28 June 2010

PDFpick: PDF Search Engine

PDFpick.com logo

Because you cannot have enough PDF Search Engine Options, here is another one:

PDFpick just like most PDF Search Engines looks to be based on a google custom search engine with some scripts on top to filter search result so it only gives out result based on certain query strings added to the keyword anyone puts into the form of the site. Results seem to be of “ok” quality. good to have in case one of your favorite PDF search engines is down.

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Linkage

PDFpick

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Adobe AIR 2.0: A New Boost For RIA’s

Adobe AIR logo

Alongside with Flash 10.1, Adobe also released their desktop RIA runtime. The also very awaited Adobe AIR 2.0 release.

Lets Start With Some History For The Sake Of Context

Going back in time (2007) when the very first beta releases were out giving the rounds.Adobe AIR (back then called Apollo) It was a little more than Adobe version of mimicking the .NET Framework and Java principles as a platform while focusing them completely for the consumer market. That their play of extending what they had with Flash, Flex and Shockwave to the desktop. It was a captivating idea that managed to capture the attention of non-adobe developers as the option for using web tech in desktop apps was also included. An idea that came from the now pretty much forgotten HTMLapplets and the not so forgotten but severely underutilized and not anywhere popular enough SSB managers.

Adobe AIR represented a big “eureka” moment for Adobe because they  thought that it would ensure their supremacy  for the long-term future as its goal was to leverage it from the one they had in the browser (with Flash,Flex,Reader and Shockwave) into to the desktop.

Apple

Of course that Apple had another idea as it would capitalize on the explosion of the Smartphone market with the iPhone and its new focus on betting its future in iOS disrupting the consumer perception of Apps and their consume. Something that would start a war with Adobe, because at first they never thought they were going to get completely locked out it (iOS) for good. Now it is obvious why, back then not so much for Adobe that underestimated Steve Jobs scorn and contempt. 

Microsoft

Then you had Microsoft fully ready to counter attack all of Adobe new strategies with its own RIA runtime derived from .NET/WPF now known as Silverlight. But more importantly, it would strike back Adobe idea of being the new RIA platform developers would want by dropping Expression Studio and Visual Studio in their way. The biggest and meanest IDE along with its new cool younger IDE brother.

But then……

It was not all bad news for Adobe:

From Arms (Apple) To Arms (Google)

Their war with Apple brought in a previously indecisive Google to a partnership with them on all fronts. A Google that previously didn’t wanted anything to do with Adobe Tech and that was going solo developing all sort of plugins while pushing for the development of HTML5 and better JavaScript rendering engines.

Now Google has completely restructured their strategy, after it became obvious they were now in a heated war with Apple and Microsoft (Now their common enemy, thing that made them a bit more amicable to each other). And that it was impossible to wait for HTML5 maturity or  their own plugins development to fight in the present and in the short term future. Adobe was pretty much the only fitting partner. And Google was also Adobe best possible partner.

The RIA Dazzle From Silvelight

While Microsoft came guns blazing in the way of Adobe. It also benefited that Microsoft had done that. The presence of Silverlight brought people to choose sides and to those in the fence of adopting RIA’s to do so as the paths were marked down.  Adobe had a advantage in RIA’s and that was AIR since even at this moment is about one year ahead in adoption, market and extensibility compared to Silverlight 4. Adobe AIR is already placing its sight on Mobile and Devices thanks to the advancements of Flash 10.1 that has started shipping to Mobile OSes. Starting with Google’s Android 2.2.

Simply put the competition of Adobe vs Microsoft in the Rich Internet Application space was a needed sight for developers and companies (even Google!) to jump into looking for a RIA solution.

What Is New With Adobe AIR 2.0

In General: 

  • 30% less CPU consume in current AIR Apps (1.0-1.5) when run with AIR 2.0 and in future apps compared to what they would had consumed in AIR 1.5
  • 20%-50% less RAM consume in current and future AIR apps.
  • Better RAM utilization
  • Better Cross-Platform Compatibility (Windows – OS X – Linux)
  • Less Cross-Platform Optimization Needed
  • 75%-90% of code reutilization when porting from Desktop to Mobile AIR
  • Faster App Startups
  • 25-50% more responsiveness

In Detail(SDK):

Native Process API

SearchCentral (Mac only) - SearchCentral lets you search your desktop, Google, or Wikipedia from within a single application. SearchCentral takes advantage of the new native process API to communicate with the Mac OS X Spotlight feature. It also uses the open document API to open files when double-clicked.

Networking

KeePIPE - a JavaScript-based application that lets users share files on the same network. The application demonstrates how the new networking capabilities can be used to create peer-to-peer applications. KeePIPE also demonstrates the new open document capabilities. If you use an application such as VMWare, you can use this application to transfer files between your VM and host computer.

HTTPeek - HTTPeek is a proxy which demonstrates the new ServerSocket APIs in AIR 2. It listens on a designated port, and proxies HTTP requests while displaying the both the request and response HTTP headers.

Mass Storage Device Detection

FileTile - FileTile demonstrates two new capabilities in AIR 2: mass storage device detection, and opening files with their default applications. When running, FileTile detects when a storage device (such as a USB drive or a Flip video camera) is connected, and displays the contents of the files on that device. Right-click on images to preview them, or double-click to open files with their default application.

Local Audio Recording

Microphone - Microphone records and plays back audio locally. It demonstrates a new feature in AIR 2 that lets you write audio locally without requiring a server. You can also speed-up or slow-down the playback speed of the recorded audio.

EchoExample - The EchoExample application records a sound, then plays it back simulating an echo using the new ability in AIR 2 to sample microphone data directly. It also demonstrates the use of the SoundTransform object to modify the sound dynamically before playing it back.

Multi-touch & Gestures

PhotoPhysics - PhotoPhysics is a multi-touch application that includes a built-in physics engine. Note: PhotoPhysics requires a multitouch device such as an HP TouchSmart PC or a Dell Latitude XT2 running Windows 7.

GeoTest - GeoTest lets you throw images around the screen using a built-in physics engine. This application demonstrates how a user with a non-multi-touch system may tests multi-touch APIs. Note: GeoTest does not require a multi-touch device.

SpriteFract - SpriteFract demonstrates a mouse-compatible, direct-manipulation interface. It has a built-in physics engine and leverages the new multi-touch APIs. It also uses PixelBender to asynchronously process a large amount of geometry data. Note: SprteFract does not require a multi-touch device. Optional multitouch devices include the HP TouchSmart PC or a Dell Latitude XT2 running Windows 7.

TouchTest - TouchTest allows you to drag, scale, and rotate images on the screen. This application demonstrates the new multi-touch capabilities in AIR 2. Note: TouchTest requires a multitouch device such as an HP TouchSmart PC or a Dell Latitude XT2 running Windows 7.

Print Feature Demo

PrintFeatureDemo - Demonstrates many of the powerful new printing capabilities of AIR 2 including printing without a dialog, querying the list of local printers, and more.

  • What It Is In For You, The Consumer.

    Now lets go for what matters, the end user. The reason why you should install AIR 2.0 is because it will open you doors to lots of new good apps that will bring you better interactive experiences, utilities and content. Apps with very varied designs but overall with a distinctive signature pleasant look. And finally Apps that you can control and use from your desktop that integrate properly with your OS without having to depend completely of your browser or your internet connection.

    Linkage

    Adobe AIR 2.0

    Adobe AIR 2.0 SDK

    Adobe AIR Development Center

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  • Adobe Flash 10.1: The Time Is Now

    Adobe Logo

    Flash 10.1 from Adobe had a arduous road to travel for it to reach its final form. But it is now finally here and while it has been out for almost 2 weeks by now. It is just now that it had been tested and scanned enough for me to recommend it glowingly 100%. Well, at least when it comes to the Windows side.

    The moment you install it, from a old machine to a new one, the difference from the last update is very noticeable.  10.1 comes with hardware acceleration by GPU. But even without a proper GPU and just a Integrated Graphics Controller like in the case of old machines and many netbooks. You should still see a increase of performance of 20 to 35%.  But if you got a proper GPU you can expect anywhere from 50 to 90% of performance increase. Also of note is how improved the installation experience is now compared to one year ago.

    I would like to say that Adobe delivered more than what was expected, but that would not be true. It delivered what many thought the original Flash 10 release should had been. That is even more obvious by the decision to make this update a .1 release instead of a .5 release given the time and work it took to be done and the improvements it got compared to the last update.

    Many call for the death of Flash because it is what is in vogue, because bashing flash brings hits or just because Apple is in war with Adobe (as it is bad for their totalitarian iOS ecosystem). The most obvious argument is that it is seen as something that only brings video to the web. But then that is of course a wrong perception of Flash. Flash is the core of more than one Adobe technology and it one Adobe’s keys to the future.

    Flash is not just the Flash Player but also in big measure Shockwave, Flex and AIR.

    That means Video, Interactive Displays, Games and Apps of all kinds running either in the Browser, Desktop, Mobiles or Devices.  Anyone who says that HTML5 is ready to provide anywhere near of what is required for all these scenarios is either kidding themselves or just don’t know what they are talking about. Mobile and Devices (TV’s, Media Frames, TopBoxes, BR-DVD Players, etc) being internet connected and running apps is something that no one would argue is a big part of the next 10 years. So for that reason only, Flash should be able to stay relevant for the future.

    With that said, it is time to upgrade to Flash 10.1 and enjoy its improvements if you have not upgraded yet for some reason. Also now available is Adobe AIR 2.0.

    Linkage

    Adobe Flash                                                             <—Official Homepage

    Adobe Flash for IE                                       <— Quick Download Page

    Adobe Flash for Other Browsers                    <— Quick Download Page

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    12 June 2010

    Bing Earth Day Contest Windows 7 Theme

    Bing Logo

    If you like the Bing’s Best Windows 7 Theme Series, you will like this new theme just as much.

    The Bing Earth Day Contest Windows 7 Theme collects the best entries for the Earth Day Contest that Bing made. This means that all but one of the photos in this theme have never been seen in Bing.com.  So you can enjoy of some fresh great imagery from the comfort of your desktop. 

    Personally i actually liked many of the “runner up” photos in this theme a lot more than the one that won the contest (the one with the bee). So you may also find that to be the case as well, Enjoy.

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    Linkage

    Bing Earth Day Contest Windows 7 Theme              <— Direct Download Link

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    FollowCup: A Silverlight Based World Cup 2010 Tracker

    FollowCup.com Logo

    I was looking for a good and simple World Cup 2010 tracker to have around in my desktop when i luckily stumbled with something even better than what i hoped for.

    FollowCup is a Silverlight 4 based World Cup 2010 info tracker that can be used either from a browser or your desktop.

    If you choose to use it from a browser, it will be able to work in any browser in Windows or OS X. In linux  you can access it from either Firefox 3.5+ or Chrome 5+ if you have Moonlight 3.0 installed. 

    Skyfire also can access it without a problem in any supported mobile device.

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    If you want to have it in your Desktop via OOB mode, then you will only be able to use it that way in Windows (XP,Vista & 7)  or OS X (Leopard & Snow Leopard in a Intel Mac).

    Load up FollowCup in any browser, then right-click on it for the install link to show and just click to install it. Should not take more than 30 seconds to complete its install process.

    FollowCup is composed by 4 Tabs. These Tabs are:

     

    1.-Matches 

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    This is the main tab and it shows you the games that will be played during the day. It also will update the scores every 15 minutes or so if one of the games is at play.  You can use the calendar to see the scores of matches played in past days.  If you click on a match, it will show you stats for that match and also lets you leave a comment about the match.

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    2.-Groups

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    Here you can check the Groups, the order of the teams in them, game stats and their points tally.

    3.-Teams

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    Check all the teams of this world cup and their respective Matches calendar as they advance through (or not).

    4.-Final Stages

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    The fourth and final tab shows you the tournament diagram for the world cup. Once the kickoff matches for all the teams are over, the real race for the cup begins. This diagram is the easiest way to keep track of the position all the teams got to up to the final game for the cup.

    Some Notes

    The only other extra element not mentioned above that you may have noted from the screenshots in the post, is the Twitter Widget that also comes embedded with this app to check what it is being said about the cup. I think the Twitter widget is my least favorite thing of the app as it don’t really helps much since you can’t interact with it or conduct tailored searches. That would had made it more valuable to have. But not as it is placed, There should had been a option to deactivate it as it can only be a distraction.

    But if you were looking for a good World Cup 2010 tracker. FollowCup is the best i have found so far.

    The fact you can have it in your desktop or in a browser as you see fit (thanks to it being Silverlight based) makes it a must have if you are following the 2010 World Cup.

    Linkage

    FollowCup

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    EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup Windows 7 Theme

    FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 logo

    The World Cup 2010 is already in full swing and some of the best matches from the first stages have been RSA – Mexico and USA – England. But there are SO MANY yet to come and you can still can embrace the fever of the World Cup by projecting it into your Windows 7 Desktop to live things up while it goes down.  The World Cup South Africa 2010 Windows 7 Theme is a good start.

    But now there is also this neat EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup Windows 7 Theme that comes with play screenshots from the game of the same name.  So it can go from being a good choice to a great one depending on how much like the EA FIFA video games. 

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    tmp322E               <—  Direct Download Link 

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    05 June 2010

    Bing’s Best Windows 7 Themes

    *This post is updated every time a new Best Of Bing (previously named Bing’s Best) Windows 7 Theme comes out*

    Bing Logo

    Bing just celebrated its 1st anniversary this past June 3. Since the very first differentiator Bing has  is the  Bing Photo Backgrounds, Here there are all the Bing Best Windows 7 Themes released to date as a way to commemorate it’s first birthday.

    Bing’s Best Windows 7 Themes are official W7 Theme Packs put together by the Bing Team that showcase some of the best photo backgrounds that have passed by Bing.com.  So if you like Bing and you got Windows 7, these themes are a excellent way to spice up your desktop.

    Bing Best 1

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    The original Bing Best Theme for Windows 7

    tmp4A8E                   <— Direct Download Link

    Bing Best 2

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    From the jagged peaks of the Andes in South America to Arizona's Vermilion Cliffs, this sequel to the popular Bing's Best theme takes your Windows 7 desktop on a trip around the world.

    tmp7B7F               <— Direct Download Link

    Bing Best 3

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    Gaze into the eerie glow of a dying star, soar over an underwater sinkhole, and get up close and personal with an adorable baby sea turtle—among other amazing sights—in this theme for Windows 7.

    tmpEE8D            <— Direct Download Link

    Bing Best 4

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    The best keeps getting better, with attention-grabbing landscapes, animal shots, and other eye-catching Bing images in this Windows 7 theme.

    tmpE5FD                                    <— Direct Download Link   

    Bing Best 5

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    Where in the world do you want your desktop to go? Explore sweeping landscapes and dramatic images from around the globe in this Windows 7 theme.

    tmpE5FD                                     <—Direct Download Link

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    Also check out the official Windows Bing Screensaver (for XP,Vista & 7)

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