Perhaps taking a page from Google and Mozilla, Microsoft surprised attendees at the Mix 11 conference Tuesday with the introduction of Internet Explorer 10 platform preview.
The release comes just four weeks after Microsoft unveiled IE9. Microsoft's Dean Hachamovitch (left) said during a keynote at Mix 11 that IE10 builds on the performance breakthroughs and native HTML5 support developed for IE9, which will lead to the adoption of HTML5 with a long-term commitment to the standards process.
IE10 Platform Preview 1 is available for download now on Microsoft's Web site.
"We built IE9 from the ground up for HTML5 and for Windows to deliver the most native HTML5 experience and the best Web experience on Windows," Hachamovitch, corporate vice president for IE, wrote in a blog post. "IE10 continues on IE9's path, directly using what Windows provides and avoiding abstractions, layers, and libraries that slow down your site and your experience."
HTC's beautiful new smartphone for T-Mobile, the HTC Sensation 4G, has a great-looking case, a super-sharp screen, a dual-core processor, and the latest version of Android, dressed up with some terrific HTC enhancements. It's all enough that you can overlook the one big thing it doesn't have: 4G.
As we mentioned earlier, the Sensation is HTC's follow-up to the excellent MyTouch 4G, and it looks like a more professional model than the somewhat cute-and-cuddly MyTouch. It's a gray slab phone with a gray, cosmetic stripe up the middle of the back. The Sensation is comfortable to hold, and it's similar in size to Verizon's HTC Thunderbolt, although it's thinner.
All of the Sensation's specs have been boosted from the previous model, except one. The phone has a super-sharp, super 4.3-inch 960-by-540 LCD screen and a Qualcomm dual-core 1.2-Ghz Snapdragon processor. It runs Android Gingerbread 2.4, and has an 8-megapixel camera on the back capable of recording 1920-by-1080 video at 30 frames per second. There's a VGA front-facing camera for video chat, an HDMI output port, 1GB of built-in storage along with a MicroSD card slot, and a very strong 1520 mAh battery keeping it all running. It will be very interesting to compare this to the somewhat similar LG G2x, another high-end, dual-core Android phone arriving on T-Mobile soon.
This morning HTC announced the Sensation 4G smartphone. This one sports a 4.3-inch Super LCD display, dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, and ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the HTC Sense 3.0 UI. It's very similar to the HTC EVO 3D, but usurps it with an 8 megapixel rear camera, dual LED flash, and records video at 1080p at 30 frames per second. This is an HSPA+ device that will be coming to T-Mobile, sporting download speeds up to 14.4 Mbps. We'll have hands-on impressions in a few.
Google said Monday that it is expanding the reach of its Street View mapping program beyond the road and into various tourist attractions, thanks to its off-road "trike."
Google has now added Street View access to attractions in France, Ireland, and the United States. That includes France's Château de Chenonceaux in Civray-de-Touraine, the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, as well as the gardens at the San Diego Art Institute and several spots in San Diego's Balboa Park.
Google normally collects its Street View images by attaching its equipment to the roofs of Google-owned vehicles that drive up and down public streets capturing 360-degree images. In 2009, Google introduced the trike - "a three-wheeled tricycle in a device reminiscent of an ice cream cart [that] lets us reach areas not accessible by car, such as hiking trails, biking trails and college campuses, just to name a few," Google said at the time.
Google said Monday that private property owners can join its partner program if they want to have their location included in Street View.
If you've ever wanted to be able to capture a moment that you knew was coming, but weren't sure exactly when, you may want to check out Looxcie. It's a wearable video camera that constantly records. You can stream what you are recording live over the Internet, and if you wanna capture something, you just hit the button and it clips the last 30 seconds and saves it for you. If you have an iPhone or Android device, then you can even get an app that lets you use the phone as a viewfinder.
You can pick up Looxcie at Amazon.
Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, has issued an apology to customers in Japan by way of a YouTube video today. The apology is in relation to a New Years deal that ended up being a catastrophe. Food delivery business Bird Cafe has been featured on Groupon in the past, but the restaurant was overwhelmed by the volume of orders that came with the New Years osechi meal. Many meals were delivered late, while others were on time, but in "terrible condition." Groupon reimbursed all customers for the purchased and apologized in an email, but it's great to see Mason step up and personally apologize on video. Leaders of other companies might take notice--this is how you step up and own a mistake your company made.
Groupon is in the process of educating its merchants on "capacity planning" to avoid similar problems in the future.
When it comes to online video, no one serves more data than Google, mostly through YouTube. However, the second place spot has recently been taken by Facebook. This spot used to be owned by Yahoo!, but now the social networking site has reached the second rank as a source of traffic for people watching videos online, according to a recent report from Tubemogul and Brightcove. It's still far behind Google, at 9.6% versus over 50% for the search giant. When it comes to amount of minutes watched however, surprisingly Twitter users seem to surpass Facebook, according to the report. The firms list other results like which types of media brands are most successful in the full PDF file linked below.
Read More | Tubemogul (PDF)
Livestream has had a presence on Facebook for a while now. It's been used to stream the Facebook announcements live on the social network, as well as provide other Livestream content that users could watch directly on Facebook. Now, the social site is introducing the Livestream app, which will allow any user of Facebook to stream video directly from Facebook, at a press of a button, onto their walls. This includes all the Livestream platform features such as making this a regular podcast, with archived videos, or even pay-per-view shows. If you already have a Livestream channel, you can embed it directly on your Facebook page. This will remove some of the steps where viewers would have to move from one site to the next, and show your content directly to your friends. While partners have had access to some of those services for a while now, it's the first time users can do it with a single click, at no cost. This is yet another move by Facebook to bring social components to every facet of the web.
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Read More | Facebook
We performed our Windows Phone 7 review while using an HTC Surround smartphone from AT&T. Now that we've got the overarching review of Microsoft's big comeback in the mobile operating system world out of the way, we wanted to focus on the HTC surround itself. It's an interesting one, as AT&T is going to launch with three Windows Phone 7 devices come November 8th. The Samsung Focus has that Super AMOLED display and is nice and thin, and the LG Quantum has a slider QWERTY keyboard, which makes it thicker. The HTC Surround is also a thicker slider, but rather than a keyboard, it packs in a pair of Dolby Mobile and SRS Wow "virtual surround" speakers with a kickstand. This is obviously aimed at the Windows Phone 7 customer who plans to use their device as an entertainment device for music and video, and its got 16GB of internal memory to hold that stuff. Is it worth your attention? Keep on reading for our verdict!
All you PS3 owners out there who are tired of having to manually insert that Netflix disc whenever you wanna get your streaming on, listen up! Netflix has just announced that, starting October 18th, the PS3 disc will no longer be required. Even better news? PS3 owners will be able to stream some content in
1080i 1080p resolution, and 5.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. The PS3 is the first to get these oft-requested features, and even more curious is the fact that they seem to be left out of the Xbox 360's upcoming dashboard update that is set to drop in November.
So, yeah Netflix, it's definitely cool and all that you are finally bringing out the big guns with your instant streaming service, and we'll definitely be defaulting to the PS3 for our viewing starting on the 18th--but can we get a little device parity here?
Wanna get a look at how it works? Hit up the video after the break.