will be launched for Android too and it might happen in October 11. The information comes from Chromium Code website where we also found out that the Android version of Chrome will include most desktop functions and support for 2D Skia – a complete 2D graphic library for drawing Text, Geometries, and Images that Google has been hard at work on.

Skia features include:

  • 3×3 matrices w/ perspective
  • antialiasing, transparency, filters
  • shaders, xfermodes, maskfilters, patheffects

Back to October 11, Google has an event partner with Samsung with the debut of Nexus Prime and Ice Cream Sandwich and maybe, Chrome for Android makes an appearance. I believe that the Android version Chrome will be available through Android Market and it will also come as an option to the stock Android browser right out of the box for the latest version of Android, but this is just a hunch.

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Most wanted games for the end of 2011

The major game developers have started the release campaign for Holidays 2011, which means they will offer to the public their best products and franchises. In this way they are trying to hit the big pot in the most prolific financial quarter of 2011. Companies like EA, Activision, Bethesda, Warner Bros, are already fighting to position their AAA titles into top 20 most wanted games of this year. Based on this top and on our subjective (but sometimes true) virtual tastes, here are our choices for this year’s Holidays most wanted games:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:

Activision comes this Fall with their first person shooter blockbuster which will come with a much darker storyline suitable for Mature audience. Scheduled for November this year this title will blow all the selling charts like its sibling titles from this popular franchise. The multiplayer will be even faster involving vehicles control and an improved achievements system. The pre-orders from the official resellers are showing the same speculative price of $59.99, with 10 bucks more than the average price for an AAA title.

Battlefield 3:

From the same genre but emphasized more on the multiplayer aspect, Battlefield 3 will make its debut in October for all major platforms. The next installment in the internationally acclaimed Battlefield series, is the result of three years of development and a new game engine, featuring state of the art technology with superior performance in character animation, visual rendering, audio/sound and physical destruction. Battlefield 3 is the only FPS in the marketplace using Frostbite 2 engine, and the only shooter capable of making the gameplay experience feel alive with all the sights, sounds, movements and action of real-world incursions. Beta for multiplayer has already been started.

Battlefield 3 captures the intense reality of modern warfare across the globe. DICE has worked closely with highly decorated ex-SAS operator and acclaimed author, Andy McNab, to ensure the authenticity and grittiness of today’s war is captured in both the single player and multiplayer campaigns.


Rage is the next id Software’s baby, a complex shooter that takes place in an post-apocalyptic world. It’s the first time when id Software changes the environment of their legendary shooters, from claustrophobic indoors to wide open spaces. Initially this game should have been published by EA, but in the end Bethesda (known for Fallout 3) are the ones that have won this privilege. I’ve mention this because you can see from the beginning some similarities with the Fallout universe. Therefore the question comes: Are we ready for another post-apocalyptic shooter? All I can say is that the game will be released in a week for all major platforms. Grab it and see what offers.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:

With this title Bethesda tries again to path its way to the top of most wanted games, this time in the role of the developer behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The next installment in the Elder Scrolls franchise continues the RPG experience based on an epic storyline. Skyrim reimagines and revolutionizes the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose. Skyrim will feature an ensemble cast of Academy Award nominees, including Christopher Plummer (“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, “The Insider”), Max Von Sydow (“The Exorcist,” “Minority Report”), and Joan Allen (“The Contender,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”).The game will be available worldwide on November 11, 2011 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Gears of War 3:

Epic Games and Microsoft launched Gears of War 3 at the end of September. The action packed exclusive XBOX 360 game brings back its dynamic gameplay and its legendary characters including Marcus, Baird, and Dominic. Besides the single-player campaign with a cinematic story, the multiplayer has been improved. Five-on-five multiplayer battles and four player co-op campaign enlarges the multiplayer experience. Beast Mode is the new multiplayer mode that offers the player the chance to take on the role of the locust horde and their assorted variations!

FIFA 12:

Today EA launched FIFA 12 for all the major consoles including Wii and PS2 and handheld gadgets like PSP or iPhone. With an all-new Career Mode, driven by the storylines from the real-world of the sport, with elements like player morale, on-pitch form and league position that will influence outcomes in the game, users will face more decisions and factors than ever before. With the latest installment, soccer has never been so brilliant simulated. Thanks to the new physics engine, the Player Impact Engine, fans will experience the way real-world footballers challenge each other for the ball, win possession, and test each other physically. The engine processes decisions continuously in real-time at every point of contact on a player’s body to create an infinite variety of natural and believable outcomes in every collision. Players now feel more resilient, push and pull during the fight for possession, and recover from light challenges more easily.

Batman Arkham City:

For anyone that loves comics and action games, Batman Arkham City is the best choice for this season. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new, all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight. The game will be available from October 21st  in the UK for Xbox 360, PC and the PlayStation 3.

Some important figures from the comics will make their debut as playable characters: Catwoman (with her own story in single-player) and Robin (in all challenge maps in the game) ; and new villains as opponents for Batman: Mr. Freeze, Penguin, The Riddler and Two Face.

NFS The Run:

What would be a most wanted top without the latest NFS game. Developed by Black Box NFS The Run is a game that takes players on a heart-pounding cross-country race from San Francisco to New York. Launching on November 15, Need for Speed The Run lures players into an underground world of illicit, high-stakes racing. Powered by DICE’s state-of-the-art Frostbite 2 engine (same as in Battlefield 3), Need for Speed The Run takes the action racing genre to new heights with stunning visuals and car physics that hug the road even at top speeds all built around a gripping storyline. Besides the storyline driven gameplay, EA proudly presents the official licensed line of Porsche models, including the 2012 Porsche 911.

Dark Souls (prepare to die over and over again):

Nobody ever thought that Demon Souls, that actually came out of nowhere in 2009, will be a hit on PS3. Two years later Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to this unique RPG, already received by the critics as an AAA title.  Developed by the same team FROMSOFTWARE, the game will be available in October for XBOX 360 and PS3. Set in a rich, dark fantasy universe, Dark Souls features tense dungeon crawling, fearsome enemy encounters and ground-breaking online features which combine for a truly unique RPG experience. As players encounter terrifying enemies and discover new areas, the game’s foundation of challenge and reward permeates the experience to provide an unparalleled sense of achievement. The developers have assured the whole community that the increased difficulty present in the first title will break the barriers of your patience in Dark Souls. This is what stands behind the so called sense of achievement.

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