Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Futuristic Movie Timeline Showcases Movie Timelines

sshot4e4e64b863e29.pngIf you’ve ever chuckled at a movie with the future set in the present past (or a looming future-present), this futuristic movie timeline is for you.

Courtesy of designer Dan Meth and his pop culture infographic series, the futuristic movie timeline showcases several things. First, it highlights the dates from many popular futurist/sci-fi movies in relation to the present. It also shows when, in relation to the present, the story was created. It’s a neat way to check out what writers of the past envisioned the future to be and if that future has come to pass yet.

For more of Dan’s pop culture series, hit up the link below.


AeroBlend, Change Window Color Automatically When Wallpaper Changes

I prefer a plain and simple desktop, without Windows Aero, eye candy and transparency effects. I do however know several Windows users who like all the eye candy that Windows Aero offers. The whole shebang with rotating wallpapers, transparency, shadows and other effects.

The free software AeroBlend has surely been designed for users who like the Aero interface and work with it on a daily basis. The program adds a feature to Windows that changes the Window Color automatically whenever the wallpaper changes to match the dominant color of the wallpaper.

The Window Color is part of every Windows theme. Windows 7 users can access the current settings by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting the Personalize option from the context menu. A click on Window Color opens a configuration menu where one of the default color schemes or a customize color scheme can be selected.

window color transparency

But that color scheme does not change if the wallpaper changes. Vista users find similar, albeit a bit different options in their Control Panel.

The portable application AeroBlend changes the default behavior. It’s default configuration is set to change the Window Color of the Aero theme automatically whenever the wallpaper changes. It should be obvious that it only works if an Aero theme is enabled on the system.

The program settings, available after a right-click on the program icon, contain options to switch from wallpaper mode to active application icon or active application contents instead.

window color mode

Additional options are available to change the color intensity of the Window color and if the colors should fade.

Windows users with AeroBlend running will notice a short delay whenever the wallpaper image on their desktop changes. The delay is caused by an algorithm that scans for the dominant color of the new wallpaper image.

AeroBlend could be interesting for users who rotate their wallpapers regularly. The software is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating system. Downloads are provided at the developer website.

Windows 8 Release Is Coming Closer

Remember how Microsoft marketed the Windows 7 operating system back in 2008 before it was available on retail channels? Right, with a series of blog posts aimed at developers and end users a like, then the beta release followed by the release candidate and RTM version.

It appears as if Microsoft is intent do repeat the exact same steps that helped them create a buzz around the Windows 7 operating system. Steven Sinofsky today posted an introductory post on the new Building Windows 8 blog over at the MSDN website. While clearing aimed at developers and engineers, it is a great source of valuable information for end-users to find out more about the upcoming operating system.

If you look back at the Engineering Windows 7 blog, you will notice that it was established in August 2008, exactly 14 months before the RTM release of the operating system. It is surely no coincidence that Microsoft published the first Windows 8 blog post in August as well.

This could indicate that Microsoft intents to repeat the exact release cycle of Windows 7.

Probably the most interesting part of the – rather long – opening post is the hint that a pre-release version may be coming out in the next months.

We’ve been hard at work designing and building Windows 8, and today we want to begin an open dialog with those of you who will be trying out the pre-release version over the coming months.

There is no mentioning of a Windows 8 Beta, but since it is the public that is addressed by the blog post, it is fair to assume that Steven Sinofsky is speaking of the beta version of the operating system.

I’d also like to mention that the blog’s name is Building Windows 8 which is another strong indicator that Microsoft will stick to the development name of the operating system.

He also promised to start revealing features with the team in the coming weeks.

o in the next weeks we will just start talking specifics of features, since there is no obvious place to start given the varying perspectives. From fundamentals, to user interface, to hardware support, and more, if something is important to you, we promise we’ll get to it in some form or another.

The post itself does not reveal to much about the new Microsoft operating system.

I invite you to visit the Windows 8 site that I run with Everton where we, and other authors, post all the news we find about the new operating system.

As far as Windows 8 is concerned, we have just made another step towards the release of the operating system.

What’s your take on Microsoft’s public relations strategy?

How to Create a Windows 7 System Backup Image & Repair Disk

Creating a system backup image can be extremely useful. If something goes wrong with your Windows 7 installation, you can’t log in, or files have become damaged and corrupted, you can boot directly from your repair disk to rectify the problem. You should note that when you restore from a system backup image, it is a complete restoration, and you won’t be able to choose individual programs or files. However, if you find yourself with a corrupted disk drive, a complete restoration is probably what you want anyway.

To begin the process of creating your system backup image, click on “start” and in the search field, type in the word “backup”. Now you should see under the programs section of the search results a program called “backup and restore”. Click on this and it will open up the utility you need to begin creating a system image.

windows backup restore

On the left hand side of the screen, there will be a link entitled “create a system image”, so click on that and you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll get to choose where you want to save your system image. Now – a system image means backing up every file and folder on your computer, so you need to choose a location that is big enough for the task. Usually a removable USB hard drive is a good choice, but if you want you can also back up to multiple DVDs or to a network location if you have multiple computers linked up over a network.

Click on “next” and you then get to choose which drive you want to back up. You can use this utility to backup any drive connected to your system, but in this case we want to choose the “C:” drive, which is where your Windows 7 operating system is, and all your program files. Again, you’ll be shown how much space is being used up on your C: drive, so you need to check to make sure you have enough space on your external drive to save the image. If you’re using DVDs, each DVD can hold only 4.7GB of information, so they usually aren’t suitable for this task, but you have the option anyway. Naturally, you won’t be able to back up onto the same drive as your windows 7 installation, as the whole point of this is to protect against a hard drive failure, and if your backup is on the same drive as your operating system, you’d lose that too.

Once you have selected all the options and you’re happy, click on “start backup” to begin. The time it takes to complete the backup will depend on how much data you have stored.

Once your backup is done, the next step is to create a repair disk. This will allow you to boot up your computer should Windows 7 not work. You do this from the main “backup and restore” page we were at before, but this time click on “create a system repair disk” on the left. All you need do is insert a black CD or DVD, and click “create disk”. Keep this disk in a safe place, as if you have any problems with your computer, you may need it to restore your data.

Toshiba's glasses-free 3D laptop hitting U.S. in two weeks

Toshiba's glasses-free 3D laptop hitting U.S. in two weeksToshiba has announced its Qosmio F755 3D laptop will hit the U.S. on August 16th.

The company has been planning on releasing glasses-free 3D HDTVs and notebooks since 2010, and we finally have an American date. The F750 is set for release in Europe this week.

Price start at $1,699 for a 2GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 750GB HDD, 6GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 540M, Harman Kardon stereo speakers and Dolby Advanced Audio HDMI-CEC.

Says Toshiba of the 3D aspects:

To create a 3D effect without 3D glasses, the left eye needs to see a slightly different perspective to the right eye. The Qosmio F750 3D's state-of-the-art lenticular screen sends Qosmio F750 3D displays 3D images without the need for glasses. Eye-tracking technology ensures 3D effect works regardless of position (15.6") screen allows 2D and 3D images to be viewed simultaneouslytwo images of slightly differing perspectives individually to the left and right eye, which creates the 3D effect.

An integrated webcam also intelligently tracks the user's eye movements, allowing the Qosmio F750 3D to adjust the 3D effect to match the eye position. The Qosmio F750 3D can also display 2D and 3D content simultaneously — allowing users to browse the Internet, for example, in one window and have 3D content playing in another window.

Artists take steps to secure music against leaks

Artists take steps to secure music against leaksMusic stars ramp up security to avoid leaks of pre-released tracks.

Jay-Z and Kanye West recently released an album called "Watch the Throne", one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums of the year. These days, such a major release would be expected to find its way onto the Internet long before its official retail or digital release, with some tracks often leaking out months in advanced, maybe in an unfinished state.

To avoid their albums suffering the same fate, the artists reportedly stored music and other content on fingerprint-protected hard drives. In studios where they recorded (often pop-up studios in hotel rooms), they made sure there was no Wi-Fi connection turned on on any of the equipment.

Draft versions of songs were not e-mailed to other artists, which is a common practice with Hip-Hop because the albums often feature many collaborators on tracks. For Jay Z and Kanye's album, all collaborators had to come to the temporary studios to hear the music and record their contribution.

Virgil Abloh, art director for the album, joked on Twitter that producer Noah Goldstein had slept with hard drives for over ten months straight. Only people directly involved with the album production had access to the content, and it was only passed on to CD manufacturers after its iTunes debut.

It sold 290,000 in its first week on iTunes, breaking the one-week sales record. "With each release, people learn from the lessons of previous releases," said Jeremy Banks, anti-piracy director at the IFPI, adding that "Watch the Throne" was the most successful anti-leaking attempt to date for the industry.

There are many ways that music can be leaked to the Internet. It is possible that copies can be stolen directly from a studio, but its very rare. The biggest source is promotional content sent to reviewers who obviously need to hear the music in order to assess it. Content is also often stolen at the manufacturing stage, where employees of facilities might pocket a CD.

In the past year, there were other high-profile leaks. One example is a collaboration between hip hop producer Dr Dre, and Jay-Z, called "Under Pressure." The song leaked in a clearly unfinished state, and the album it was set to appear on, Detox, still hasn't been released.

That track, along with other materials from a bunch of artists, were stolen by hackers who targeted e-mail accounts. Earlier this year, two men were sentenced in Germany in relation to the hacking.

Permalink | Comments


19 Amazing Pictures of Star Trails

19 Amazing Pictures of Star Trails

via Photography Blogger by Emily Hildebrand on 8/11/11

Star trails are every photographer’s dream, and here are 19 amazing examples. To learn how to achieve these images, check out our 10 useful tips for star trails.

Monte San Leo, Nicolosi - Drawing with light

Monte San Leo, Nicolosi - Drawing with light by Francesco Pappalardo


Startrails by stephen klein


Glacier by stephen klein

Sant Jordi d'Alfama

Sant Jordi d'Alfama by Aitor Escauriaza

Trona star stack

Trona star stack by Dan Eckert


Shelfstars by Zach Dischner

Texas Wagon

Texas Wagon by Lucas Hoyos

Star Trails

Star Trails by Jon Callow

Milky Way Star Trails

Milky Way Star Trails by Logan Brumm

Lighthouse trail

Lighthouse trail by Richard Styles

Star Trails 10.08.10

Star Trails 10.08.10 by Nick Ares

Sata Rosa star stack

Sata Rosa star stack by Dan Eckert

Star Trails Tree Light Painting

Star Trails Tree Light Painting by Evan

Star Trails over the South Rim

Star Trails over the South Rim by Adam Baker

Keila Joa at night with star trails

Keila Joa at night with star trails by Kain Kalju

Star Trails

Star Trails by Nigel Howe

Start trails after sunset

Start trails after sunset by Alon

Loire Valley Trails

Loire Valley Trails by Terry Presley


Stars by Yannick Bammert

Things you can do from here:

Monday, August 1, 2011

4.5 million fps microscope camera powered by ultra-fast X-ray flash


X-ray undulator
Remember those rugged gadgets we smashed to bits in super slow-mo? Well that spectacular footage was shot at around 1,500 frames per-second. A new camera system being built for the European XFEL (X-ray Free-Electron Laser) facility will record stunning clips of viruses and cells at an almost unimaginable 4.5 million fps. The camera is, in part, powered by a high speed flash created by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, that blasts its microscopic subjects with ultra-bright X-rays. The flashes themselves last as little as two femtoseconds, or 2x10^-15 seconds for you math nerds out there. When the whole apparatus is fired up in 2015 it could provide amazingly detailed, 3D images of individual molecules and answer some questions about the behavior of viruses and cells.

4.5 million fps microscope camera powered by ultra-fast X-ray flash originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 01 Aug 2011 14:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

ViewSonic reveals 24-inch V3D245 3D monitor, ships this month for $500

Still lookin' for that perfect 3D display, are you? ViewSonic would be absolutely thrilled to make your short list, with the 24-inch V3D245 making its debut this morning. Unsurprisingly, this one's arriving with a 1080p LED-backlit panel, and it'll be joined by an inbuilt NVIDIA 3D Vision wireless emitter and a pair of 3D Vision glasses. You'll also get a 120Hz refresh rate, two millisecond response time, HDMI 1.4 socket and 300 nits of brightness, and the three-year limited warranty should help quell any fears about longevity. Of course, NVIDIA would prefer that focused on the 550 (and growing) 3D titles available on its Vision Live website, but at least you've got until "mid-to-late August" to determine if the whole shebang is worth your $499.

Continue reading ViewSonic reveals 24-inch V3D245 3D monitor, ships this month for $500

ViewSonic reveals 24-inch V3D245 3D monitor, ships this month for $500 originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 01 Aug 2011 08:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Microsoft Updates Core System Fonts To Fix Blurred Fonts Issues In Windows

Internet Explorer and Firefox users have criticized the font rendering under recent versions of Windows in the past. Some Firefox users for instance began to notice a difference after the Firefox 4 installation or upgrade. Internet Explorer users after the Internet Explorer 9 installation. Add-ons, extensions and tweaks were discovered that resolved the issues on most systems. Firefox users could for instance install the Anti-Aliasing Tuner to improve the font rendering in their browser, Internet Explorer users a dll wrapper.

Microsoft has acknowledged the issue under windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. The company notes in the official Microsoft Support listing that “core fonts in Internet Explorer 9″ may appear “blurred compared with the same text and fonts in Windows Internet Explorer 8″.

The fonts showing those behaviors are Arial, Verdana and Tahoma all on regular font styles and font sizes of 8,9 and 10 points.

This issue is caused by different font rendering techniques:

By default, Internet Explorer 9 uses sub-pixel positioned ClearType to render text by using DirectWrite, whereas Internet Explorer 8 uses whole-pixel positioned ClearType to render text by using the Microsoft Windows graphics device interface (GDI).

Microsoft has released updates for all versions of Windows that Internet Explorer 9 is compatible with. This includes the client operating systems Windows Vista and Windows 7, as well as the server operating systems Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

All update downloads require a validation before they become available.

font rendering update windows

The Windows PC needs to be restarted after the update installation.

The Knowledge Base article lists additional information about the update and the changes that it makes to the system. Microsoft mentions Internet Explorer 9 explicitly in the article, other programs however may benefit from the updated fonts as well. (via)

Please let everyone know if you noticed a change for the better or worse after installing the update on your system.

How to Backup and Import Wireless Network Settings in Windows 7

Setting up a wireless network can be a hassle. You need to remember the security key and tediously type it correctly for all devices on your network. One of the good features of Windows 7 is that there is a simple way to manage the wireless settings for your network from one computer or device to the other.

You can backup the wireless network settings from Windows 7 and these settings can be easily saved to a USB stick. You simply use the USB stick to import the settings to laptops and desktops added to your network, even if they are using XP or Vista. To do this, follow these simple steps and set your network up for a no-hassle system.

Click the wireless network symbol from the taskbar and then click “Open Network and Sharing Center.” Alternatively, you may go to the Start Menu and open the Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.

network sharing center

In the left control pane, you will see “Manage wireless networks”. Click on this and it will open the Manage Wireless Networks window. Here you will see a list of all wireless networks to which you have connected in the past.

wireless networks

In this example, only a single network is listed. That is because all other networks were intentionally removed for security reasons. This is not normally necessary, but should you decide to delete a network, simply highlight it and press Delete.

Double-click the network that you want to manage and a window showing all of its properties will be presented.

wireless network properties

Click the bottom blue link next to the Windows shield in order to save these network settings to a USB flash drive. The flash drive that you choose does not need to have a high capacity. Preferably, use a 1-2GB flash drive and use it solely for the purpose of importing network settings. Once you click the link to copy the network profile, the Copy Network Settings wizard will initiate.

copy network settings

Now plug in your flash drive and wait just a moment while the drive is detected. When the drive is detected, the Next button will turn blue. Click the Next button when it is ready. The settings will only take a matter of seconds to copy to the flash drive. When it is done, click Close.


If you go to the Computer Panel and double-click your flash drive, you will see one new folder, “SMRTNTKY” and you will also see a new file called “setupSNK.exe”. These are the saved network settings, so do not delete them.

To import the Wireless Network Settings, first plug the flash drive in a laptop or other USB accessible device, such as a printer, which you want to add to your network. To keep it simple, let us say it is a laptop. The Wireless Setup Wizard will launch. Click on Yes and the settings will be automatically imported. You will most likely receive a notification of this. Click OK and the laptop is now connected to the network. You can use this for multiple computer additions to your network without the need for going through an extensive setup procedure. This is very helpful indeed and saves time.

Avast aswMBR, Sophos Anti-Rootkit, Free Rootkit Scanners

Windows XP systems are more prone to being infected with rootkits as Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows 7. That’s the result of a study conducted by Avast that surveyed more than 600,000 Windows PCs. Reasons for this higher infection rate are systems that are running the now unsupported service pack 2 and better protection of the Windows 7 operating system, and there especially the 64-bit versions.

While one could argue that the figures are also explainable by the factors time and the fact that most rootkits target 32-bit systems, it is undeniable that rootkits pose a serious security risk.

The two free rootkit scanners Avast aswMBR and Sophos Anti-Rootkit can be used to scan a PC system for rootkits. There are other tools that can be used for the purpose, like the previously reviewed Codewalker, AVG Anti-Rootkit Free or the incredibly useful TDSSKiller by Kaspersky.

Avast aswMBR is a portable program for Windows. The program offers to download the latest antivirus definitions from Avast servers on first start. Those definitions are then used to scan and identify potentially dangerous files that have been discovered by the rootkit scanner.

avast aswmbr rootkit scanner

A click on the Scan button starts the scan of the system. Potentially dangerous files are highlighted in yellow and red colors on the screen. Suspicious or infected files are declared as those directly in the interface. The Fix or Fix MBR buttons are used to disinfect the system and remove the rootkit from it. Avast aswMBR can be downloaded directly from the Avast website. The rootkit module is part of all Avast antivirus solutions.

Sophos Anti-Rootkit is another portable rootkit scanner for Windows. The download becomes available after filling out a two page form on the Sophos website. The rootkit scanner comes as a rar archive that you need to unpack on the system. The program displays a minimalistic interface on startup. The Windows Registry and local hard drives are automatically selected for the scan next to the running processes. A click on Start Scan opens a new window that highlights the scan progress.


The anti-rootkit software lists all suspicious or unknown hidden files in the log. Not all those files are rootkits, and it pays to scan the listed files with another rootkit scanner or an online scanner such as Virus Total.

Both rootkit scanners are portable and free for personal use. This makes them ideal for a admin toolset on DVD or USB stick.

Your GPS Doesn't Work at Mach 2 Because It's Afraid You're a Soviet Spy

Fun fact: GPS technology has built-in limits based on speed and altitude. Basically, if a vehicle is moving faster than 1200mph or cruising higher than 60,000 feet, GPS shuts off. Why those numbers exactly? You can thank the commies. More »

Doctors: Hot Dogs Are as Bad as Cigarettes Food

Click here to read Doctors: Hot Dogs Are as Bad as Cigarettes

A new release by the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the processed meat in hot dogs carries a cancer risk on par with cigarettes, USA Today reports. True? Well, there's something you should know about the PCRM first. More »

Windows Live Photo Gallery now supports RAW image format

Microsoft recently released the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack for Windows 7 and Windows Vista, bringing native viewing of RAW format image files directly within Windows Explorer, as well as Windows Live Photo Gallery. If you don’t know what RAW format is, the Inside Windows Live blog gives you a good explanation of what it is:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with raw format, it is the uncompressed output from each of the original pixels on the camera’s image sensors. Raw files have several advantages over JPEG files including higher image quality, finer control, and more image information. Think of them as big, digital negatives waiting to be processed.

Besides bringing viewing capability of RAW image files, the new codec pack also enables Windows Live Photo Gallery to edit these RAW images, without modifying the original:

Photo Gallery will also support editing copies of your raw images. Because raw files are like digital negatives, they’re protected originals, not to be altered or harmed. We know your originals are precious, so if you want to alter a raw image, Photo Gallery makes a copy of the raw original and converts it to either JPEG or the far superior JPEG-XR (or HD Photo) format. With JPEG-XR, all of the quality of the raw original is there so you can fine-tune different editing effects.

Check out the video below for a great overview of the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack and how it works with Windows Live Photo Gallery:


[youtube] to view the video on YouTube.


liveside?d=yIl2AUoC8zA liveside?i=TABRLHhvUOI:ThcwiVe5ZH0:Zzz-Dt1rwMM liveside?i=TABRLHhvUOI:ThcwiVe5ZH0:V_sGLiPBpWU liveside?i=TABRLHhvUOI:ThcwiVe5ZH0:gIN9vFwOqvQ

Total Pageviews

Popular Posts