Viber – Take the free way

viberToday, the free calls over the internet became more and more popular. And while there are plenty of programs that allows you to do so, it’s quite hard to choose. But of course, you go for the most featured and light program that you can find. That’s what I like the most about Viber.

First of all, it’s all cross platform. I know, it’s not the only one who has multiple platform support, but its features are making Viber a complete fast and free communication app. It’s fast, because it’s light, simple and efficient. While other programs offer you this and that function, Viber developers managed to get most of the features, well, the most useful ones, into one program. So, you have high quality voice calls, free text (even group text), photo messages and location-sharing with Viber users. Nothing of these requires registration. The application will detect automatically your contacts who are using Viber, and is working great on 3G connection or wifi without major differences. Anyway, be careful because the usage of 3G will use your data plan and can generate extra costs.

Viber-for-PC

As I mentioned before, it’s a cross platform software. So, except for linux, you can have Viber on almost any device using Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Nokia (Symbian) and Samsung Bada.

I was testing the Windows and Android versions. Well, I wanted to check the Video Call feature, which so far is a beta feature, between these platforms. On Windows I have the feature, marked as beta, but on Android is not. So, I can make a voice call between these platforms, but so far, the Video call feature doesn’t seem to be available on the mobile device. Location sharing is also a bit tricky. You only have a small purple arrow that will share your location with the person you are texting, if you activate the arrow. You can open the location in Maps, and let your GPS guide you to meet. Available on mobile device only.

If you want to install the windows version, you must first activate Viber on a mobile device, because Viber will use your telephone number as an identifier for the desktop version of the program. By using the desktop version of Viber you will get the advantage of getting all your viber contacts from your phone instantly on your desktop version.

The application is great for free calls. We all know how expensive the calls/messages with other countries are, so, it’s a good and efficient way to talk free with all your friends from all over the world.

Download Viber

 

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RunKeeper – Your personal fitness trainer.

runkeeper-elite-laptop-560These days, a runner has plenty of choices to track his workout, informations like the miles he ran, body fat loss, calories consumed, etc.
You can find many websites, smartphone applications and many other devices that can track your activity.

I’ve tried a few of these applications, but most of them are not worth paying attention to. But recently after a few feeds from my friends on facebook, I decided to try out the program they were using as their personal fitness coach. This is how I discovered RunKeeper. It’s a mobile fitness platform that leverages the location technology in smartphones to help runners and other fitness enthusiasts better track, measure, and improve their fitness training. Besides that, it’s fun, social, and helpful and has many fitness programs for any level.

The good thing is that we all love competition, and what’s better than competing with your friends? Runkeeper comes with a social ladder board, where you can see your results, achievements, and your rank among your friends using RunKeeper. Yes, achievements which are good way to motivate you. And besides that, you get professional fitness programs and reminders, so there’s no way you can miss any training session.

rkBut wait, you want some more? No problem. You can get a “premium” version too. It’s called RunKeeper Elite. For a monthly or yearly paid plan, you: “Get more from RunKeeper.com and the RunKeeper mobile app with the premium RunKeeper Elite subscription. Enjoy live activity broadcasting, discounted Training Plans and advanced reports to track your training.”

I advice you to use in the beginning the free RunKeeper edition, because it features enough options to do your workouts very well.

What I like the most about the Elite plan is the Broadcast activities and races live feature, and the fact that your followers can see live where are you running and your results in real time.

Happy running!

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Samsung Galaxy S4 – Life Companion

Compared with the very successful Galaxy S3, the brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 is by far the greatest smart phone from the market. Samsung raised once again the standard before any of its competitors did.

S4I don’t think they focused on very much on the case quality, because, as they say, the plastic won’t brake so easy as the glass does. So, it’s light, big and very fast. The display size is a bit bigger than the S III, and it’s now 5″. Also, the resolution was raised to Full HD 1920/1080 with Super Amoled display.

No Speed limit?

Well, it is a limit… But the good news is that is very high, and you have some awesome features. And the processor you either get an 1.9 GHz Quad Core, or an 1.6 GHz Octa Core, depending on the market you’re in. In my case, I would like the 1.9 Quad Core, because the Octa Core is quite a big energy consumer. Speaking of energy, the battery capacity is now bigger (2600 mAh) and they have constantly working on software tweaks to ensure you get the most of your battery.
The RAM memory is 2 GB and internal storage is 64GB and supports another 64 on SD-Card. Really, you can’t get more than that in a single phone! The phone cameras were also improved to 13 Megapixels rear-facing camera and 2-megapixels forward-facing camera. One particular new feature is that Samsung S4 allows you to take a photo or a video with both front and rear camera at the same time. This new feature is called by Samsung, Dual-Shot. Another cool feature is Cinema Photo, similar to Cinemagram, which lets you choose on piece of your photo to move, while keeping the others still.

Software improvements? Yes, there are plenty of great improvements. Samsung S4 is running the latest Android version, 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with other particular Samsung software.
Smart Scroll feature, allows you to scroll through websites by tilting your phone. The Smart Pause feature lets you control the screen with your eyes. The feature stops and starts a video based on whether you’re looking at the screen or not. This feature is similar with LG’s Smart Video feature. Also, if you’re watching a video and you put the phone down to do something else, video play will stop until you return and look at the screen.
The S Translate feature helps you translate your text messages or emails into nine different languages, using text or voice translation. The feature can also translate from both speech-text and text-to-speech.
With Air View you can hover your fingers over an email, S Planner, or image gallery to view a larger preview of content before selecting it, and the Air Gesture feature allows you to change a song, scroll through a web page, or answer a call by just waving your hand. Also this feature is awesome if you wear gloves, or your fingers are full of chocolate and you don’t wanna touch the phone.

Group Play – Now this is fun. You can share music, photos, videos and games with the people near you. You’re in a parking lot and you wanna turn the party ON? Transform the phones into a cool surround system and all the phones connected and playing the same song at once, will sure heat the things up!

So, Samsung is not focused on very much hardware improvements, because is already high-end, and they make their hardware to run spectacular with innovating software. All right, not all the features and softwares are original ideas, but they managed to gather all the cool features from many other phones, and set up an awesome engine under the new S4’s hood.

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The Steam Starts Rising – Valve Set to Release the Steam Box this Year!

steam_powered1If you play computer games, you’ve more than likely know of Steam, and the impact it’s had on the gaming world over the last few years. Steam, developed by Valve, is a digital distribution platform. It is used for distributing games and other related media online. The games vary from small independent developers to larger software houses. With Valve’s share of the gaming market constantly rising, it was only a matter of time before they would release their own games console. At CES 2013, Valve showcased prototypes of what will be known as the “Steam Box”. Following is everything you need to know about Valve’s steam box.
What is Steam Box?

 
The Steam Box is primarily designed to play PC games, specifically it’s designed to play games downloaded from Steam. The early prototypes of the Steam Box seem much smaller than a PC, but it is a PC – even though it might not be running windows. What Prototypes are Under Development? Several prototypes are currently under development. This includes the Xi3 Piston and Nvidia’s Project Shield. The Xi3 piston has received investment from Valve to continue developing the Piston, which is based on it’s existing X7A series. The Piston is reportedly set to be optimized for Steam’s big picture mode.Nvidia’s Project Shield is set to take the handheld gaming world by storm. Featuring a new Tegra 4 chip, the device contains, what looks like, a large Xbox 360 controller, along with a 5-inch 720p display screen. The device will run on Android and is Nvidia’s first project outside of the graphics card world.

What Operating System will be Supported by Steam Box?

The Steam Box is rumored to run with a Linux-based architecture, and will have the ability to run all the games currently available on Valve’s Steam platform. Although according to CEO Gabe Newell, the Steam Box won’t be limited to a single operating system. This means that although the unit will be shipped with Linux installed, the user could easily install another operating system, such as Windows.

Steambox

What Hardware Configuration will be Featured?

Rumours are still circulating about the features of the Steam Box, but at this time it seems that the console is modelled around the existing X7A line of miniature computers. Reports have surfaced that the console will contain up to 1TB of internal storage, with other options available to purchase faster CPUs and RAM. The prototype at CES 2013 contained four eSATAp ports, four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet as well as one full-sized Display Port and two Mini Display Ports. What Input Device Will it Feature?Newell has reported that the input device for the Steam Box, will be unique, potentially utilising biometrics and gaze tracking. Newell also stated that he has no intention of making Wii-like or Kinect-like controllers.

When Will it be Available?

It’s likely that the Steam Box will be released this year, although no precise date has currently been released. The console is set to be tested around July, so it’s likely that any release date would be nearer the end of the year – perhaps just in time for Christmas.

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Connected to the ultimate technology – Through Google Glass

Watch any futuristic film and you’re usually confronted with the Directors ideas of what future technology might look like.

google-glass
If you’ve seen a computer display in a pair of glasses you might be forgiven for putting this in the realm of fiction but technology writers and experts are getting excited by Google Glass, an Android-powered head mounted computer display which Google say will be on the market by the end of 2013.Practically Google Glass operates on a similar level to a Smartphone or Tablet. Think of varied apps like maps or restaurant finders, a camera, email and internet surfing all with voice activation. All these feature with Google Glass. The different is the hands-free nature of the devices. The small device can sit on a pair of glasses and Google’s initial promo video’s give the feeling of text and information displayed right infront of your eyes whether snapping a picture or reading as message.

Google are saying the devices will be available to buy at the end of 2013 and prices seem to be around the $1500 mark, although no one is quite sure. There is a secretive and low key approach from Google that has got some people asking some questions. Recently a Google Glass appeared on eBay at a $16000 price. Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin quickly spoke out that people should avoid these fake or counterfeit models. His TED seminar on the subject was again a little low key and he said that although a 2013 launch was likely there was still a lot of work to do on the product.

This doesn’t seem like an Apple-style reveal but rather a trickle down information cycle on this new product – with the hope that customers will not be able to restrain themselves when the Google Glass is finally launched. Some people have been able to get hold of a Google Glass as product testers. Through an application procedure on Google+ members of the public have been able to apply to try out the devices. Using a #ifihadaglass hashtag you can say what you would do with a Google Glass in your hands. The best ones get the chance to try it out – but apply quickly this is only running for a few more days. When thinking about Google Glass the key question would seem to be around it’s likely impact.

Do we really need a computer built into our glasses? Other than looking cool there seem to be some great benefits. Imagine a surgeon relaying his first person perspective of an operation to medical students online. This immediate capturing of life events or the ability to see through someone’s eyes is incredibly attractive. But concerns exist around Google’s ongoing collecting of data about us as we search. Will what we see and where we go be added to this? Are the days of face recognition and of real-time customer information even closer? We’ll have to wait till the end of the year to find out.

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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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SugarSync – there’s no place safer than the cloud!

Too many times I needed a file that I’ve created at the office or at home and I couldn’t access from another location because I forgot to copy it or to email it to myself! Well, I was glad to find a way to access my files from office, home, or wherever I am from my android phone! Yes, I can access all my important files from anywhere. And, If I modify something to my files, when I save the document, it’s getting synced with the file stored in the “cloud” and so I can access my file from any other device later.

More and more the term “cloud” is used in our lives, and this feature of the internet is getting more and more popular. It is easy to share, to access your files anywhere, and most of all, it is safe! I save my important files there, I don’t have to worry anymore that my computer might crash. You can start by having 5 GB of space for free in the SugarSync Cloud, and you can gain more free space by sending invitations to friends (send 20 invitations to get 2 GB extra for free), do some small tasks that will teach you how to use the SugarSync application and you get extra space, and whenever one of your friends will accept the invitation, you will gain 500MB, at maximum of 18 GB. Wow, now that’s a lot of free space, a safe space to save ALL your important data! Imagine that you can store a little less than the capacity of 5 DVDs there, and share what you want, with who you want, even if that person doesn’t use SugarSync! And the best part is that the application is multi-platform. It’s working on Windows (including Windows 8), Mac, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Mobile.

No matter what device you have, you can use it!

Download SugarSync application

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Too many times I fell asleep…

I know, I’m not the only one who likes to watch a movie on the computer when I get in bed, and very often, the movie is so “interesting” that makes me fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night more than half-asleep and barely see the mouse cursor to shut down the computer. Sometimes, I just wake up in the morning with the computer turned on, resulting a bad night with a fuzzy sleep and more tired than I was before I got to sleep, and with some electricity waste in vain for the whole night.

Now, let’s talk about power. The more powerful your computer is, the more electricity it consumes. The amount of electricity consumed by a computer is somewhere between 300-600 watts for desktop computers, and 15-60 watts for laptops. And a powerful gaming computer is using 600 watts/hour, left running 24/7 will cost you about 1000$ a year in electricity – and that is only the computer in your house.

Now here comes Auto Shutdown Pro II to help you make a better management for the usage of your computer. It’s not only that it shuts down your computer when you schedule it to do so, it can block your computer at a specific time of the day, so you can keep your computer safe even if you’re not at home. This “Blocked Time” feature is quite handy if you want your children to do their homework instead of playing video games.

As a illustration for you in order to help you make a better picture of this software: Parents do not want their children to play computer games or text endlessly on Facebook and Yahoo Messenger, chat with unknown strangers on social web sites 24/7 especially through the night. Children may believe that they are indestructible, but parents know better. And what parents do know for sure is that their children have to have their sleep at night. With Auto Shutdown Pro II parents can set absolute limits that guarantee that their children will not be on the computer after bedtime. Auto Shutdown Pro II will keep those computers turned off even when parents are asleep. With Auto Shutdown Pro II, parents get their children back.

So, it will save your money, shutdown your computer, save electricity, and while is also a computer management tool, will make your computer “live longer”.

 

Download Auto Shutdown Pro II

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