WebApps for Ubuntu Announced

Written by John Ponio on Friday, 20 July 2012 15:13 | Web and Industry News

Canonical Logo

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has recently announced a new feature for the OS: WebApps. These aren't your regular webapps, though, that just sit in your browser. These will run from the web but be able to be more meshed with the rest of the operating system. Examples would be things like Last.FM controls inside of the music player, GMail notifications in the regular notification area, things like that. They'll also be able to be meshed with Ubuntu's HUD UI, which is the thing where you type commands instead of digging through menus. So far there are 40 apps ready to go, and the API is open so anyone can make their own. Worried about security? You have to personally authorize the webapp in order for it to work as described. The feature will come out with Ubuntu 12.10, expected in October, and there will be an add-on for 12.04 LTS (long-term support). 



The Internet Defense League Launch

Written by John Ponio on Thursday, 19 July 2012 13:54 | Web and Industry News

IDL Logo

The major parties behind the SOPA blackout protests have joined forces to form the Internet Defense League. Not only does the League have their own cat-signal (pictured below), they have defense plans for when new threats against our free internet pop up. Current members include Mozilla, Wordpress, Public Knowledge, imgur, Reddit, Fight for the Future, and more. The way it's designed is that all member websites will get a message from the IDL when a new threat pops up. With the message they'll get an alert-code to put on each member website that tells views to do things like contact their representatives. Member websites can choose whether or not to put the code on their website, so it's not like anything is forced. Basically it's a way to spread the word of a new threat across the internet faster than before. 

IDL Cat Signal

Just for fun, there are launch parties across the world timed to be the same time as The Dark Knight Rises is released. There will be high-powered spotlights with the cat-signal shining in cities across the globe. If you donate enough, the IDL will try their hardest to find a spotlight for you to rent for a night to help spread the word about the IDL. With smaller donations comes things like small cat-signals, t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other such things. 

Head on over to the Internet Defense League website to read more about it and sign up. Read about donations and the launch plans here.


Windows 8 Release Date Announced

Written by John Ponio on Thursday, 19 July 2012 13:31 | Web and Industry News

Windows 8 Logo

Can't wait to get your hands on the final release of Windows 8? Yeah, I can wait, too. Just kidding. But really, the release date for Windows 8 has been confirmed: October 26th. With the release, remember, will come the final changed desktop theme, all features for Metro, and probably a whole host of new computers and tablets featuring Windows 8. Most excitably for tablet enthusiasts is the release of the Surface. Microsoft never specifically stated it will be released with Windows 8, but they said it will be in the general time of the Windows 8 release. I can't wait for reviews to pop up all over the web, as I'm really interested to see how Windows 8 works out as a tablet UI. I've always thought it would be great, but you never know until you try it. 



YouTube Adds Facial Blurring Feature

Written by John Ponio on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 15:29 | Web and Industry News

YouTube Logo

With all of the protests that have been going on all over the world for the past year, and with all of the footage being posted on video sharing websites like YouTube, there's a lot of concern or privacy. To help with those concerns, YouTube is adding a facial blurring feature that, when enabled, will take your video, detect and blur the faces in it, give you the blurred video, and give you the option to delete the original video. Of course, this technology is still in its infancy, so face detection isn't always spot on, but as time goes on it will get better. Below is an image of before/after the blurring tool was used.

YouTube Blurring Feature

It really is quite simple to use, all you do is click a button and the tool will do all the work for you. As I said, it might not get all of the faces in the video, but it should get the more obvious ones. It depends on video quality, lighting, angles, and other such things. Read the original blog post here


Touchscreen and Convertible Ultrabooks in the Works

Written by John Ponio on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 15:18 | Web and Industry News

Intel Logo

'Intel CEO Paul Otellini recently had a meeting with various journalists and analysts concerning Q2 2012's numbers. In the meeting, he said that there are currently 140 different ultrabook designs in the works from various OEMs. Surprisingly, 40 of those 140 designs will feature touchscreens, and 12 of those 140 will be convertible (meaning that you can switch between it being a tablet and it being a laptop). Sale in Q2 2012 were as expected, and Otellini is confident that ultrabooks will account for 40% of laptop sales by the end of the year. It also looks like pricing is going in line to bring ultrabooks under $600, even with Intel not dropping processor prices for OEMs making ultrabooks. It seems like Intel is almost shooting themself in the foot by keep processors at regular prices, but at least they're still making money. Read more on it here.


Microsoft Releases Office 2013 Preview

Written by John Ponio on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 14:28 | Web and Industry News

Office 2013 Logo

For those of you who always have to have your hands on the latest software, Microsoft has released the preview for Office 2013. Aside from usual updates, new features, and a few UI tweaks, a big change is that Microsoft has made Office 2013 incompatible with Windows XP and Windows Vista. Windows 7 will still work, and Windows 8 is what it was designed for. Read on for more.


Valve Launches the Valve Linux Blog

Written by John Ponio on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 14:14 | Web and Industry News

Valve Logo

Back in April, rumors about Valve developing a native Linux Steam client, as well as Valve porting over the Source Engine, were confirmed by someone who toured the Valve offices. Well, it's officially official: Valve is working extensively on Linux. They have recently launched the Valve Linux Blog, where they'll be discussing any developments relating to their software on Linux. The main focus as of now is a fully-functional Steam client, optimizing Left 4 Dead 2 to run with OpenGL (like DirectX except not DirectX), and porting over other Valve titles. 

Currently they're working on all of this for Ubuntu, but if that is successful they'll most likely move on to other Linux distributions. As Ubuntu is one of the most popular distributions, they figure it's a good starting point. It's also easier to work with only one distribution than to have to work with many different ones. 

You can read the first blog post for yourself here, and I'll try to keep you updated on any new posts. 


Micron Announces 45nm PCM Production

Written by John Ponio on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 13:50 | Web and Industry News

Micron Logo

About a year ago there were some major breakthroughs with phase-change memory (PCM), and now Micron has recently announced that they've started mass production of 45nm PCM. This won't be out for your computer, but Micron is making it available for vendors to put inside of their handsets and tablets. PCM has very significant power savings over NAND flash memory, and mobile devices need all the power savings they can get. PCM also offers (arguably) better performance than comparable flash memory. Read on for a video explaining the benefits of PCM, as well as for links. 


Fully-featured XBMC for Android Announced

Written by John Ponio on Monday, 16 July 2012 15:29 | Web and Industry News


Here at Insanetek, we're big fans of XBMC. For those of you who don't know, XBMC is a wonderful media center program that's supported across Windows, Linux, OS X, and with some work you can get it on other devices like Apple TV's and Raspberry Pi's. It supports just about every codec for audio, video, and images, and is just all-around a great media center. Personally I'd say it's better than Windows Media Center. A new addition to the wide range of systems that XBMC can run on is the Android operating system. This isn't just a remote or a thin client (a thin client is one that requires a server to do all processing and storage), it's a fully-featured program running on Android that does everything that its desktop-cousin can do. An increasing number of set-top boxes have been running Android, so this is going to make those set-top boxes even better. Read on for more.


Raspberry Pi Production Increased

Written by John Ponio on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:57 | Web and Industry News

Raspberry Pi Logo

If you've been wanting to get your hands on the highly-demanded Raspberry Pi but haven't been able to because all that are made are immediately sold, you'll be happy to hear that production of the Raspberry Pi Model B is being ramped up. Currently there are about 4000 boards made every day. Orders used to be limited to one-per-customer, but now customers can buy as many as they want. This is great news for educational institutions, which is what this whole project was made for, because they can now get the boards in the class room and have kids start learning how to program. Read on for more.


Corsair Launches Force Series GS SSD, Reaches $1/Gigabyte Threshold

Written by John Ponio on Friday, 06 July 2012 00:01 | Web and Industry News

Corsair Logo

Corsair, a well-known manufacturer of solid state memory, has recently launched their Force Series GS SSDs. While they're just your regularly SSD for the most part, the interesting thing is that one model of the GS series reaches the $1 per gigabyte threshold. We've seen drives here and there in the past reach this threshold, most notably on sales, but having a brand-new drive reach this is something. Read on for more about the Force Series GS SSDs. 


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