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The Gen-Next of Netbook Operating Systems

The hunt for a new netbook Operating System (OS) is sure a frustrating one. Some of the lower range netbooks struggle to operate even with Windows 7 Starter edition. Well the good news is that keeping cloud computing in mind, a number of OS have been designed to compute efficiently. Google’s Chrome OS was the one to set the trend. Linux Distros wasn’t far behind with many OS coming out tailored especially for netbooks. Read on, to find out about some of the better alternative OS’s for a smooth netbook experience.

Jolicloud

Jolicloud is a Linux powered netbook OS which emphasizes more on flair than performance. At around 600MB it is not exactly light weight but then it does have the looks to make up for it. The netbook is glossy colored and filled with icons on a jet black background, which gives it a sleek phone interface look.

It can be booted from a flash drive or can be run as a live OS from USB drive. Booting and loading of the user interface (UI) takes a lot f time. However, the performance of the netbook is pretty good. Jolicloud is not only a cloud based OS, there are applications available by default and many more can be installed for which there is a built in installer for this purpose. There are web based add-ons too. Using them could make social networking fun. Accessing your Facebook and Twitter accounts are as simple as opening an IM client.
Jolicloud is a fun and interactive OS as compared to Windows. Moreover,  it is lighter on resources. It wouldn’t take much time for anyone to get used to it.

Moblin

Backed by Intel as the base OS for the Intel Atom platform, Moblin is a unique operating system. It does not resemble Linux or Windows but possesses its own distinct look.  Installation is breezy and the booting up too is pretty quick. There is a multifunction panel at the top of the screen with quick links to things like connectivity, settings, applications etc. The panel also has the auto hide feature giving users respite from cramped up screens. Functionality is where Moblin scores big as it provides support for most of the netbooks by default.

Xpud

At 64MB this “distro” is one of the lightest OS available for netbooks. It opens up to a lucid four menu UI with no frills. Everything is pretty basic, including the programs available. Pre installed programs are kept to a bare minimum to keep the download size small. This is an OS for those who do nothing much but browse, chat and occasionally watch a few videos.

Though all the netbook OS are pretty much lightweight to use, I would recommend you to pick to suit your needs. While Jolicloud and Ubuntu Netbook Remix are for the regular user who would prefer something different and light, Xpud is the champion of all the lightweight OS. Moblin would fit in somewhere in between with a balance between functionality and lightweight.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Ubuntu netbook Remix retains the essence of the traditional Ubuntu while having a layout of other netbook OS’s. It simply a lighter version of Ubuntu fine tuned for easy operability on netbooks. Installation is same as the standard Ubuntu.

Customizing your installation is pretty simple with all the settings available in one place. Just like Jolicloud, Ubuntu netbook Remix supports storing files on the local drives other than using the cloud. Users can also register for Cloud One. Cloud One is online cloud storage space offered by Ubuntu. As is the case with Ubuntu, there are loads of applications available.

The Death of Palm Pre

After more than one year of unveiling the Palm Pre at CES, the company is struggling to keep up sales. The company’s shares have dropped to $4 per share. Wall Street’s seers are already predicting the only two available options: acquisition or insolvency. What went wrong then? Wasn’t the Palm Pre touted to be the iPhone killer from Palm? Here’s where Palm messed up.

The App Catalogue:

Promising to be more open and developer friendly, the App Catalogue was launched to complement the webOS. It has all but lived up to that expectation. The developer and the general user were very excited with the possibility of a mad rush of apps for the webOS, but the rush never came. The App Catalogue was launched in June 2009 with a measly 30 apps. The situation remained the same for the next two months and finally at the end of the year the number crawled to a 1000. Compare that to the 100,000+ apps available for iPhone. The App Catalogue never even came close to giving a competition to the iPhone Apps. 1000 apps may feel like an adequate number to satisfy everyone’s needs but an average buyer looks for more in a high end phone like Pre. This is where Apple scores. In 100,000 apps one is bound to find a goofy and interesting app, and this app is shared with others. A person without an iPhone is then interested what else might be on offer which will catch his eye. This was a big deficiency for a Pre user when compared to an iPhone enthusiast.

Performance Problems:

Poor performance is one thing an average phone user will not tolerate. Contrary to the company’s claims, many Palm users will vouch for the fact that the performance of the Palm was way below standards. There were serious quality control issues that had been left unaddressed. The return rate of the Pre was much higher than any other Smartphone of the time. Many reviewers too had sent back their test phones for replacements and there was a sizeable chunk of Palm users who had got their phones replaced more than once. For a company which is an industry dwarf a glitched phone is just plain suicide.

Poor Design:

The Pre was definitely targeted at women though the company never officially stated it. The mirror on the back and the cute cuddly looks definitely look good on paper but it never clicked off the drawing charts. Palm claimed the phone was designed to better fit into one’s pocket unlike the iPhone which was too wide. The fact is that an average user would prefer a thinner phone than a bulky one even if it is wider. Moreover in case of a touch screen, consumers popularly prefer the wider one. The keyboard of the Pre too would have been better off in landscape mode than portrait mode which kind of seemed cramped up in comparison to iPhone’s wide onscreen keyboard.

Another factor which eliminated Pre from the race was the lack of any support in the likes of iTunes or Google Voice. The ease of syncing the phone with Google Voice or iTunes had Apple and Nexus users hooked onto their devices while Palm had nothing to offer on that front. This contributed to customers drifting away from webOS.

On a concluding note the Pre definitely had a few good points with its cloud computing ability, though none of its advantages were compelling enough. As stated earlier the industry’s dwarf had made a mistake and it neither did have the resources to correct itself nor did its competitors offer any time to think about it. The release of iPhone 3GS couldn’t have come at a worse time for Palm with many of Pre users showing signs of restlessness. Finally Palm has come to the point where it can only choose how to end its misery. With the release of Windows Phone 7 Series the phone industry is all set to become a tripartite struggle between Microsoft, Apple and Google.

Cyber Security Act of 2010 or Rewritten Cyber Security Act of 2009?

The Cyber security Act was tabled in the senate in the spring of 2009. Internet companies and civil liberties groups were startled as this bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet in the case of a ‘Cyber Emergency’. Sen. Jay Rockefeller was forced to make amendments to his bill due to the massive opposition from all the sectors of the industries. After almost a year of rewriting that was done by Sen. Jay Rockefeller and his aides, details of the amended Cyber security act surfaced late on Wednesday.

It says that once the president chooses to “declare a Cyber security emergency,” he can invoke a “response and restoration plan” involving networks owned and operated by the private sector. Instead of giving a detailed explanation of the plan, the rewrite merely says that the plan must be developed by the White House in advance, but this is being seen as an attempt to limit criticism by the Cyber security experts from Silicon Valley. The bill furthermore, states that the White House is not in any way obliged to make the emergency plan public, meaning it could still include a forceful disconnection of critical Private Web servers from the Internet, which is what the original legislature had proposed. The revised Rockefeller bill, also called as the Cyber security Act of 2010, imposes upon the White House to develop its cyber-emergency plan “in collaboration” with the private sector. It goes on to say that “this section does not authorize, an expansion of existing presidential authorities.”

The Rockefeller bill is to be voted on, on the 24th of March by the Senate Commerce Community. The bill is expected to replace a measure known as the S.773 which is already in place. It is also expected to pass with little dissent as Mr. Rockefeller is the chairman of the committee.

The bill asks the Federal Agencies to create certification requirements for “critical infrastructure information system personnel working in Cybersecurity” and penalize the companies that “fail to demonstrate that they comply with federal specifications.” A third section commands the National Science Foundation to fund anti-anonymity research that is aimed at “determining the origin of a message transmitted over the Internet.” The bill also allows the government to craft an exhaustive set of standards for licensing “Cyber security professionals” whose job would be to supervise a single standard for security measures.

But Mr. Rockefeller, who introduced the bill in April with bipartisan support, said “the bill is critical to protecting everything from water and electricity to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records. I know the threats we face,” Rockefeller said in a prepared statement when the bill was tabled. “Our enemies are real. They are sophisticated, they are determined and they will not rest.”

But Mr. Rockefeller, who introduced the bill in April with bipartisan support, said “the bill is critical to protecting everything from water and electricity to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records. I know the threats we face,” Rockefeller said in a prepared statement when the bill was tabled. “Our enemies are real. They are sophisticated, they are determined and they will not rest.”

But many Silicon Valley industrialists are pleased that the kill switch which allowed the White House to shut down private sector access to the Internet has been eliminated. A few also opine that the government is ill-equipped to handle this job. They also believe that it is their responsibility to increase and improve security and that responsibility cannot be captured in a government standard.

This is a move that Cyber security experts worry will choke off the private sector Internet industry and civil liberties that America is known for.

Windows Phone 7 Series

Forget everything that you knew about Windows mobile. The Operating System (OS) concept is now just plain old history. Enter Windows 7 Phone Series. Agreed Microsoft has one of the worst naming instincts, but that apart this new concept brings innovation. Microsoft has designed this groundbreaking OS from scratch, with the old Windows Mobile being given a pink slip. Just as Windows 7 has provided the cravings of almost every PC user, its phone counterpart promises to do the same in the phone segment.

This interface is different as it does not have any glossy icons arranged in a cramped up screen. The Windows 7 User interface (UI), adopts a totally new strategy. The main screen consists of completely flat squares referred to as hubs. There is no unnecessary visual flair and colors are kept to a bare minimum. The whole theme actually feels very crisp and simple. The text too is beautiful, with its large font. The whole design seems to give a very modern and no nonsense effect. The flipping through menus and scrolling is breezy. The UI theme has been tried in the Zune HD but now it has been perfected. Microsoft sure seems to have its aesthetic compass pointed in the right direction.

The usability of the phone is centered on the following hubs: People; Me; Games; Pictures; Music and Video; Marketplace and Office. The hubs are not just standalone applications. They are linked together. For instance, the hub People is not simply contacts but also the place for social networking. The People hub also features real time updates of all your contacts from their various social networking accounts. You can also make a tile of your friend’s profile on the start screen with the phone doing the rest to keep you updated real time.

Next comes the Me hub. In this hub you can update your status in all your accounts like Facebook or Windows Live in one place (Twitter support is missing though). This all in one solution does make this phone very appealing for social networking.

The Music and Videos hub has nothing much new to be talked about. Microsoft has gone the Apple way and has done what Apple did with iPod. The Music and Videos hub is just the Zune interface on a phone.

Apart from the other hubs, the Pictures hub is a new feature. Not only does it store the normal pictures taken on camera or synced with a PC but also pulls down pictures from social networking sites. Real time updates ensure that you see your friends’ latest photos.

The Gaming hub though has generated a lot of buzz. With its integration into your Xbox Live account you can play games to gain achievement points. Well, it’s not exactly a portable Xbox but there are plenty of mobile versions of the big games which can actually catch the eye of a gamer. Microsoft has definitely scored over others in this challenge.

Internet Explorer is present as a usual browser. It’s not exactly snappy but then, it does its job pretty good. The e-mail client is awesome though. There has been a lot of emphasis on readability. Text is simply huge. Exchange support is provided as well.

The Office hub will keep the business minded happy as it supports OTA syncing. And finally we come to the dedicated search hub-Bing. The search is integrated into every possible feature of the phone. Pressing the search button on the start page shows the live search but doing that inside the People hub triggers a contact search. And there is Bing maps too.

As far as the hardware is concerned, gone are the days when anyone could bundle up Windows Mobile with their barely performing phones. This time Microsoft is dictating terms.

Some of the specifications of Windows 7 mobile are as follows:

  • A sensitive capacitive touch screen with at least four points of touch
  • GPS
  • Compass
  • Accelerometer
  • 5MP camera with flash
  • 256MB memory, with 8GB flash storage
  • DirectX 9 acceleration
  • ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion processor.

Microsoft is definitely late into the phone market by a long margin but its history shows that isn’t going to be much of a hindrance. Windows Phone 7,surely has the potential to beat Apple and Google in the phone race. This has turned the phone industry to a tripartite struggle with the three biggest names of desktop computing in it.

Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003