The Golden One

6574.Xbox-logo.jpg-550x0Yes, the Golden One is not someone, it’s something. It’s not a special one, it’s THE Golden One.

You might have heard about the iPhone 5s golden edition, with a fake gold coloring, thisONE is for real. An Xbox One plated in 24-karat gold. Yeap, it’s the best thing you can buy if you’re ever getting bored while you’re counting your money.

Get ready to play with Class – Ok, so you decided to spent about £6000 ($9750) for this extremely fine piece of technology, and for this amount of money, you have some special features, right? Well, NO. It’s an ordinary Xbox One, no games included. And I don’t know if there are any golden gamepads included. So, how about the Xbox Live Gold membership? This must be included, right? We are talking about gold here… No, not even the gold membership. Standard Xbox One console. But “a bit” shinier.

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 So, this is the item spotted and photographed by a Reddit user – available only in Harrods store – London. (This store it’s known for selling special luxury edition items like furniture, fashion, electronics, etc…)

– available only in Harrods store – London. (This store it’s known for selling special luxury edition items like furniture, fashion, electronics, etc…)

Bad news for the Xbox Golden One fans, I know… But if you can afford to buy this, you can plan a visit to the store, wherever you’re from. And who knows, maybe you see some other items that you might like there!

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Is The End Near for Microsoft?

microsoft-in-kenyaWell, I don’t know, but they sure act like it. Just like a beast, who is starting to realize that the opponent is getting stronger, and now, wounded, tries to get hold on every possible thing to remain in the big digital war.

This is my personal point of view, and it’s becoming more and more obvious. Microsoft started an aggressive campaign against Google’s email client, Gmail, called Scroogled. Well, now, Microsoft is doing it again! Another campaign against Goole’s email scanning process, called Keep Your Email Private (and use Outlook.com instead of Gmail). So, what’s new? I don’t think that is anything new, and they just wanna remind the users that outlook.com is safer and respects your privacy, unlike Google’s Gmail. We all know that emails content are scanned with a view of delivering targeted ads, depending on your conversation topic.

People know about this, and whoever is not happy with it, can move along from Gmail. What is now suspicious, is that Microsoft is using this Gmail feature, and exploits it, in order to get more people to use Outlook.com

Microsoft statement: “Unlike Gmail, Outlook.com keeps your privacy private. You won’t see ads based on keywords from your personal email. Your email is nobody else’s business. But Google makes it their business. Even if you’re not a Gmail user, Google still goes through your personal email sent to Gmail and uses the content to sell ads. ”

They explain how the scanning works, but something is missing. Of course the lack of clear points in this information, is not making it clear if the scanning is anonymously made and if any of our private data is given/revealed to any other third party.

It’s clear that Microsoft wants more users and they use this “feature” from Gmail to boost their products. I don’t find it a fair fight, to throw mud on your opponent’s products in order to show to the people how shiny is yours. And about our privacy, Google statement is clear. It’s your choice if you use their products or not. The Big Brother doesn’t force anyone to join him, but he sure offers some of the best products on the market.

What can we do? Well, it’s clear. As long as we give up our privacy, we let our freedom vanish.
Using the email account is almost vital for many people. But, really, I don’t know who likes the idea to have all the emails scanned… A workaround can be made. If you really want more privacy, but you don’t wanna let your Gmail account go, you can set up another email client, or you can even choose to use Outlook.com and connect your Gmail account there, and you’ll get all your emails forwarded to your new Outlook account. But this is the right way to avoid having your emails scanned? If I set up the automatic forward, would make my emails invulnerable to scanning? Still, one big question remains… what is the safest way to use the email and have our privacy protected?

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A phone worth keeping

pbAbout a week ago, a colleague of mine wrote an article about what’s the right phone to choose when you want to buy a new phone. I think that he was right, but a different concept that I found on the great world of internet, and truly, is just a concept, made me think about a totally different design and idea about how we can choose what phone we want and how to make that phone to be perfect for each human being. We all are different and we all want something special, just for us. Of course, even in this concept, you probably won’t have a completely unique phone, but that won’t be a problem.

The concept is called Block Phone, and as you can see in the video, it would be an extreme upgrade to all we knew so far about electronic devices. First of all, we all know that the electronic devices, as you can see in the video, are not made to last…the technology is advancing so fast, and the devices that yesterday were the ultimate generation, tomorrow will quickly be left behind by the newer amazing ones. This is making the electronic waste the biggest ever of the modern world.

The components are customizable and upgradable! So, you won’t need to buy a complete new phone, you will be able to upgrade just the part of the phone that you want! Display, processor, battery, camera, wifi, memory, etc… Exactly how you can see in the video, all the parts.

Well, for the moment is just a concept, but I really hope that it would be under development in a short time. This for sure will open many doors for the electronic industry, and we will reduce the electronic waste. In my opinion, it’s a win-win situation for all mankind…well, maybe except for the big companies. But I still hope the leaders of those companies are human.

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Microsoft needs a new CEO and Blackberry is for sale…

So, is Apple happy-happy-joy-joy? Not sure yet, but they might now get a small leap forward…

Business Leaders Gather In Detroit For The National Business SummitBallmer’s closing speech was a bit emotional, exiting the stage on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, Time of my life. That’s how he would describe it’s time spent as CEO at Microsoft. And of course, he added that this song best describes his experience there and the promising future of the company.

Well, about the future.  It’s a thing that I have to admit, made me curious. It’s well known that Microsoft, and Blackberry are fairly well behind Apple and Samsung, and that, I think might be caused by the need of humans to get mobile with most, or quite with all of their devices. What they have forgotten about, is human nature. The human nature is always oriented to follow the easy path and the eye-candy is just not enough sometimes. We will choose, at a moment, the things we can afford, and of course those things that will make our lives easier. That’s why most of us have in their pockets or in their bags a device that is replacing many, many old devices, into a single device.

I’m guessing that Microsoft thought that what they’ve build will last forever, because where there’s a computer, there must be a Windows. And that was so…once upon a time. Let’s face it, Windows 8 and the Surface tablets didn’t caught the public’s attention. First of all, may be the price, but also the new UI in Windows 8. So, there it goes.

About Blackberry, as you can read here, it’s for sale, and it seems that they already have a buyer. I really hope that they will change the strategy. Holding on an OS that is quite obsolete, doesn’t seem to be a good plan. I know, they were focused on the business department, but that department embraced for already a long time ago the iOS and Android platforms. Simply because the human nature wanted to have easier ways to complete the daily tasks….on the bus.

GBU

In my opinion, the same happened with Nokia… They hold on very much on their Symbian OS, until it was almost too late.

I can’t wait to see who will be the next Microsoft’s CEO, and what company will invest their money to save Blackberry. And of course, we all can’t wait to spend our money on their new high-tech devices in the future.  And a good step, besides eye-candy design, cool features and hardware, it would be to develop many applications for their OS, no matter what OS they choose.  An OS without many applications and games is simply…boring. Let’s hope we’ll see all the Blackberry devices with Android, and Windows devices with a decent OS, where you can install anything you would have in your Windows Desktop PC, at a good price! Let us be…human.

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Foxmail – The Fireless Fox

logoThe email is basically the most used method to communicate today. There are plenty of email clients and each user can choose the one that suits better for his needs. I’ve chosen to test Foxmail, because I found it recently, and from some other reviews I learned that it’s quite something. The version 7.1 is expected to be lighter and faster, and is trying to cover all the needs that a user has: Standard email, Address book, and meetings, appointments, and RSS Feed.

Foxmail indeed is light and easy to use, once you figured out how to set it in english (we’ll get to that a bit later.). I’ve configured my Gmail email address very fast (just my email address and password), and the program detected automatically the port settings and all my emails were there in a flash, with all the folders set in my local language, according to my gmail settings. So, it’s a basic email client, with a basic design. On top of the menu bar, you have only 6 options: Check, Compose, Reply, Reply All, Forward and Delete. Of course, when you compose an email, you have advanced settings, like priority and so. You don’t need more from a basic email client.

foxmail

Now, the downside: The installer is in Chinese language, and you DON’T have an option to change that in the installer. I consider this a BIG drawback for the application. Even so, because it’s a standard Next-Next-Finish installer, I managed to install it and to configure the email address. And after that, I made a “blind” search to find out if there is any way to set the program to english. This is what you have to do (see the picture below about how to change this email client into english.). After all the changes applied, you have to restart the application in order the changes to take effect. EVRIKA! It worked! Now the program suddenly came out of the dark.

Foxmai-Instructions

Foxmail it is indeed the lightest email client I’ve worked with. But they really need to implement the select language option in the installer, and to set as default the english language for the application. The meeting and appointment features work great and you will be notified about every new email you get in a small and nice pop-up balloon in windows. Anyway, if you don’t want a little adventure with the Chinese language, I don’t recommend you to try it. But, if you do, and you need a basic email client, this is the right application for you.

download Foxmail

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Start Menu Reviver – The Good Old Start Button

SM_Reviver_256x256If not all, than 99% of the people using Windows 8 complained about the missing Start Button/Menu in desktop mode. I like the design of the latest Windows installment, but i’m not quite impressed by the Modern UI usability, and for a PC user it’s not quite what he needs from a common Windows OS. So, while we are waiting for the release of Windows 8.1, with the announced super feature (Start Button), we can try a few third parties software to enhance our Windows 8 computers. I’ve tried all kind of software in the quest of bringing back the Start menu, and I stopped at Start Menu Reviver.
What I liked most about this is the speed and the usability of the Start menu that this software integrates within Windows 8. This program is combining the W8 graphic design with the good old W7 start menu features. The eye-candy look attracted me at the first glance, and only afterwards the functional features caught my attention.
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Quick search and shutdown are graphically integrated in the menu, combined with an extendable feature where you can see all the desktop applications (and you can choose what applications you can find there). Many other quick launch features and the fact that is 100% customizable, is making the Start Menu Reviver, my favorite W8 Start Menu application. I consider this application far better than what the Microsoft developers can do with the next release of Windows.

As the description of the program says, the application is also an enhancer for W7 Star menu, so I tested it on W7 too, and it’s almost the same. Very few features are different, but even if I like the modern UI graphics, I consider it a feature for Windows 8, and Windows 7 it’s good just the way it is.

If you’re missing the Start menu, this is the best free application for reviving it in your Windows 8. It is very light and you can customize it as you wish. What applications to be displayed there, colors, quick settings, everything. After all, it’s all up to you to make your computer’s OS as you wish!

download Start Menu Reviver

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Remember your password with Password Memory

0t_KeynoteWe are all connected to the huge www. We have accounts on websites we can’t even remember! So, tell me, if you can’t remember the website, can you remember your account details? Well, let’s say you made the account with your desired username, but on every website you made a registration; was your favorite username was available? I’m sure not. And about the password, you might want to say “I will have the same password for all my online accounts”, but now you know very well that this is a complete stupid idea, because your accounts will become very insecure and extremely vulnerable. One “smart guy” can find out your password from one website, and after that, after you worked very hard to have all your life online, your accounts can get “burned” from the ground in just minutes with irreparable effects. To avoid any of the above disasters, try out Password Memory 5.

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Many times I lost my account details, and I had to use the “reset password” function or I had accounts that I forgot even the username. So, let me tell you how I managed to keep all my accounts safe, with passwords like (723hjJdA”_sa!@@ paaKSd) that are impossible to remember. The main idea is simple. Password Memory + Dropbox = 100% security and you can rest assured. No matter what happens to your computer, your personal password data base is safe on Dropbox. And of course, if you want to access the database, you’ll need only a single master password.

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Password Memory is a 5-Star application that can help you store all your private data in one secure database. All you have to do is to remember one master password. This makes things really easy. You don’t even have to visualize the password. You just right-click on the entry you want, and click Copy Username or Copy Password in the clipboard, and you can simply insert it in the website. In case of emergency, you have a button that will lock the database in an instance, and another one that can clear the computer’s clipboard memory, so you can be safe that your password was not copied in the clipboard.
The Password Memory it’s quite handy when it comes to security. Has a nice MS-Office 2007 look, and it’s very easy to use even for a very basic user. It would have been interesting to see this application on my phone too, but for now it is available only for PC.

download Password Memory 5

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CCCP – Combined Codec Community Pack.

Cccp-white2Well, except for the logo, this pack is awesome! I’m not saying that is an ugly logo, but I don’t like a look-a-like communist sign. Anyway, you should not care that much about the logo, if you really want a simple and efficient codec pack to play almost every movie you want.
It was the year 2009 when, I discovered CCCP for the first time. And I wouldn’t have used it, if I didn’t had to playback an mkv file (HD movie files.). After several hours spent on Google, searching about how to open those files, and trying many many codecs, none of them gave me the desired results. And as a last solution, I tried CCCP (I avoided to use it in the first place, BECAUSE OF THE LOGO!<thinking that a software with such a logo, can contain some unwanted viruses and other bad software, and their website was a bit suspicious because it’s very simple and doesn’t have too much info on the main page.>)… Well, I decided to take the risk, after I was sure that the pack was clean and installed it.

Settings

I have to say I was surprised! For the first time, I was able to play the mkv file, without any lag, compared with other codecs that I’ve tried. While with others the sound an image were out of sync, with CCCP pack everything worked perfectly, even for 10Gb+ files. I even realized that I could watch the movies with any other video player, without being forced to use the embedded one in the package.

The pack’s main components are LAV filters, Haali Media Splitter, xy-VSFilter, and the player, the easy but powerful Media Player Classic Home Cinema. These combined, gives the best movie experience. If you have a surround sound system and you really enjoy watching full HD movies at their maximum potential, this is the right tool to use. Of course, you must set the LAV Audio mixer to 5.1 or 7.1 for your speakers setup, but that is quite easy to do. Another great feature that I really used, is the “After playback feature” , that, if selected, will give the computer a command to perform whatever you want after the playback. I use this feature to shut down the computer after the movie is finished. (you can select even to play the next file in the folder, and then to shut down the computer)

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Word from the producer: “CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack) is a filter pack specifically built for playing anime. It has been assembled by some of the most knowledgeable people in the anime world, and one of the primary design goals is to play as much possible with as little as possible. It attempts to be as unintrusive on your system as possible.” I never played anime with it but it’s definitely great for every movie.

CCCP is a powerful codec pack, a complete solution for Full HD movies, and if you have a surround sound system (after you set up the LAV codec for your sound scheme), you will feel the true high definition term. It’s the easiest pack for a basic user.

download CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack)

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