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May 16, 2012

The Story of Send

Story of Send e-mail network


How does Gmail work? Learn more about how Google handles e-mails by checking out The Story of Send and the work poured into those few seconds after you hit Send.

Ever wondered what happens to each e-mail you fire off Gmail between the moment you hit Send and the second it reaches the recipient’s inbox? If the answer’s yes, Google has released The Story of Send to share a timeline of how your e-mails travel between computers and networks, and how Google aims to keep your information private and secure.

As part of the Google Green initiative, the story follows an unspecified e-mail that travels through your roof, antennas, your neighbor’s walls, Google’s data center, and more. At some points of the nine stations, you can watch videos to learn more about Google’s data center to see how the system filters for spam, viruses, all while maintaining an energy-efficient environment and utilizing renewable power. You can see in a video how extra security measures are taken with its own staff when an employee has to scan his work ID card and his eyes to authorize passage, then watch another video of how the data centers are powered by local wind farms. Of course, the illustrations are all in classic Google style, with cartoon employees roaming about the timeline passing by in scooters, checking up on the network system, and looking over the cloud computing center — all with a smile on their little faces.

Clicking through the process and learning about how Google attempts to deliver an efficient email system definitely makes you think twice about using Gmail; it’s as if we take the technology for granted. Some people shoot e-mails off without really taking the time to proofread or make sure their attachments are even there, yet the data center has to process ever single one of our e-mails — silly, mistaken, extremely private, or extremely unnecessary.

If you’re more curious of how Google attempts to maintain sustainability, you can also check out the Google Green site for more of the company’s footprint information. The little site might not mean much to the average person, but it can show you how much work gets put into the few seconds between Send and Received.

[via Digital Trends]

Anime Review: Shakugan no Shana S

Shakugan no Shana S cannot be considered a direct sequel to Shakugan no Shana II, however the OVAs do jump straight into the story expecting that the viewers have already watched the first two series to fully understand what is going on.

Shakugan no Shana SSynopsis:
A 4 episode OVA series. Every episode will involve different side stories from the original source material.

Episode 1 - Reshuffle:
Due to the effect of Friagne's treasure device, the bodies of Shana and Yuji are swapped. They try to overcome the situation secretly, but...

Episode 2 - Domicile:
Recently, Shana has been acting strangely. Worried about her well-being, Yuji and Wilhelmina decide to follow her from the shadows after school one day. What secret could Shana be hiding?

Episode 3 - Overture (Part 1):
While hunting for a certain tomogara, Shana steals the existence of a torch named Oogami Junko in order to make her investigation throughout the city easier while also dealing with the family problems left behind by Junko when she was devoured.

Episode 4 - Overture (Part 2):
Continuation of episode 3.

Review:
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

After an epic ending to the prequel, Shakugan no Shana S gives us some side-stories to keep us occupied  and ready for Shakugan no Shana III. The 'mini' series consists of four side-stories. Episode 1 gives us a back story to what happened after the battle with Friagne. As such, the humour in this episode is all about the bodies of Shana and Yuji being swapped. This of course leads to much embarrassment and secrecy as Shana and Yuji try to hide their real identities. Episode 2 is more of a slice of life anime about Shana preparing a surprise party for Wilhelmina without her knowing. Of course, everyone is acting suspicious much to the dismay of Wilhelmina. In the end, everything works out perfectly. Episode 3 and 4 portrays Shana before the events of Shakugan no Shana. She has just become a Flame Haze and is on the search for a torch named Oogami Junko.

The art of course was the same as the two prequels, nothing majorly different or noticeable throughout the series. The characters had fine details on them and the battles are well animated yet again.

The theme songs were catchy as always from the Shakugan no Shana series. Voice acting was perfect.

There were far less characters in Shakugan no Shana S than any of the another series. Although it focuses on Shana's past, there were a few minor characters that were present only for the OVAs.

Overall, it was interesting to get some background information and some nice side-stories to keep us occupied. I can't really compare this series with the others as it is not directly a sequel.

STORY: 6
Side-stories; you may find them interesting or completely boring.

ART: 8
Pretty much the same as the other series.

SOUND: 7
Voice acting was perfect and the theme songs were catchy.

CHARACTER: 6
Same set of characters with some irrelevant minor characters involved.

ENJOYMENT: 6
It wasn't too boring just distracting from the main story.

OVERALL: 6
If you have watched the other two prequels already then you must watch Shakugan no Shana S since there are some interesting scenes scattered throughout the episodes.

Machinarium for Android

Machinarium for Android

Spend even just a couple minutes with Machinarium, and two things are abundantly clear:
  • This quite possibly is the most visually stunning game you have ever played.
  • You're going to need some patience to get through this one.
Machinaruim adds puzzles into steampunk, beautifully illustrated as a hand-drawn world. The aim of the game is to guide Josef through the "legendary city of Machinarium". Each level has a series of puzzles or challenges that have to be completed, not unlike the Myst of yore. You get one hit per level, but there's a comic-like walkthrough book that will help you on your way, if you're willing to play the little in-app game to get to it.

The game's designed for tablets, but it'll run on higher-resolution smartphones as well. The developer warns that you'll not have the same experience, as the touch regions are affected, but you should get the idea.

Machinarium costs $3.99. But once you play it, you'll see it's well worth the price. Check out the demo video after the break. Oh, and its a 220MB download.


Google Chrome 19 is out!


Google ChromeGoogle Chrome has been updated to version 19 bringing tab syncing into the mix.

Users who are signed into Chrome will be able to surf the Web using Chrome on their work computer and pick up where they left off on a personal laptop at home, for example. Those with Chrome for Android beta can do the same on their smartphone.

To activate, click the wrench icon on the top right of the Chrome browser and scroll down to "Sign in to Chrome." In addition to tabs, this will also sync bookmarks, apps, extensions, history, themes, and other settings.

On the security side, the new version fixes 20 vulnerabilities: eight high-severity flaws, seven medium-severity flaws, and five low-severity flaws. You can update to the latest version using the software’s built-in silent updater, or you can download the latest version of Chrome directly from google.com/chrome.