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Archive for February, 2011

34 Gameloft Games For iPhone, iPad And iPod Touch On Sale For $0.99

February 24th, 2011 02:25 admin View Comments

Gameloft games

Gameloft has slashed the prices of 34 games for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to $0.99 for a limited time.

Gameloft announced the surprise sale on their blog:

As February comes to an end, we’re hosting one HUGE sale for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. We’ve got over 30 titles slashed down to $0.99 for a limited time.

Here is the list of the 13 iPhone games and 21 iPad games that are currently available on the App Store for $0.99:

iPhone

Source: 34 Gameloft Games For iPhone, iPad And iPod Touch On Sale For $0.99

What Losing TechCrunch Disrupt Meant to CloudFlare: OMFG

February 24th, 2011 02:18 admin View Comments

Editor’s Note: The following guest post is by Matthew Prince, CEO of a CloudFlare, which came in as a close runner-up at the last TechCrunch Disrupt. We asked him to give us an update on the startup since Disrupt.

It’s hard to imagine a web performance and security service “going viral,” especially one Mike Arrington described during the Disrupt awards ceremony as “Muffler Repair for the Internet,” but a glance through our Twitter feed gives credence to one of Silicon Valley’s axioms: if you make a great service that solves a real problem, users will come.

And come they have! While I have to confess our engineering team was initially bummed about losing to a demo of a website that could read Wikipedia articles aloud, I’m happy to report that they’ve channeled any frustration into building an incredible service that improves the lives of millions of web users every day.

A quick snapshot of the four months since our Disrupt launch:

  • Tens of thousands of websites have signed up with CloudFlare to be faster and more secure
  • We grew from a trickle of traffic to powering more than 1.2 billion monthly page views in January
  • Nearly 3% of the Internet’s users (approximately 50 million unique monthly visitors) passed through our network last month
  • By making sites faster (a 40% performance boost on average) we’ve helped Internet surfers collectively save nearly 1,000 years worth of time
  • And we’ve stopped nearly 600 million attacks launched against our users’ websites

We’ve done no additional PR, marketing, or outreach since Disrupt and yet every day hundreds of new websites sign up for CloudFlare. From the Disrupt stage, we reached an incredible number of users worldwide. Today, the websites on the system span the globe from San Francisco (where CloudFlareis headquartered), to Accra (where we power the Official Government Portal of the Nation of Ghana), to Islamabad (where we power the Pakistani version of the IRS). We power sites for actors (Michael Rooker), popular bands (Counting CrowsJack Johnson), and ecommerce shops like the one belonging to Lisa Freede. Lisa is a jewelry designer who was featured on The Today Show earlier this week. We’re proud that CloudFlare kept her site online and taking orders in spite of the staggering traffic generated by her appearance on the show.

Beyond introducing CloudFlare to the world, TechCrunch Disrupt was the event that really brought our team together. We actually launched the service live on stage in front of thousands of Silicon Valley’s thought leaders. That’s pressure. Nothing motivates better than a little fear, and knowing we would soar or crash in front of a live, influential audience had us all cranking for the months leading up to Disrupt. Even as I was back stage, the CloudFlare engineering team was in the audience with a list the final 27 bugs that needed to be fixed. I watched our IM channel as our team banged through the problems. When Michelle and I stepped on stage, they were down to 8. By the time we stepped off, they squashed the last few, flipped the switch, and we were live across five data centers on three continents.

No one on our team will ever forget the experience. If you’re a startup thinking of launching at Disrupt, that’s the only way to do it. You may not win the trophy, but you’ll receive something else far more important.

Our team is growing fast, we have a new office in downtown San Francisco, and we all still come to work each day excited to solve real, meaningful, hard problems. While we may just be doing “Muffler Repair for the Internet,” it turns out the Internet’s muffler is broken and needs fixing. And, as you’ll see from the video below, we’re having a great time while getting that done.

Source: What Losing TechCrunch Disrupt Meant to CloudFlare: OMFG

Drupal Competes As a Framework, Unofficially

February 24th, 2011 02:14 admin View Comments

PHP

tgeller writes “Drupal developer Ben Buckman attended the BostonPHP Framework Bake-Off with the hopes of pitting the CMS against CakePHP, Symfony, Zend, and CodeIgniter. He was told that he couldn’t because Drupal is ‘not a framework,’ a response he felt was ‘coder-purist snobbery (“it’s not a framework if you build any of it in a UI”).’ So he decided to unofficially compete in the back of the room by accepting the challenge of building a job-posting app in 30 minutes, while the official competitors did the same from the stage. He recorded the results, which are impressive. In the process he raised the question: What is a framework, anyway?”

Source: Drupal Competes As a Framework, Unofficially

Manage Contacts With a Social Twist Using ContactZilla

February 24th, 2011 02:00 admin View Comments

contactzilla-logo.jpgTeams that need to manage a large number of contacts online for free will want to consider taking a look at ContactZilla, a relatively new contact management tool comparable to Gist.

ContactZilla allows you to import contacts from Twitter, LinkedIn and Google, as well as manually enter information about people one-by-one.

The app comes from a Web development firm called Simpleweb, who say they are “massively supportive” of open standards and data portability. As such, contacts can be easily exported from ContactZilla and they’re always adding supporting for other data sources. In addition to Twitter, LinkedIn and Google, users can also pull contacts from Basecamp, FreshBooks, Outlook, vCards or any CSV file.

Once contacts from multiple sources are loaded, they are then automatically cross-referenced, merged and cleaned up. If they’re available, avatars for each contact are pulled in from sources like Twitter and Google.

contactzilla-ui.jpg

“The focus has been on getting in contacts from various sources, de-duping them based on ‘personal unique fields’ such as email address, Twitter address, mobile number, etc,” Simpleweb cofounder Mark Panay told us via email. “We then try to discover more of these fields based on existing ones using various social graph techniques and then re-apply the de-duping algorithm.”

This de-duping process is pretty good, but it has its imperfections. For example, people from Gmail that have multiple email addresses will be imported as separate contacts. This, of course, has to do with the limited data points available from each source, but it seems as though two contacts having the same exact name (or same avatar image filename) should trigger some kind of flag.

After a TechCrunch post brought their Web server to its knees last month, ContactZilla is now up and running again, and preparing a new release in early March.

Among the new features planned for the new release are “smart lists” for breaking down contacts by various criteria, some user interface updates and an API that’s compliant with the Portable Contacts standard.

If you’re interested in giving it a try, you can sign up using the invite code rwwcz. There are only 200 invite codes, so hop to it.

Source: Manage Contacts With a Social Twist Using ContactZilla

Found: Ancient Alaskan House—and Remains of a Child Cremated There

February 24th, 2011 02:40 admin View Comments


We know the Bering land bridge that appeared between Alaska and Russia at least 14,000 years ago would have allowed ancient people to cross over into America. But what were those people like? Scant evidence has turned up to reveal their lifestyle, but in the journal Science this week archaeologists report a new find—one that’s simultaneously insightful and a portrait of sadness. Ben Potter and colleagues found an 11,500-year-old house that was apparently the scene of the loss of a child, as the fire pit shows the skeletal remains of a person about three years of age.

The bones are the oldest human remains yet discovered in northern North America, and provide a remarkable glimpse into the lives of the earliest North American settlers…. Older human remains and temporary hunting camps and work sites have been found, but longer-term habitations are rare. Yet the child’s young age – it was about 3 years old – and the type of food remains found at the new site, suggest it was the summer home for a group that comprised at least women and young children. [New Scientist]

The place is called Upper Sun River, located in central Alaska. The child has been given the name Xaasaa Cheege Ts’eniin, or “Upward Sun River Mouth Child.”

Potter … and his colleagues discovered the outlines of the foundation of a circular house, including a scattering of stone tools and animal bones on the floor and traces of posts that may have held up the walls and roof. As the team reports in this week’s issue of Science, the center of the house was taken up with a large circular pit containing the fragmented, partially burnt bones of the child. [ScienceNOW]

The team says that the details of the house and the artifacts left behind show commonalities with both archaeological finds in Siberia and America, though the structure in Alaska is closer to Siberian design than anything found in the continental United States.

As for the child, Potter says it seems the fire pit was sealed off after the cremation and the family moved on. But other archaeologists suggest a more gruesome possibility than cremation.

While Potter reported that the child probably died before being cremated, Michael Kunz, an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management in Fairbanks, suggested another possibility: “I don’t think that there is any more evidence that the burned remains of the child indicate a cremation than they indicate that the child may have been cooked and eaten.” The body was found buried in the fire pit, Kunz noted via e-mail, and “the bones that are missing are the bones that have the most flesh on them and would most likely be used for food.” “Cannibalism among humans is not new news,” added Kunz, who was not part of Potter’s team. [NPR]

Potter and his team disagreed—the bones showed some evidence of soft tissue, they say, and they appear to have been laid down in a peaceful position.

Image: Ben A. Potter

Source: Found: Ancient Alaskan House—and Remains of a Child Cremated There

Google Launches New Assault On Microsoft Office

February 24th, 2011 02:30 admin View Comments

Businesses

Hugh Pickens writes writes “BetaNews reports that Google has announced the global availability of Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, which went into beta late last year with technology that builds off Google acquisition of DocVerse. Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office is essentially a plugin for Windows versions of the productivity suit (2003, 2007, 2010). ‘The plugin syncs your work through Google’s cloud, so everyone can contribute to the same version of a file at the same time,’ says Google Apps product manager Shan Sinha. Additionally, Google announced a 90-day trial for Appsperience described as ‘a way for companies that currently use cumbersome legacy systems to see how web-powered tools help their teams work together more effectively.’”

Source: Google Launches New Assault On Microsoft Office

Syrian Bloggers Arrested: This Week in Online Tyranny

February 24th, 2011 02:15 admin View Comments

syrian flag.pngSyria cracks down on bloggers. As the Jasmine Uprisings go on in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and elsewhere, Syria has gone in the other direction, arresting bloggers. In the last month, Ahmad Abu Al-Kheir and Firaz Akram Mahmoud have been arrested and Tal Al-Mallouhi was sentenced to five years for her imaginary spying. A host of other Syrian bloggers remain jailed.

Although Syria recently loosened up its Internet filtering, this is clearly just a PR move. Remember, as awful as one death is and despite how violent the deaths of more than 500 Libyans may seem, the father of Syria’s leader killed between 20,000 and 40,000 people in Hama in 1982. These people are monsters.

mideastmap.jpgLibya, Yemen & Bahrain. The uprisings and protests in these three countries continue on. Bahrain sent in tanks and troops to kill about seven protesters and injured hundreds but then backed off. Security forces chased and beat Yemenis but they continue their protests. Libya is the most violent, with many calling it less an uprising in the Tunisian sense and more of a civil war, with non-violence taking a severe beating as protesters arm themselves against tanks and live fire.

Behind the Jasmine Curtain. As the uprisings continue, it’s not just Syria using misdirection to continue or increase their oppression.

Arshama3′s list shows 68 journalists and bloggers currently arrested and incarcerated in Iran. At the same time, Iran’s “cyber army” hacked the websites belonging to the Voice of America.

ksa.pngSaudi Arabia is cycling through a new collection of imprisoned bloggers even as the kingdom’s women demand their rights – on Twitter.

Cambodia blocks popular blogs. “Cambodian authorities have ordered local Internet service providers to block a number of websites, including the popular KI Media news aggregator and commentary blog, considered critical of the government.”

Bahraini blogger and online editor freed. Want some good news? This is good news. Ali Abdulemam, held since the beginning of last September has been set free in the release of political prisoners inspired by #feb14 and has reunited with his family. Abdulemam has run popular BahrainOnline forum site for over six years. He was arrested the first time for it in 2005.

Map from Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

Source: Syrian Bloggers Arrested: This Week in Online Tyranny

WITN: Is It Racist To Say That Chinese Manufacturing Leads To Low Quality Goods — And Fraud? [TCTV]

February 24th, 2011 02:07 admin View Comments

Earlier this week, CrunchGear’s John Biggs sparked controversy (within TechCrunch ranks at least) with a post entitled “Alibaba And The Curse Of Chinese Manufacturing“. In the post Biggs wrote (amongst other things) that…

“Many decry the sad state of American manufacturing but these [Chinese] companies still sell billions in janky garbage that washes up here in huge containers and is sold throughout our 50 great states and, more important, the rest of the developed and developing world.”

Gosh.

He added…

“I was not surprised to hear that the CEO and those Alibaba employees were taking cash from criminal gangs to receive “gold ratings” on their products. This only makes sense. In an unfettered market, the unfettered will push their way to the top.”

So that’s how John Biggs feels about Chinese manufacturing companies, particularly those who sell on Alibaba. As Biggs was keen to point out, he has visited China, so this isn’t just a protectionist rant from a xenophobic American.

But here’s the thing: Sarah too has traveled to China. Quite a few times. In fact she just wrote a book (partly) about the country’s growing technology manufacturing industry. And on TechCrunch’s internal Yammer discussion platform she called Biggs out – even going so far as to accuse him of veering towards racism. Biggs responded that, if she disagreed so strongly, Sarah was welcome to write a rebuttal.

Instead we decided to head to the TCTV studio. In this week’s Why Is This News, we discuss whether Biggs had a point or whether… well… watch the video and see.

Source: WITN: Is It Racist To Say That Chinese Manufacturing Leads To Low Quality Goods — And Fraud? [TCTV]

Singing The Blues: MySpace Music Loses Nearly Half Its Audience, And Its President

February 24th, 2011 02:06 admin View Comments

Remember MySpace Music? It was supposed to put online music streaming on the the right track. But with all the layoffs, shrinking audience and turmoil at parent MySpace, MySpace Music is singing the blues. According to comScore, only 17 million people in the U.S. visited MySpace Music in January, 2011, which is down 46 percent from the previous year. Pandora is now bigger on the Web, with an estimated 20.3 million monthly U.S. visitors.

Today, MySpace Music president Courtney Holt is stepping down. He joined two years ago from MTV. But with MySpace itself on the wane and Rupert Murdoch looking to unload it, MySpace Music can no longer hold its own.

Below is the internal MySpace email Mike Jones sent to employees announcing Holt’s departure. No replacement was named, instead Jones will be adding MySpace Music to his responsibilities.

From: Mike Jones
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:44 AM
To: Myspace All
Subject: Organizational Update

Myspacers,

I wanted to let everyone know that Courtney Holt’s role in the company will soon be changing. Over the next several weeks, he will be moving from being the President of Myspace Music to becoming a key advisor to both Myspace and Newscorp. Courtney will provide guidance on the strategic direction of Myspace Music and lend his incredible depth of experience, industry expertise and creativity to Myspace and Myspace Music. Additionally, Courtney will continue to serve on the board of Myspace Music.

Sam Wick will now oversee all of marketing for Myspace and operationally I will be taking over as the interim president of Myspace Music.

Please let me know if you have any questions about these changes.

Source: Singing The Blues: MySpace Music Loses Nearly Half Its Audience, And Its President

Apple Releases First Developer Preview Of Mac OS X Lion With New AirDrop Feature – Will It Come To iOS?

February 24th, 2011 02:05 admin View Comments

iOS 4.3

As rumored, Apple launched new MacBook Pros earlier today with Sandy Bridge Quad core processors with Intel’s Turbo Boost 2.0, a hybrid Thunderbolt/mini Display port, FaceTime camera and more.

Apple also surprised us by releasing the first developer preview version of Mac OS X Lion today, which was first demoed last October.

Mac OS X Lion includes features inspired by iOS on the iPad like multitouch gestures, App Store, App home screens with iOS 4 folders, full screen apps, auto save, apps resume when launched.

The first developer preview version also includes some new features such as a new version of Mail, Versions, AirDrop, FileVault and Mac OS X Lion server.

Out of the new features, AirDrop seems to be quite interesting. Here’s the description of the new AirDrop feature:

With AirDrop in Mac OS X Lion, you can send files to anyone around you — wirelessly. AirDrop doesn’t require setup or special settings. Just click the AirDrop icon in the Finder sidebar, and your Mac automatically discovers other people nearby who are using AirDrop. You’ll even see contact photos for those who are already in your Address Book. To share a file, simply drag it to someone’s name. Once accepted, the file transfers directly to the person’s Downloads folder. When you’re done with AirDrop, close the Finder and your Mac is no longer visible to others.

Apple had recently released wireless features in iOS 4.2AirPrint and AirPlay, so AirDrop seems to be part of Apple’s wireless features.

AirPrint is the wireless printing feature. It automatically finds printers on the local network and allows users to print to them wirelessly over Wi-Fi without the need to install drivers or download software.

AirPlay allows users to stream audio and video content from any iOS-based device to the new Apple TV. AirPlay is currently limited to only some of the pre-installed apps but iOS 4.3 will allow users to stream audio and video content from any iOS app.

AirDrop sounds like a cool feature. We hope that Apple brings AirDrop to iOS devices in the next version of iOS – iOS 5, as it would be a lot more useful in case of mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

What do you think about Mac OS X Lion and the new AirDrop feature? Please share your views in the comments section below.

[via Apple]

Source: Apple Releases First Developer Preview Of Mac OS X Lion With New AirDrop Feature – Will It Come To iOS?

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