Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer to win Australian Open

So finally it is official. Rafael Nadal truly is a superhuman performer after recovering from the longest marathon the Australian Open has ever known to overcome the might of Roger Federer and claim his third grand-slam title in a brilliant seven-month stretch.

It was a night of firsts at Melbourne Park. The first Spaniard ever to win the year's opening major. The first Australian final to extend to five sets since the event was moved to this venue five years ago. The first grand-slam final ever to reach a conclusion beyond midnight.

However, the evening will forever be remembered for the magnificence of Nadal's performance in once again proving himself the master of endurance to beat Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2. There is no stopping this 22-year-old and huge doubts must be in the mind of his great rival as to whether he ever will go on to beat Pete Sampras's record of 14 grand-slam titles.

As Federer leveled the match at two sets all, it looked inevitable that he would level the Sampras total. Nadal, extended by his countryman Fernando Verdasco to five hours 14 minutes of action less than two days earlier, appeared to have hit a physical wall, while the Swiss seemed to be hitting his stride.

adal then once again proved he is a competitor who can never be counted out. He regrouped, he changed his shirt, bandana and racket and came back to outgun Federer with display that left the three-time Australian Open champion looking like a man ready to accept defeat in the closing few games.

There was a strange resignation to Federer's play at the end. No longer was he the imperious champion who once accepted victory in hard-court finals as a near-certainty. There is now almost an inferiority complex when he stands next to Nadal and the flood of tears that delayed his runner-up speech almost suggested a knowledge that his truly great days are over.

If last summer's Wimbledon final between the pair was the greatest tennis match ever played, then for long periods this offering was not far behind. Some of the rallys were truly stunning, some of the recovery play seemed to break the bounds of human possibility and the gaggle of greats sitting in the Presidents' Box including Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Tony Roche and Neale Fraser were, like the rest of the 15,000 crowd, repeatedly forced into rapturous applause.

Perhaps the omens of it not being Federer's night were plain from the opening game as he uncharacteristically dropped serve. This was not the stuff expected of legends; he framed a forehand long and was then horrendously wrong-footed as Nadal could hardly believe his initial luck.

By his own immaculate standards, Federer did not serve well all match. He went through several periods where he struggled to get his first delivery into play and hit six double faults, several of them at crucial moments.

Nadal may have served half as many aces but was still a model of consistency from the service line and had the ability to produce the big one when required. But the deciding factors were his resilience, his spirit, his attitude and his strength. He has now proved he can win on a hard court in a five-set final in the same way that he has done on clay and grass.

Perhaps it was apt that he received his trophy from Laver himself, the last man ever to complete the full grand-slam. Given Nadal's immaculate new credentials on all surfaces on which major tournaments are played, there is a distinct possibility that 40 years on from Laver's feat, we will finally be lauding somebody else as the king of the grand slam.

Source: www.timesonline.co.uk

Monday, January 26, 2009

Did You Know 3.0

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sony Vaio P Series Notebook

Go Lightly.

The world’s lightest1 8" notebook, the 1.4-pound2 VAIO® P Series Lifestyle PC does more than you could imagine–with impeccable style. Email at the airport, IM from the park, or just show it off when you want some attention. Traveling to a new city? Turn-by-turn GPS navigation will get you there faster. Best of all, it fits right in your purse or jacket pocket.

Fashionable and flashy, this ultra-portable Lifestyle PC makes a statement wherever you go. Choose from four colors, each inspired by the crystalline shimmer of natural gemstones.

Keep moving and stop waiting. The instant-on, ultra-bright 8-inch3 LED-backlit screen of the Lifestyle PC means you never have to wait for it to warm up. Plus, its extra-wide 1600 x 768 resolution easily displays the width of an entire page, putting an end to side-to-side scrolling that can slow you down.

Looking for a place to eat? Type the word "restaurant" and let the Lifestyle PC be your guide. Using built-in GPS technology, your current location is found and real-time, on-screen directions lead the way. No internet connection required.

Connect and go. Featuring built-in wireless access4, the Lifestyle PC puts the internet in your pocket. And this is no stripped down version of the web, either. Everything is there, displayed just like it is on your home PC. Video chat with your friends5, download music or do some online shopping—from virtually anywhere

Enjoy a complete notebook experience without compromise. Small in size but big on functionality, the Lifestyle PC delivers the same convenient features you’re used to, but with go-anywhere style. A Windows Vista® operating system supports all the software programs you already use: Microsoft Office applications, music programs, video players and more.

Sporting a refined, polished design with a subtle edge, the Lifestyle PC instantly distinguishes you from the crowd. Available in an array of crystal-inspired colors, the Lifestyle PC is the essence of style.

About as thin as a deck of cards, it’s a cinch to tote. Whether you’re crossing the street or crossing a border, this Lifestyle PC fits seamlessly into your life. At just 1.4 pounds2, you might even forget you’re carrying it

Featuring a convenient, one-button quick-boot option, the Lifestyle PC offers fast access to the web, email, photos and more. Dive directly into the fun stuff via Instant Mode using a version of Sony’s own xross media bar, the same intuitive system found on the PLAYSTATION®3 and select BRAVIA® HDTVs.

Getting your point across has never been easier. The Lifestyle PC features a built-in MOTION EYE® webcam and microphone that lets you quickly snap photos and video chat with friends and family5

Your friends, your news, and your entertainment when you need it. The Lifestyle PC lets you browse the web in more places with built-in, Verizon 3G broadband connectivity5.

Benefits of built-in wireless access:

  • No wireless card needed
  • Added durability
  • Constant connection
  • Easy management of WAN, 802.11n wireless LAN4 and Bluetooth® connections

You’ll also enjoy:

  • Real-time tracking of your current location
  • The ability to search by address, keyword or points of interest
  • Estimated drive times to your desired location
  • Points of interest, such as restaurants and hotels within 50 miles of your location


  • 1.33GHz Intel Processor
  • Genuine Microsoft Vista Home Premium or Home Basic (32-bit)
  • 8" LED Backlit 1600 x 768 display, 1.4 Lbs.Up to 60GB hard drive, available 128GB SSD
  • Up to 4-hour Battery
  • 2GB RAM

Source: www.sonystyle.com

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The 7 Coolest New Features in Windows 7

The New Windows Taskbar

The Taskbar, the strip along the bottom of the Windows desktop that shows active applications, has been redesigned. Now, it feels and behaves a lot more like Mac OS X’s dock. You can reorder applications by dragging them. You can further customize the Taskbar by dropping in icons that launch your most-used apps. And, you can see live thumbnails of what’s inside the window of each open application right there in the Taskbar. If you have multiple tabs open in your browser, you’ll see each browser tab in its own thumbnail, and you can jump straight to the tab you want. If you’re listening to a song or watching a movie, hovering over the thumbnail will bring up cover art and controls to pause or resume playback.

Jump Lists

These context-sensitive menus are available for each program in your Taskbar and your Start Menu. Click on the programs’ name or icon to get a list of the most recent or frequently-requested tasks. For example, you can click on the Internet Explorer icon in the Taskbar and see your recent browsing history or choose from a list of your most-visited websites. Or, click on your MS Word in the Start Menu and see a Jump List of your most recently viewed documents.

Aero’s New Moves

Microsoft first debuted the glossy, animated Aero user interface environment in Windows Vista. At the time, many noted that several visual cues within Aero seemed borrowed from the Mac OS X desktop. Aero returns in Windows 7 revamped and pumped-up. One of the new enhancements, Aero Peek, seems to borrow from Mac OS X’s own animated window manager, Expose. Hover your mouse over the far right side of your Windows Taskbar and your active windows become transparent, exposing the desktop.

The new Snap feature lets you expand and maximize windows simply by dragging them to different edges of the desktop. Drag a window’s top edge to the top of the screen to maximize it, and drag it away to restore it to its original size. Line up any window’s edge to either side of the desktop and that window will snap to fill up that half of the screen. Do the same with another window on the other side and you’ve got two equal-sized windows on either side of the screen.

Unified Search

The old Start Menu gains a greater amount of utility in Windows 7. The clunky nested menus are gone, and they’ve taken with them all the guesswork involved in finding your favorite apps. A search box in the Start Menu offers lightning-quick suggested search results as you type. Search extends into contacts, e-mail subjects, names of documents, playlists, song titles and even the names of individual settings in your Windows Control Panel. It also learns from you, bringing the things you use the most to the top of the results.

Fewer Annoying Pop-ups

Remember the famously intrusive User Account Control system in Vista? The feature that constantly displays yes/no prompts asking you to approve system status updates, butting in all too often like a nagging nanny? How could you forget, right? As expected, Microsoft has scaled back the pop-ups for all users. Furthermore, advanced users with admin rights can set a slider based on their own preferences. That way, only the most important messages get through, and notifications for things like the built-in firewall can be disabled.


Put multiple Windows 7 PCs on a single network and they’ll all find and connect to one another, forming a HomeGroup. Users can then browse all of the media stored across the multiple PCs as though they were all on the same hard drive. Sharing within any folder can be disabled for security reasons. You also get location-aware printing — click print and the system will pick the printer closest to you.

Device Stage

Windows 7’s device manager gives you a single window for interacting with your various gadgets. Plug in your cameras, MP3 players and printers, and you’ll be able to see all of them listed in the Device Stage window. Click on a device to get details on its status — battery charge, available storage space, the time and date of your last sync and so on. From within the same interface, you can sync it, manage your photos, music or ringtones you have stored on it, or any other device-specific task. We haven’t tested Device Stage, so we don’t know how well it will work with iPhones and iPods, but for cameras and Windows Mobile smartphones, it looks very cool.

- by: Michael Calore

Source: www.webmonkey.com

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bedtime Stories: Bugsy's Dance

Bugsy shows his dancing skills. From Disney's Bedtime Stories

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Microsoft Releases Windows 7 Beta as a Free Download

LAS VEGAS -- Microsoft's excitable CEO Steve Ballmer showed off Windows 7 -- the slick, fast, user-friendly successor to the much-maligned Windows Vista -- and said it will be available as a public beta on Friday (January 9).

Unveiled by an intense Ballmer during his keynote address on the eve of CES 2009, Windows 7 will offer better performance on underpowered machines such as netbooks, support for multitouch interfaces, and simplified home networking.

Ballmer said that this would be the "best version of Windows ever" and pointed out features that implicitly acknowledged the problems with Windows Vista.

"We are putting in all the right ingredients -- simplicity, reliability and speed -- and working hard to get it right and to get it ready," said Ballmer.

Ballmer's keynote is his first at the big, prestigious CES show since the departure of Microsoft founder Bill Gates a year ago. He showed no signs of stage fright, bounding onstage in a maroon pullover, rubbing his hands together and grinning eagerly.

Microsoft is also eager to get Windows 7 into people's hands given the negative reaction to Windows Vista, which was widely panned. Released in 2007, Vista annoyed many customers with its hunger for computing resources and its seemingly incessant security notifications. Those notifications were such a defining characteristic of Vista that they were even satirized in Apple commercials. Despite the criticisms, Microsoft sold 20 million copies of Vista in the first month, and there are now an estimated 300 million users of Vista worldwide.

According to Ballmer, Windows 7 will be available to developers immediately, and to the general public on Friday, January 9. It will be a free download from Microsoft's site.

Windows 7 has been widely anticipated since developers got the first glimpse of it at a Microsoft conference earlier this year. Microsoft promises that the new OS will have faster startup and shutdown times, fewer security alerts, and will provide better power management leading to improved battery life on laptops.

Microsoft showed off Windows 7's support for multitouch interfaces, simplified home networking, and easier management of peripheral devices such as cell phones and digital cameras.

In addition, the OS will have an updated Taskbar, new animated desktop effects, context-sensitive menus and a smarter desktop search tool. And it will be svelte enough to run on a netbook with as little as 1GB of RAM and a 1GHz processor, Microsoft has promised.

This is the only public beta of Windows 7, a company spokesperson confirmed. The company did not announce the exact date of Windows 7's commercial release.

Windows 7 is only one part of Microsoft's three-pronged strategy to provide software for what Ballmer called the "three screens" -- PCs, phones and TVs.

"I believe windows will remain at the center of people's technological solar system," Ballmer said, touting the company's efforts in the mobile, online, and home entertainment markets.

For instance, Ballmer announced that its online software suite, Windows Live Essentials, will be coming out of beta as of tomorrow.

The company announced several Windows Live partnerships, including one with Facebook, which will allow Facebook users to share content that they've uploaded into their Facebook accounts with their Windows Live accounts. Similar interconnectivity already exists between Windows Live and Flickr.

Also, Dell will be preloading Windows Live Essentials on its computers, replacing the Google Toolbar.

Ballmer promised a new version of Microsoft's OS for smartphones, Windows Mobile, to come in the first quarter of 2009. This OS will include support for Adobe Flash-based apps, including the video players used on many sites, such as YouTube.

After Ballmer, Microsoft's Robbie Bach took the stage to tout the company's Xbox 360 and Xbox Live products. According to Bach, 28 million Xbox consoles have been sold to date, and there are 17 million active users of the Xbox Live service.

The company will also be releasing two new Halo games in 2009, including Halo Wars, a strategy game that will ship on March 3, and Halo 3: Orbital Drop Shock Trooper.

Wrapping up the keynote, Ballmer and another Microsoft executive gave a demo of a futuristic multitouch application for students that made use of many technologies from the company's R&D labs, including automatic document summarizing and highlighting of key points, organizing notes along topical timelines, and collaborating with other students on a Microsoft Surface-type touch-sensitive table. They also showed what they said was a prototype flexible display, although the image shown on the bendable plastic did not seem particularly dynamic.

Source: www.wired.com

Saturday, January 3, 2009

10 Most Awesome iPhone Apps of 2008

The iPhone alone is an amazing device. But it's the phenomenal App Store that's made the iPhone truly revolutionary, by giving thousands of independent developers the ability extend and transform the device with their creativity.

Not even half a year old, the store has surpassed a milestone of 10,000 pieces of software available. Since the beginning, Wired.com has paid close attention to the gems that shine among the dross.

We've plucked out a list of 10 apps — from mapping software to musical instruments to games — that deserve applause for their quality, innovation and breakthrough achievements. Here they are — Jay Leno style — with our top pick at the very bottom.

10. Stanza
A book reader that grabs free titles from public domains, Stanza has "soared in popularity — making the iPhone a worthy competitor to Amazon's Kindle. And if those free books aren't enough, Stanza recently expanded to incorporate a "store to purchase commercial titles. The app did a good job pleasing Wired.com's Charlie Sorrel, who "modified his Moleskine notebook so he could embed his iPod touch in it. (That way, he could read e-books at the cafe while exuding an aura of pretentious artiness, instead of pretentious geekiness.) "Download Stanza (Free)

9. SayWhere
You get used to typing on the iPhone after some time, but punching in addresses to look up directions is by far the biggest drag. DialDirections was the first to introduce speech-recognition capabilities to the iPhone with SayWhere, which translates users' speech into queries for Google Maps, Yelp, Traffic or Yellow Pages. It's a nifty app, especially for keeping drivers' eyes on the road rather than the iPhone's virtual keyboard. "Download SayWhere (Free)

8. Tweetie
Twitter, a new form of micro-blogging, became more legitimate when it "broke the news of the deadly Mumbai attacks. And Tweetie is the best app we've found to follow your Twitter friends. The app neatly separates Twitter feeds into categories, and the interface resembles the bubbly iChat interface that most of us have come to love. It even lets you search Twitter and save those searches for later. A must-have for Twitterholics. "Download Tweetie ($3)

7. NetShare
This app is so cool you can't have it anymore. Nullriver's NetShare, an application that turns your iPhone into a wireless modem, disappeared from the App Store shortly after its release. Later, we learned "Apple banned the app because NetShare violated AT&T's terms of service agreement. So only a lucky few (including some Wired.com staff) got the benefits of unlimited iPhone tethering, which normally costs about $30 a month, for a one-time price of $10. Bummer!

6. Shazam
Everyone's familiar with this scenario: You hear a really catchy, unfamiliar song on the radio and you have no idea what it's called. You hum it to yourself repeatedly and attempt to memorize the lyrics, only to forget it after slamming a few shots at the bar. Shazam will never leave you struggling to recollect these thoughts again: Hold the iPhone up to a speaker playing the unknown tune and the app will identify it — album, artist and song title — just like that. "Download Shazam (Free)

5. Ocarina
The hottest music app in the App Store, Ocarina thought beyond the iPhone's touchscreen and found a unique way to use the handset's microphone. Blowing into the mic simulates the experience of tooting into a flute; you play around with four virtual "holes" on the screen to change the note. Ocarina users around the world can even hear what you're playing in a globe mode. It takes a while to get a hang of it, but Ocarina gives away just how creative iPhone apps can get so long as developers have enough imagination. "Download Ocarina ($1)

4. TapTapRevenge
You'd have to be living on a different planet (or a retirement home) if you haven't heard of Guitar Hero, the game that gets players to twitch their fingers compulsively along with the beat of their favorite songs. Developer Tapulous took the same idea to make an extremely addictive rhythm game called Tap Tap Revenge. Tapping blinking lights on a screen to catch tunes isn't exactly the same as rocking out on plastic guitars and drum pads, but it's still highly addictive. And Tap Tap Revenge is so popular it's even offering the option to download new tracks to tap to, similar to Guitar Hero and Rock Band's music stores. "Download TapTapRevenge (Free)

3. Trism
Trism is such an addictive and appealing game that it blessed its developer Steve Demeter with $250,000 in profit in just two months. And deservedly so, because the game's really well designed and plays something like a Bejeweled with an accelerometer to move around the puzzle pieces. It wouldn't be fair to call it one game, either: There are three different modes to keep you hooked. "Download Trism ($3)

2. Pandora
Whoa whoa whoa — free downloaded music on a portable device? You don't say. Pandora's alternative music distribution made this happen, and the app is cool as hell on the iPhone. Add a station for an artist you like, and the app will play that artist's music as well as similar tunes you might like. What better way to find new music with the wealth of new bands out there? ">Download Pandora (Free)

1. Google Earth
When Steve Jobs called the iPhone "Your life in your pocket," he probably didn't expect Google to deliver the world in your pocket. Well, virtually. Displaying satellite imagery around the world in a 3-D globe, Google Earth is one of the most intense, mindblowing apps that truly "shows off the powers of the iPhone. If you want to impress your grandmother with a demonstration of just how far technology has come since she was a girl, this ought to do the trick. "Download Google Earth (Free)

- by Brian X. Chen

Source: www.wired.com