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Google News: Google Earth and Marijuana, Fixing Chrome's 'High-Risk' Holes, Chrome Ad in Japan

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If you live in Switzerland and you grow marijuana outdoors, you could be caught by the Swiss police soon. The Swiss police have used Google Earth to locate large fields of marijuana. "Although the weed was hidden by corn, police quickly saw through the drug dealers' ruse and brought the hammer of Swiss justice down upon their heads with extreme prejudice." You can't hide from Google Earth because they are out to get you.

"Google has shipped a high-priority Chrome browser patch with fixes for three security vulnerabilities that expose users to cross-site scripting and data theft attacks." This patch also fixes compatibility issues with Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Mail. Google is on the top of their game, fixing these holes as soon as they are found. It's a good sign of security. I trust them.

Here's more news on Google Chrome. Here is a short video on a Japanese ad for Google Chrome, via YouTube.

Google Earth and Marijuana (and picture): http://g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/692813/Swiss-Police-Bust-Druggies-With-Google-Earth.html?utm_source=g4tv&utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=TheFeed
Google Fixes Chrome's 'High-Risk' Holes (and picture): http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=2443
Google Chrome Ad in Japan (and video): http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/01/chrome-ad-from-google-japan.html

OMG LINGS!!?!?!, Philips 56-inch Cinema 21:9 HDTV, WinMo 6.5 Screenshots, Intel 8-Core Xeon Processor

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As you can see in the above photo, it is a screenshot of Starcraft 2. This is an amazing photo which consists of hundreds of zerglings approaching a Terran base. On a side note, i finally posted on my new blog today. You can go check it out by clicking on 'My Thoughts' in the top right corner of this page.

A couple of weeks ago, i talked about the Philips Cinema 21:9 HDTV (here) and i'm going to talk about it again today. This is a beautiful TV set and is a 56-inch monster. It will have "five HDMI sockets, a Spring release date and an estimated $4,276 [USD] price tag." Now, this TV may be wide, but it has a purpose. My aunt and uncle prefer buying 'Fullscreen' DVDs over 'Widescreen' because in 'Widescreen' you will notice that there are long black bars across the top and the bottom of the screen. This Philips HDTV is looking to get rid of those black bars, due to it's ultra-widescreen. Maybe, i should tell my aunt and uncle about this television set because it truly is gorgeous and it is something i know that they'll love. If you click on the link here, there is a short-clip about this TV.

So, Windows Mobile 6.1 will soon be out the door and we will make way for WinMo 6.5. There is a rumour that WinMo 6.5 will be unveiled at this year's MWC 2009, so it's just around the corner. In the picture that you see, it appears to be a leaked photo of the upcoming WinMo 6.5 Mobile OS. Engadget mentions that the photo is "pretty Zune-ish." I'll have to take their word for it, since i don't know what the Zune's UI looks like at all.

It's Intel vs AMD and we should know by now that Intel's i7 chips are faster than AMD's Phenom. But, it looks like Intel will be separating the Intel vs AMD margin even farther with the release of their new eight-core Xeon processor. It is "likely to be the Nehalem EP processor, an upcoming chip that is designed for dual-socket servers and workstations. This segment of the Xeon line is due for a refresh, and the Nehalem EP processor is scheduled to be released during early 2009." Intel will be revealing Nehalem at this year's ISSCC (International Solid-State Circuits Conference) in San Francisco on February 9. I'll give you more news on the Nehalem when the complete details are announced. Technology does evolve really fast. It seems like just a couple of week ago we were introduced to quad-core and now there will be 8-cores already.

Starcraft 2 Zergling picture: http://www.joystiq.com/2009/01/29/new-starcraft-2-screens-make-it-rain-zerglings/
Philips 56 inch Cinema 21:9 HDTV (and picture): http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/29/philips-56-inch-cinema-21-9-hdtv-gets-showcased-on-video/
WinMo 6.5 Screenshots (and picture): http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/29/seemingly-real-windows-mobile-6-5-screenshots-trickle-out-of-lea/
Intel's 8-Core Xeon Processor: http://blogs.zdnet.com/gadgetreviews/?p=1016

First Warhammer Expansion On Its Way, THQ in Trouble, Asus VK266H LCD Monitor, Playstation 4 Leaked

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The creators of Warhammer, Mythic, have announced their first expansion. Warhammer is currently competing with World of Warcraft in the MMO world. If you happen to play Warhammer over World of Wacraft, this is good news for you. The new expansion will be named "Call to Arms." Call to Arms "will feature two new classes - the Orc Choppa and the Dwarf Slayer - and a new dungeon called 'the Land of the Dead.'" It looks like the expansion will not be sold in retail stores because it will be available for download in March. Take that World of Warcraft, which makes you pay for every new expansion. I would still choose World of Warcraft over Warhammer any day, if i had the money.

THQ looks like it will be shutting down soon. THQ has been in a lot of trouble recently. It started out with the shutting down of 5 studios a couple of months ago. It's kind of sad to see where their WWE Smackdown vs Raw franchise will go because i actually enjoyed playing that game. On Sunday, i was actually playing Smackdown vs Raw with my cousins, since they came over. I used to play Smackdown vs Raw and i created many characters using their 'Create-A-Wrestler' option. I had around an 80:20 win-loss ratio online, so i guess i was alright. Those were the good old days.

This Asus LCD monitor that you see on the left side is what i will be talking about in this paragraph. The VK266H has a 20,000:1 contrast ratio and has a 2ms response time. This LCD monitor was just released in India. This 25.5-inch 1080p HD LCD monitor also has Asus's SPLENDID technology. "The SPLENDID technology uses a color engine for video content property analysis and then automatically optimizes image quality in any usage scenario." It sounds good to me. This monitor is very impressive, spec-wise. It also has HDMI input, a 170 degree viewing angle, stereo speakers and even a 2.0MP webcam. It has an amazing design and if you can get your hands on this, i suggest that you go for it.

The good old Sony Playstation. Apparently, the plans of the next Playstation were leaked. The Playstation 4 will use the same CELL technology that the current PS3 is using. It will be about twice as powerful as the PS3 and their goal by 2011 is to have a completely silent CELL. The Playstation 4's production costs are said to be cheaper because of the small 45nm chip that they are going to be using. The article is really hard to understand because it was translated from Japanese. But, if you want to read it, you can click on the link below.

Warhammer's First Expansion (and picture): http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3172524
THQ in Trouble (and picture): http://ps3.qj.net/Rumor-RIP-THQ-/pg/49/aid/128502
Asus VK266H LCD Monitor (and picture): http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Asus_Intros_VK266H_LCD_Monitor_in_India/551-98327-581.html
Playstation 4 Leaked: http://gamingfront.net/story-156-.html

Google Maps Car Hits a Deer, Phones: Hitachi H001, Samsung Propel Pro, Next iPhone?

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"The Google Maps car took out a baby deer, and it recorded the entire process for all Google Maps users to see." This wasn't intentional. The deer just happened to run out in front of the car and, sadly, the Google Maps car took it out. You can click on the picture if you want to see a larger view of the image.

The Hitachi Wooo H001. This phone will have dual-flip capabilities. Its most interesting feature is that it will have "3D-ified versions of various UI elements and mobile TV content." If you do start to get a little bit dizzy from the 3D-ness, you can just flip the switch, so that it will be back to your normal 2D-mode. This phone is part of the KDDI lineup, which also includes 8.1MP camera-phones, wide VGA displays and one-seg TV tuners. This phone will be launching in April in 3 colours. It's also going to be released only in Japan. Japan seems to get all the good products, even including the Sony PSP's 'carnival colours.' They should release some of that goodness to this side of the world.

This phone you see on the left may be spy shots of the new Propel Pro from Samsung. This phone is said to use the awful Windows Mobile 6.1 OS and it is expected to have 3G capabilities. The camera's quality is unknown, but will most likely be more than 1.3MP, which was what its predecessor had. The screen, to me, looks tiny. WinMo 6.5 is on its way, so this phone shouldn't create too much buzz.

There are now rumours of a new Apple iPhone in the making. Recent firmware coding hinted this to us by making a reference to an "iPhone 2,1" model. Right now, there is no iPhone 2,1 model. "The iPhone 3G is identified by the tag 'iPhone 1,2', while the original is dubbed 'iPhone 1,1'. The numbers don't change at all for storage bumps, so a new number means a significantly updated device." That is some big news for Apple iPhone fans. It probably won't be the iPhone Pro or the iPhone Nano. So, i'm excited to see what Apple can come up with to improve on their current iPhone 3G.

Google Maps Car Hits a Deer (and picture): http://i.gizmodo.com/5141974/google-maps-car-hits-a-deer-records-entire-ordeal-on-google-maps
Hitachi H001 (and picture): http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/29/hitachi-h001-with-3d-display-leads-up-kddi-aus-spring-2009-line/
Samsung Propel Pro (and picture): http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/29/samsung-propel-pro-in-the-wild-caught-on-camera/
Next iPhone On Its Way?: http://theappleblog.com/2009/01/29/evidence-points-to-new-iphone-two-countem-two-sources/

Google News: Using Gmail Offline, Search Growth, Chrome's Speed, Measurement Labs, 10 Years of Google

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You have to love Google and i have more from them today.

If you use Gmail, like me, you are in luck. Today, Gmail Labs gave Gmail a new feature. It allows you to use your Gmail even if you are not connected to the Internet, Offline Gmail. How this works is beyond my knowledge. Even after watching a video on it, i still never entirely understood. Anyways, you will be able to use almost all of Gmail's features even if you are not connected to the Internet, thanks to Google Gears. "Composing emails in offline mode puts them in your outbox, and those emails are automatically sent once you're back online." This will really be useful to those Blackberry users or people on-the-go. I think it will affect more American users than Canadian users, but it's still useful, nonetheless. I think that Americans have a faster-paced lifestyle than us, in Canada. For me, the ability to use Offline Gmail is still not an option in my Labs menu, so i still have to wait for that.

Just when you thought Google owned the search engine category, they still managed to increase in 2008. From all of the search queries in 2008, Google's market share increased from 58.5% to 63.5%. As you can see from the chart, Google is the purple line, which steadily increases. The other 3 lines are other 3 search engines and it looks like their lines just go straight through the graph, with no increase. "What's even more impressive is that nearly 90 percent of all the growth in search volume was also captured by Google." This is world domination at its finest.

Yet, another chart. This one also shows Google's dominance, but this time in the browser department. The smaller the bar, the faster it is, in this case. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox were the 2 kings in this test. Internet Explorer, obviously, came in last place here. Opera 10 Alpha was oh-so-close to snagging that last place slot, but they just edged out Internet Explorer RC 1. Kudos to my 2 favourite browsers, Chrome and Firefox, for dusting those other 2 browsers.

Google is fighting for Net Neutrality and they are going to "give users the tools to figure out whether internet service providers are interfering with their broadband connections by blocking or 'throttling' certain applications." Google partnered up with the New America Foundation and Planet Labs to "further develop Measurement Labs, an open-source platform that researchers can use to find out information about broadband connections." Google looks like it is really backing up Net Neutrality and it is a good thing. "One of the tools Google plans to provide users on its M-Lab site is called DiffProbe. It will help users detect whether an internet service provider is giving some traffic a lower priority than other traffic." The more information the user has, the more control they have. This article on TechCrunch was very well-written, that's why i pulled so many quotes from it.

I'm about to show you a video of Google's highlights throughout the years. It goes through pretty much everything Google has done for the first 10 years and it really is amazing. It is also a well put-together video. Here it is, via YouTube.

Offline Gmail (and picture): http://lifehacker.com/5140668/gmail-goes-offline-with-google-gears
Google's Search Growth (and chart): http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/28/google-gobbled-up-90-percent-of-all-us-search-growth-in-2008/
Google Chrome's Speed (and chart): http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10151584-16.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5
Measurement Labs: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/28/google-introduces-a-new-weapon-in-the-fight-for-net-neutrality-measurement-labs/
10 Years of Google (and video): http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/01/ten-years-of-google-video.html

Apple vs Palm

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Apple and Palm have recently been taking shots at each other. Kind of like how Microsoft and Kaz Hirai of Sony were doing a couple of days ago. "Apple CEO Tim Cook flatly told analysts that 'we will not stand for people ripping off our IP' when asked specifically about competition like the Palm Pre, and Palm responded with a similarly-explicit 'We have the tools necessary to defend ourselves.' At issue, of course, is that the Pre employs a multitouch screen and gestures almost exactly like those made famous on the iPhone." Sorry that i had to pull such a long quote from Engadget, but it's because i don't know the whole story and i don't want to get anything wrong. I actually thought i blogged about this before, but i didn't. Anyways, Apple got their multi-touch 'patented,' which basically means that they own it. It's really kind of stupid that you can own this multi-touch-ness, but that's Apple for you. It really looks like Apple is afraid of competition, to me, at least. A fight that they will probably win too. Apple is just so far ahead, that no other touchscreen phone could really catch up to them. I think that both the iPhone 3G and the Palm Pre are excellent devices. They both have their unique features and the Pre just does it better, since it had its chance to look at what the iPhone did and just improve on that. Clearly, there was a lot of thought put into the the making of the Pre and the same could be said with the iPhone. I really hope that Palm can get through this 'legal action' whatever it may be. Everyone loves competition. Everyone except Apple. If you want to read a fairly lengthy article regarding the Palm Pre vs iPhone 3G 'legal' fight, it is on Engadget, below.

Apple vs Palm (and picture): http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/28/apple-vs-palm-the-in-depth-analysis/
Apple's Multi-Touch Patent (and picture)http://mashable.com/2009/01/26/apple-multi-touch-patent/

Killzone 2 vs Halo 3 Sales, 2TB Hard Drive, Sony News, Final Fantasy Countdown is Finished

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I didn't read this article about Killzone 2 vs Halo 3 in terms of sales, but it did spark something in my mind. Which one will win? Personally, i think that Killzone 2, from what i've heard, is a better game overall than Halo 3. But, in terms of sales, i don't think that Killzone 2 will be able to surpass what Halo 3 has done. I hope that Killzone 2 will beat the Halo 3 in terms of sales, just to shove it in everyone's face, but i don't think that will happen. But, i may be wrong, so we'll just have to see.

Western Digital has launched the world's first 2TB hard drive. An insane capacity, yet i still don't know why you would really need that much storage. I am perfectly fine with around 250GB of space. But, i mean there are those people who just need to have all that space, you know. Most probably for torrented HQ movies and a bunch of other stuff i will not name (see: pr0n). An insane capacity. I am more in favour for the SSD rise though.

First i'll talk about Sony's OLED TV (left picture). This OLED that was launched in Japan in October 2007 and in the US in January 2008 will finally be hitting Europe. The 11-inch XEL-1 has a mere 3mm thin display, a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a 178-degree viewing angle. The colour on this TV is amazing. Up next is another Sony TV. It looks like it will be part of the Sony Bravia line. I think it was announced at their press conference at CES, but i don't know for sure, since this article didn't really give much information. The article does mention that it is thinner than a slice of bread. The TV is reportedly 9.9mm thin, which will make it the world's thinnest LED TV to-date. I guess that doesn't include the OLED's.

The Final Fantasy XIII countdown finished yesterday, but i didn't get to blog-post about it last night. What did they reveal to the world? A new HD trailer and real-time gameplay footage. I'm watching it as i type this out and it looks amazing. I hope i have PS3 by the time this comes out in, the earliest, 2010. The video itself is under 3 minutes long, so it shouldn't take too much out of your day. I noticed that the on-screen damage numbers uses the same font as one of their other game's 'Dirge of Cerberus,' which is really irrelevant, but i thought i'd just point that out. Anyways, here's the video for you, via Joystiq.

Killzone 2 vs Halo 3 Sales (and picture): http://analoghype.com/features/podcasts/ep8/
Western Digital's World-First 2TB Hard Drive: http://www.pcworld.com/article/158374/Western_Digital_Launch.html?tk=rss_news
Sony's OLED (and picture): http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/01/28/sony_xel1_blighty/
Sony Launches Slimmest TV Ever: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/fun/gizmo/article2179023.ece
Final Fantasy XIII Countdown is Finished (and video): http://www.joystiq.com/2009/01/28/final-fantasy-xiii-countdown-ends-new-trailer-released/