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Friday, July 30, 2010

Microsoft To Release Emergency Patch Monday

In a somewhat rare move, Microsoft has announced that they will be releasing an "out-of-band" update on Monday.  This is the term that Microsoft uses to describe an update that is outside of the normal monthly schedule of updates.  A couple of weeks Microsoft announced that they had discovered a vulnerability in the way that Windows parses the shortcut files for icons on the desktop and system tray.  Since then, Microsoft has noticed a large increase in the number of attacks based on this exploit.  About a week ago Microsoft issued a work around patch that allowed Windows users to manually apply the fix.  I tried this but found that it eliminated the icons on my desktop and taskbar.  

Microsoft has announced that the patch will be released by 12 noon central time on Monday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hands One With The Nexus One Car Dock

When I heard the news that Google was going to shut down their online Nexus One store, I decided to get the Nexus One Car Dock before the store shut down.  I was thinking that it may not be possible to buy the car dock once the online store shut down, plus, I always wanted to get it.  Ordering was very easy.  I went online and ordered it.  I chose regular Federal Express shipping which is free of charge.  I ordered it on Saturday, July 17 and I received it today, July 22.  It actually should have been delivered yesterday but nobody was home to sign for it.  The total cost was $58.44.  

My initial impression of the car dock is that it is very well made and a high quality product.  You have the ability to mount the car dock on your dashboard or your windshield.  I chose to mount it on the windshield.  To mount it on the windshield you hold it against the windshield and then twist it to the right until you hear a "click."  My impression is that it is attached very firmly to my windshield.  You attach a standard charger from your cigarette lighter to the base of the unit on the windshield and you are ready to go.  Putting your Nexus One into the car dock gets a little getting used to but is fairly simple.  Simple enough to put it in the car dock every time you get into the vehicle.  Within a few seconds you are shown a screen giving you the option of routing all your voice calls and music through the speaker on the car dock.  You are then given the option to make the choice the default choice.  I have not decided whether to make it my default choice.  After you make your selection you are taken to the "Car Home" screen.  On the screen you are given icons to navigate, view your contacts, listen to music and make calls.  You can listen to music through the speaker on the car dock.  I tried this and while it's not great, it's not bad either.  I was especially impressed with the navigate function.  What was particularly impressive was the ability to verbally speak the address of the destination.   I tried a couple of addresses and the Nexus One got it right.  Very impressive.  I think I will use the navigation function quite a bit.  Making a call was also easy.  The car dock connects your voice to the phone through a bluetooth connection.  My impression was that I was on a speakerphone.  I spoke to more than a few people and all of them indicated that the call quality was good.  They could hear me well and had no idea that I was talking through this bluetooth speakerphone.

Overall, I am very impressed with the car dock.  It was very well engineered and makes my Nexus One much more useful.  I highly recommend that Nexus One owners get one for themselves.

Google Voice Update Eliminates Loophole

Google Voice has posted an update to their app which speeds up the call process by assigning a unique phone number to each call made.  By assigning a unique phone number to each person called, it eliminates the need to have to route all calls through Google's servers.  This new process speeds up the service and makes the service more like a traditional telephone service provider.  However, with every advancement there's caveats.  It's no secret that T-Mobile customers were able to set up a loophole which drastically reduced their telephone bill.  This is how the trick worked:  You place one of your "My Faves" numbers as the number from which all outgoing calls would go and the other "My Faves" number would be the phone number from which all incoming calls come from Google Voice.  You could thus have unlimited incoming and outgoing calls from Google Voice for the fee associated with the "My Faves" plan.  

So if you have been using this loophole, do not update your Google Voice app.  You have been warned.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nexus One No Longer Available On Google

Just a few days ago we reported that Google had received its final shipment of Nexus One phones and after the final batch was sold, they would shut down their online store.  Today comes news that Google has sold off the final inventory and is shutting down their online store.  When they initially made the announcement that they had received their final shipment, they had estimated that the inventory would last until the end of the month.  The fact that they sold out their final inventory so quickly is an indication of how truly popular this phone has become.

For the actual Google Nexus One webpage, click here.

Long live the Nexus One!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Google Announces Final Shipment Of Nexus One Phones

Today, Google announced that it has received its final shipment of Nexus One phones.  Once the final shipment is sold, their online store will shut down.  In May, Google announced that they will no longer sell the phone on its online store but instead shift to traditional brick and mortar stores for distribution.  As this historic Android phone nears the end of its life, Google will use distributors to make the phone available to developers and give carriers the option to start to carry the phone through their normal distribution channels.  It doesn't appear that any U.S. carriers have signed on to carry the phone but Vodaphone in Europe, and KT in South Korea, will distribute the phone.

The Nexus One was introduced in early January by Google and sold exclusively through its online store.  The phone ushered in a new era for the Android operating system by directly competing against the venerable Apple IPhone.  Many reviewers believed that the Nexus One was superior to the IPhone with its AMOLED display and 1ghz Snapdragon processor.  In the months following the Nexus One's release, some truly spectacular phones have been released which have taken Android into a new arena.  Phones like the Droid X, Incredible, HTC EVO and HTC Slide were based off of the standards set by the Nexus One.

To get your N1 you should act quickly.  Once the final shipment is gone, Google will shut down its online store and the Nexus One will ride off into the sunset.

Firefox App Available on Apple Marketplace

Today comes news that Apple has allowed its first Firefox app on its marketplace.  The app is called "Firefox Home" and is available right now on the apple app store for free.  Since its not a full fledged browser it is really a spin off of the Firefox Sync add-on.  The app requires that you have the Firefox Sync add-on installed and enabled on your Firefox browser. Once you install the app you need to sign on using the user name and password that you use with the Firefox Sync add-on.  Once you sign on you will have access to the browser's bookmarks and history, and the open tabs from your most recent Firefox session.  It only offers one-way sync, from the browser on the computer to your phone, but not the reverse.  Since Apple bars any competing browsers on the IPhone, Firefox Home uses the native Safari browser to access the web pages.  Opera is allowed to submit its browser on the apple app store but it sidestepped Apple's ban by actually retrieving the web pages from its servers.

The Firefox Home app is available right now for free for immediate download from the apple app store for the IPhone, ITouch and IPad.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Firefox 4 Beta Available For Download

The Mozilla Foundation has made their next generation Firefox browser, Firefox 4, available for download.  The browser has a totally new look that clearly is following the lead of the Chrome browser.  The main change that I noticed was speed.  The new browser is noticeably faster than the previous version of Firefox.  You will also notice the change in the interface.  The tabs are on top and more screen space is reserved for the web page that you are viewing.  At the very top you can click on the button and access menus to view options and customize the toolbar.  If you want, you can add the traditional menu buttons and restore some of the traditional look to the browser.  There is also a "feedback" button on the top right which gives you the ability to report your experiences with the browser with Mozilla.

To download the browser, click here.

Give it a try and tell us what you think.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Possible Way To Force OTA Update On Nexus One

While surfing the internet I ran across some information which may be of interest to Nexus One owners who are patiently waiting for an OTA update to Android 2.2 on their Nexus One.  In surfing the internet I was surprised at the number of Nexus One users who have not received any OTA updates from Google.  I am not sure if it works but it may be worth a try.  I was unable to test this on my Nexus One because I have manually updated my Nexus One to the most current build.

Give this a try:

Go to your dialer and type in the following characters:  *#*#2432546#*#*.
On the notification bar at the top of the phone you will see a notification that 'checkin succeeded.'
Turn off the phone and turn it back on.
Go to settings - About Phone - System Updates.
You should get a notification that updates are waiting for you.

Let us know if this method works.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Another Android 2.2 Update Available - FRF91

Google has just released another update to Android 2.2.  It's build FRF91.  Google is intending to send OTA updates to all Nexus One users this weekend.  If you are inpatient, like me, you can manually update your Nexus One.

You can download the file by clicking here.

Then apply the update according to the normal steps outlined in our previous posts.
Engadget is reporting that this is a security update so don't expect any changes to your phone that you will notice.