December 17, 2014

[Life] nippon-Ya with moe biscuits!?

So I'm currently in Singapore taking in the sights, eating all the food and shopping like I'm a millionaire; I've hadn't had time to catch-up with my social networking or even post on the blog.

Here's a quick post about one particular shop I passed: nippon-Ya. It's basically a Japanese food boutique (a classy shop that stocks Japanese snacks and drinks). You can pretty much find all your unique snacks packaged in finely illustrated boxes.

They stock a variety of snacks and drinks from green tea matcha biscuits to popular sake drinks. There's also the "moe" Akihabara snacks for those that are into the whole Jap-otaku culture.

In a nutshell, Singapore is a really commercial country and its standard is quite high even for the lower-class shopping malls. There is quite a distinction between lower-class, middle-class and upper-class shopping malls and you can easily tell them all apart.

You can get anything from Singapore and if you have the chance to go somewhere, give Singapore a chance!

December 16, 2014

SwiftKey brings six new Frozen themes!


SwiftKey has done its part to make sure its users have a wide variety of themes to choose from. About six months ago, the company made their app free and introduced a selection of paid themes. They’re now introducing branded themes, and first up is the hit Disney movie Frozen. You can choose from six new Frozen themes, complete with your favorite characters: Elsa, Olaf and more.

The themes include a host of different characters sitting behind the keyboard. If you’re using Swiftkey Flow, the Flow trail turns into snow and continues to melt as you type. The themes will cost you $1.99 each or $4.99 for the pack of six.

Frozen is just the first set of themes to make it to SwiftKey, and more branded themes will be available in the future.

[Source: Android Authority]

December 12, 2014

From Chrome to Opera

So the recent update of Chrome to version 39 did fix some memory issues I was having before (where Chrome would use up to 2 - 3 GB of RAM!!). However, the improvement was only minor. Now it uses nearly 2GB RAM! 

You may think that it's no big deal; but to me it means a lot. I'm a part-time web designer/developer and I tend to run Photoshop and Phpstorm at the same time as my web browser. Those resource heavy programs require a decent amount of RAM to run efficiently.

I decided to give Opera a go. After running some pretty generic tests, I could see the different in RAM usage between Chrome and Opera. The usage amount varied since I had extensions installed in Chrome that was unavailable in Opera. I would safely assume that the difference in RAM is pretty minor (10 - 20%).

Even so, I would not give up using Google Chrome. I'm just temporarily jumping over to Opera to give them support. Well, I would recommend Opera as my #2 browser of choice over Mozilla Firefox.

So, if you are an avid Chrome user like me and you are running into RAM issues, try giving Opera a go. It's also nice and fast; just like Chrome!

December 10, 2014

December 9, 2014

Pumpkin's Palette: Akatsuki from Log Horizon

It has been a very very long time! I hope everyone has been well.
Have you been enjoying the Autumn season of anime? So sad that we're up to week 10/11 already, only 2-3 weeks to go!

My latest drawing is Akatsuki from Log Horizon, an extremely cute girl. I initially didn't like her character, but her personality grew on me after watching season 2.

This drawing took too long to complete, because my motivation fluctuated up and down.
I edited this using GIMP.

Life: Storms and heavy rain

My life now: storms and heavy rain.

December 7, 2014

The Crew: New York

So, I've been playing The Crew for a few days now and I have managed to get a feel for the gameplay and flow of the story. Simply put; it's a great game! I keep coming back for more! Even more than I did for Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Need for Speed: Rivals. Maybe because there hasn't really been a good solid racing game with a decent storyline since pre-Carbon days.

The game doesn't restrict you to the linear storyline, it opens up various missions as you progress but allows you the freedom to roam about anything you want. I was initially surprised at how large the world map was and after I did a long run from the Midwest to the East Coast, I was even more surprised. This map is huge.

How now, I'm in New York and going through the Story Missions whilst upgrading my car as I go along. It definitely beats the latest Need for Speed games in my books and I definitely would recommend it to any racing game fans. More mini-reviews soon as I progress through the game!

Featured Wallpaper: Transistor

December 5, 2014

Google quietly pushes out Android Lollipop 5.0.1 images

After a less-than-smooth rollout three weeks after it began to roll out Android Lollipop to users, Google has begun the process of getting Lollipop 5.0.1 out the door.

The Android maker quietly updated its factory images page to reveal a 5.0.1 build for the Nexus 9, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. Installing images from this page does require the flashing of devices in order to update them, and does not carry user data across in the process, unless backed up and restored by the user.

Among the changes in this version is an increase to the amount of memory allocated for video playback on Nexus 7 users, which often manifested itself on YouTube as the now-infamous "There was a problem while playing the video. Touch to retry" error.
Users on the bug have reported that the update has fixed the issue.

Another issue fixed in this release is avoiding accidentally factory resetting a device configured to wipe itself after a number of failed access attempts. Lollipop now does not count password or patterns with less than four elements as attempts to access the device.

Lollipop is yet to be provided to Android users en masse. In the latest statistics provided by Google on which versions of Android users are running when accessing its Play Store, Lollipop fails to rate a mention.

According to Google, 34 percent of Android users now run Android 4.4 KitKat, 49 percent run a version of Jelly Bean, while 9 percent are stuck on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

[Source: ZDnet]

December 3, 2014

Getting The Crew

So I finally managed to get my hands on The Crew finally after a day it was release. (Sorry guys, I just couldn't make it on launch date to grab my copy of the game!). But now, here are my pictures of my experience "unboxing" the game!

Just propping it up next to my monitor for visual effects
The box contained two other boxes
The insides of the boxes

And here we have the back...
So there you have it! I will keep playing and eventually will come up with a short and sweet review on my experiences whilst playing the game and how it stacks up to the Need for Speed franchise. Ubisoft vs EA. Ivory Tower vs Criterion/EA Blackbox games. Who will reign supreme in this fast-paced action...(I'll go back playing my game).

December 1, 2014

First day of summer in the Southern Hemisphere!

First Day of Summer 2014
Today Google Australia is celebrating the First Day of Summer 2014 on the Australian Google Search engine with a fun looking Google Doodle. The Doodle show people having fun with watersport.

November 30, 2014

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" released!

Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" Cinnamon has been released and is now available for download. The new version of the operating system features a major update for the desktop environment, along with a multitude of other upgrades.

The 17.1 update for the Linux Mint distro has been teased for a long time and the users will definitely enjoy it. There are actually a ton of modifications and improvements made to the system, so much so that you could call it 17.5 and it would still feel unjust.

Usually, this kind of point releases only deal with updated packages and very rarely a new feature is proposed. This is true for the Ubuntu base of the Linux Mint distro, but the team building this operating system has a different approach.

This particular flavor of the OS is powered by Cinnamon, which is a powerful desktop environment. Many of the changes made to the distro are actually related to options and functionalities for this software stack and that would explain the wealth of new features.

Linux Mint 17.1 features much better memory usage, a new zoom animation for the login process, improved theme selection and settings, new Background Settings, a new Slideshow applet, better privacy settings, an improved Update Manager, Nemo (file manager) changes, and a refined selection menu for kernel updates.

Head to the official Linux Mint website to download now.

[Source: Softpedia]

November 27, 2014

Steam Sale starts today through 2 December

Like clockwork, Valve launches a big holiday sale and 2014's has just begun. Top deals right now include Watch Dogs, Goat Simulator, and The Evil Within. With more sure to come.

If you're not familiar with how this works (or simply have enjoyed having money until now), you can check out Alan's guide to getting the most out of the Steam sale here. The sale will be going on through December 2nd, so don't feel the need to empty your bank account too early. There will likely be plenty more to come.

[Source: LifeHacker]

November 26, 2014

SwiftKey puts its themes packs on sale (50% off) for Black Friday

swiftkey sale

Popular keyboard replacement app SwiftKey is gearing up for the shopping season with a sweet deal on its themes packs.

The 5-theme packs are now available for $1.49 (down from $2.99), while the 10-theme Premier pack is available for $2.49. All of these packs are available in SwiftKey's online store:
  • Premier pack (10 themes)
  • Pink pack
  • Minimal pack
  • Hot punch
  • Cool punch
  • Accent pack
  • Material Design pack
Individual themes remain at their normal $0.99 price tag, but for just fifty cent extra there’s little reason not to opt for a pack of five.

The deal is open to users from around the world, for "a limited time," though it looks likely that it will go on at least until next Monday.

To buy themes or theme packs, visit the SwiftKey store from the SwiftKey app's settings menu.

[Source: Android Authority]

November 21, 2014

SwiftKey announced update to fix most of those performance issues

Swiftkey update

SwiftKey is considered among the best third party keyboards on Android (and iOS). Lately, however, there have been some performance issues that have left users wondering what went wrong. The developers have apparently figured it out because a huge update is rolling out today to fix pretty much all of the performance issues.

Here are the details of the update:
  • Keyboard appears 15-20% more quickly – This is meant to reduce the gap between when you click on a text box and the keyboard actually appears. Developers reportedly worked on improving the speed from a “cold load” and when the app is stored in cache to optimize the speeds.
  • Keyboard leaves the screen 20-30% more quickly – Traveling along that same line, the keyboard also exits more quickly.
  • Switching between fields is 15-50% faster – When doing things like sending messages, you sometimes send a message then quickly tap the field a second time to re-open the keyboard. This update promises that experience will be much faster.
  • Typing is 10-18% more responsive – The update promises that people who type very quickly should notice a much more responsive keyboard.
  • 18 new languages including Indian and Indo-Aryan languages.
There aren't any new features or themes and that’s okay because SwiftKey just released their Material Design keyboard theme pack not long ago. Of course, another way of looking at this is thinking of how fresh and quick SwiftKey is going to feel after this update and that might as well be a feature for those who have been frustrated with SwiftKey's recent performance.

The update should be rolling out now so keep your eye on the Google Play Store over the next couple of days. If you don't have SwiftKey and you want to give it another go, you can download it from the Google Play Store.

November 19, 2014

Ubuntu 15.04 Gets Tentative Release Date of April 23, 2015


The date, along with those of various other development milestones, is listed as part of a draft release schedule on the Ubuntu Wiki page for the ‘V’ update. As of writing all dates are subject to approval from the Ubuntu release team and are therefore not final.

Ubuntu’s previous spring release, 14.04 LTS, went live on April 17, 2014.

As with all releases post-13.04, Ubuntu proper only makes fleeting appearances in select milestone releases, specifically the ‘final beta’ and the ‘release candidate’ stages.

Ubuntu’s family of flavours, which may include Ubuntu MATE this cycle, take full advantage of the testing opportunities at hand.
  • Alpha 1 – December 18th (for flavours)
  • Alpha 2 – January 22nd (for flavours)
  • Feature Freeze — February 19th
  • Beta 1 – February 28th (for flavours)
  • UI Freeze — March 12th
  • Final Beta – March 26th
  • Kernel Freeze — April 9th
  • Release Candidate – April 16th
The final release of the Vivid Vervet in all its vivacious glory is pencilled in for release on:
  • Ubuntu 15.04 Final – April 23rd
[Source: OMG! Ubuntu!]

November 17, 2014

November 13, 2014

Google shows off watches, tablets, and phones in 4 new Android commericals


Google has released Scary Movie, Garage Band, Break Room, and A Slightly Longer Road Trip for your viewing pleasure. The new videos feature emphasis on Android Wear watches, the new Nexus 9 and other tablets, and certain camera features. We also get to see a combination of all of these products in the new “Road Trip” commercial. Check out the videos below!

Scary Movie

Garage Band

Break Room

Slightly Longer Road Trip

November 11, 2014

International Pocky Day!

I don't know how this "official" day came about, but it's International Pocky Day! So go on, rip open that box of Pocky and show your love for Pocky!! Sharing is caring! =D

November 8, 2014

Microsoft Office is now free to use on Android and iOS devices

Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and power point is available for free on Android and iOS devices. It means that you don’t require a subscription to Office 365 for using Microsoft Office.

In the other hand Microsoft has entered an agreement with Drop Box Company to integrate its cloud storage service into Office on mobiles, tablets and home computers.

Office accounts make for about a third of Microsoft’s annual revenue, according to the New York Times, so letting people access it for free is a big risk. Although Microsoft will continue to charge for access to Office on laptops and desktops and also some special features on mobile apps are only accessible to premium users. iOS version of Office is available from today and the Android version is available as a beta version and will get a full release in 2015.

[Source: N4GM]

November 5, 2014

Ubuntu 14.10 Personal Experience Review

This is my personal review of Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn" and may/may not reflect real-world analysis and actual usage of the operating system.

To start off, Ubuntu 14.10 is by no means a large update. It doesn't even change the default wallpaper from 14.04. Underneath though, plenty of bugs have been squashed and some minor graphical layouts have been changes. Overall, Ubuntu 14.10 is still a solid platform; let me explain why.

I've been using Ubuntu Linux (on-and-off) since version 7.04 and I have seen many changes from the user interface to the solidity of the platform. Back in those days, it felt that you really needed to tread carefully since every small mistake may result in drastic consequences. Well, those days are rare now, and Canonical has done a great job in providing us a more friendly user experience than every before, functionality-wise. In regard to the user interface, it's changed quite a bit since the introduction of Unity and the changeover from GNOME2/3.

In my case though, I didn't really mind what kind of desktop environment they put in as long as it looked nice and functioned well. Unity provided that- and much more (for tweaking). And so, the first thing I did after installing the system was to configure my desktop to how I wanted it. Gone was the default wallpaper, and in were the custom wallpapers, GTK3 themes and custom desktop icons. Until I was happy, I wasn't letting a single thing escape my grasps.

And so after I customized my desktop, it was time to install updates and necessary software I needed (Google Chrome, FileZilla, GIMP, Steam, Deluge). This was done rather easily from Ubuntu's Software Centre. At first, it was throwing a fit and giving me 403 errors whilst trying to connect to the repository, but Google gave me an answer: change the software sources server location. Thank you, Google.

From my experience so far, I would say that every new version of Ubuntu is more better than the last. Why? Because of continued system updates that fixes bugs whilst introducing new features. Stability is somewhat questionable in some cases (mainly due to my extreme customisation), but for the average user, they shouldn't run into too many problems.

In the end, Ubuntu 14.10 is definitely worth a try and maybe you'll like it?

November 3, 2014

Cinnamon 2.4 out with new features!

New Wallpaper Slideshow FeatureThe Linux Mint team has announced an update for the Cinnamon desktop environment! The latest version of the user-friendly shell will be the centrepiece of Linux Mint 17.1, the first point release in the distro’s new LTS approach, due later this month.

Cinnamon 2.4 comes with a raft of welcome features, improvements and overall polish, such as reduced memory usage, new ‘Privacy’ and ‘Notifications’ settings and desktop wallpaper slideshows.

The official release notes highlight some of the bigger changes, including:
  • Cinnamon desktop starts with “zoom” animation
  • 30 memory leaks fixed as part of code review
  • ‘Super+e’ shortcut opens ‘Home’ folder
  • Desktop font can now be customised
  • Timeout in ‘Logout dialog’ has been removed
  • ‘Theme and Background’ settings redesigned
  • Background slideshow support (plus new panel applet controller)
  • ‘Notification and Privacy’ settings pane added
nemo file manager 24

The Nemo file manager also benefits from the following improvements:
  • Redesigned toolbar
  • ‘nemo-emblems‘ extension supports adding emblems to folders
  • Sidebar hover highlight effects
  • ‘Smarter dynamic bookmark section’ in sidebar
  • Folder colours can be quickly configured using nemo-folder-color-switcher (not yet released)
[Source: OMG! Ubuntu!]

November 2, 2014

Initial Thoughts of the Nexus 9

The Nexus 9 in all it's glory
Google unveiling it's Nexus 9 to much delight and applause. It was about time they released a larger sized tablet than the Nexus 7. I personally though it was going to be Nexus 8 as a 8-inch device (much like the iPad mini), but no, the Nexus 9 is here! Here is a quick run-down of what the nexus 9 features:
  • Android OS 5.0 Lollipop
  • 8.9in (2049x1536) IPS LCD screen
  • 2.3GHz nVidia Tegra K1 64-bit dual-core chip
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB storage
  • 8 MP (3264 x 2448 pixels) back camera, 1.6 MP front camera
  • 6700 mAh battery

October 26, 2014

Desktop Screenshot: Simply Karen Araragi

Hey I'm back from hiatus! Just that things got a bit busy over the past week and I kinda slowed down the posting. It seems like this blog isn't going anywhere and the exposure of it wasn't what I expected. Well, it will still be active but the posts may become infrequent.

So, this is probably the first self-reflective post in a very long time. I haven't found the time to dedicate myself in posting a variety of content on the website; hence the plenty of copied news article from Technology sources.

What's the direction of the blog now? For one, it'll still be up and I'll still occasionally post any new Chrome themes or stuff I find interesting on the internet. Mostly though, don't expect much. Oh, and if you are a frequent visitor, thanks for all your support!

October 25, 2014

[Game] Spot the odd colour out!

Do you have a keen eye for colours? Do you like to play spot the difference?
Can you find the tile which has a different colour to the rest?
My friend introduced me to this rather addictive game: Spot the odd colour out! (
In this game you have to click on the tile which is of different colour to the rest of the tiles. The goal is to score as many points (with clearing one level giving you one point) as you can within one minute.
My highest level reached is 31. Your eyes and brain do get rather sore after a few rounds of this game.
Give it a try!

October 13, 2014

A Brand New ‘Full’ Google Play Music App Is On The Way

The Chrome Web Store is home to two apps for Google Music, the search giant’s cloud-based music service. One is a glorified bookmark, a handy link to the website itself. The other is a handy desktop widget for controlling music playback.

But could a more featured app, more akin to an ‘iTunes’, be on the way? Based on a passing reference in a recent Chromium commit: yes.

Google Play Music App

Details on when the new app will appear, how it will work and whether it still requires the Chrome browser to be installed locally remain unclear at present.

[Source: OMG! Chrome!]

October 11, 2014

Chrome Theme: Hatsune Miku CV01

I decided to create another simple Hatsune Miku theme after stumbling across this awesome picture of her! Nothing else to say here. Just give it a go!

October 10, 2014

Google+ is rolling out support for polls


Back in September Google acquired Polar, a startup dedicated to polling. At the time it was revealed that the team would be joining Google+ in order to help “make G+ even more awesome” (Google’s words). It wasn’t exactly clear how the team might contribute, though it seemed obvious it would have something to do with polls. With this in mind, Google’s Dennis Troper has announced that a new polling feature is rolling out to Google+.

In usual Google fashion, it may take a few days before the option is fully rolled out to the web and Android versions of G+, but once it is available, you’ll see an option for creating a poll anytime you make a new post. The polls will allow up to five questions and can be complimented with photos to “make them beautiful and engaging.” There also appears to be a few different layout options as well.

While this isn’t exactly a massive feature, it could be useful for those wanting to see what other G+-ers think about various topics and could be particularly useful for businesses looking to engage their audience in a new way.

[Source: Android Authority]

October 9, 2014

Chrome brings more Material Design in latest update

Chrome for Android updated with more Material Design updates

Google has just released a new update to the Chrome browser for Android today, though it may not hit your devices right away. This will be a gradual roll out that happens over the next few days, and though the change log is short, it should add a lot of performance improvements. Google also says that there are "additional Material Design updates," along with support for battery status and screen orientation APIs.

Here is the full Chrome change log, which is now at version 38:
  • Support for Battery Status and Screen orientation APIs
  • Additional Material Design updates
  • Lots of bug fixes and performance improvements!
[Source: Android Central]

October 8, 2014

Chrome OS Adds USB File Transfer Support for Android Devices


Google has pushed out a new stable release of Chrome OS, adding native support for the widely used Media Transfer Protocol (MTP).

The arrival of the long-sought feature, which has been available to beta and dev channel users since earlier in the year, means you can now transfer files from a compatible Android device to your Chromebook without using the cloud.

To try it out, connect your Android smartphone or tablet to your Chromebook via USB and unlock the screen. The Chrome file manager should automatically open (as will Google+ Photos if installed on your Chrome device) from where you can browse, open and copy files across.

Write operations are not currently supported so you won’t be able to create folders, rename files or add media. But you can transfer content from your Android device to your Chromebook or Chromebase by dragging and dropping — which is more than you could do before!

Google Chrome OS 38(.0.2125.101, stable) is rolling out to all devices, excluding Chromeboxes. Head to Settings > About for more information.

As ever, today’s updated build also contains a batch of bug fixes, security updates and other changes including, Google say, features aimed at enhancing touch screen accessibility.

[Source: OMG! Chrome!]

October 7, 2014

Windows 95 on Android Wear, why not?

Well nowadays with smartphones getting more powerful, emulators for the past are bound to spring up. Here is a video of some guy that managed to get Windows 95 running on his Android Wear device. It works quite well albeit really slowly. Why would you do that? Well, because you can.

October 4, 2014

Google+ gets a minor update, adds a few Material Design tweaks


Yesterday Play Newstand got a pretty big update, complete with a Material Design makeover. While Google+ already has been rocking MD since this summer, today a minor update is rolling out that adds no new features, but does polish up the look of the app a bit.

What kind of changes? Probably the first thing you’re going to notice is the icon now carries the long shadow design that we saw with Newstand. In the actual app the red Google+ banner is now a brighter and bolder shade, there’s also a simpler photos layout, more polished menus and plenty of other little tweaks. The new update isn’t exactly a massive one, though it does bring a bit more overall polish to the way Google+ looks. We imagine we’ll be seeing more minor updates like this to other Google apps in the near future as we come closer to the final release of Android L.

As always this update is rolling to Google Play out in stages, so keep a look out for your update in the Play Store.

[Source: Android Authority]

October 3, 2014

Why You Should Only Buy Flagship Phones

So you're planning to buy a new smartphone. You've got enough invested that would allow you to purchase a new phone outright. As you walk in store to look at the range of phones available, you cast your eyes over to the cheapest ones available. You have just dug your own smartphone grave.

Why do I say that? Here are some reason why you should not buy a cheap smartphone instead of the latest flagship phone offerings from the major smartphone manufacturer companies. For those who don't know what flagship phone are, they are referred to the latest and most prime product of that particular model's series.

Latest and Greatest Features
Every year, new phones come out with the latest and greatest software (such as Android's OS) and functions with plenty of cool new features. Each companies' aim is to bring you something "new" and "innovative" to try and capture your attention. These cool features are usually only available for their newest flagship phones and only after a while do the cheaper variants of the series receive these features.

Latest Software Updates
This pretty much goes for any phone that is not the current flagship phone. These smartphone manufacturers want you to experience the latest and greatest software available for their phones. The only way for you to experience that is to purchase the latest flagship phone. Older models won't receive the latest updates till much later or sometimes none at all.

Flagship Phones Last Longer
Yes, it's true! Take for example a friend of mine that bought an Xperia M a year ago. Already, he is disliking it and says that it's gotten slow. With flagship phones, you have the best hardware you can get. These powerful flagship phones will last you at least 2 years minimum and still be able to handle everything fine.

Plenty of Accessories
Just take a look at the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2. The amount of accessories, phone cases and protectors are endless! There is major support for flagships phones with customization of how it looks. You can only get endless choices only with flagship phones.

And Plenty More
The list goes on of the benefits with purchasing a flagship phone over a mid-range one. Even though the price might be a bit more expensive, but it;s definitely worth the purchase if you are going to use it for a long time. So, the next time you are planning to buy a phone, go for a flagship one.

October 1, 2014

Google+ users can now restrict who sees their content, based on age and location

Google plus logo

Starting today, Google is now giving Google+ users a bit more control over who is able to view there posts and who isn’t. Specifically, there are a few different options like only allowing viewers who are 18+, 21+ or even the ability to restrict based on location.

Keep in mind that this is an “all or nothing” setting at the moment, meaning that if you set “21+” it applies to all your posts regardless of the content. Same with if you restrict based on location. That means the benefit of this option is more for groups/businesses than individuals, though I’m sure some individuals will find this useful as well. Google’s Yonatan Zunger does indicate that per-post controls are already “on our requested features list”, so eventually G+ users may have the power to hide only specific posts that wouldn’t be appropriate for younger audiences.

With new options for 18+ and 21+ age restrictions, we also have to wonder if Google is toying around with the idea of being more lenient on its censorship policies for those who restrict their content to older audiences. For Google’s part, they say they aren’t changing policies at this time though they admit “this does give us some flexibility to do that”.

[Source: Android Authority]

September 30, 2014

SwiftKey Android app gets pink with its latest theme pack

swiftkey pink

The popular SwiftKey keyboard app for Android is offering users a new option if they like more colorful ways of typing. Today, they can download the new Pink Pack which adds three new pink colored keyboard themes bundled with two previously released themes.

The older themes in the pack are Pulse Pink and Hazy Pink, but SwiftKey says, "Since launching the SwiftKey Store earlier this year our pink themes have constantly ranked among the most popular, so it made sense to offer our users more choice in making their keyboards look pretty in pink." The three new themes in the Pink Pack are Highlight Pink, Minimal Pink and Retro Pink.

[Source: Android Central]

September 29, 2014

Confirmed: Windows 9 to be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users

Multiple Windows 9 reports have suggested that Microsoft is considering releasing the upcoming platform as a free download to certain existing Windows users. Some said that Windows 8 will get Windows 9 free of charge, while others claimed the company is also considering some sort of special offers for existing Windows XP users. A report from Indonesian online publication Detik said earlier this week that President of Microsoft Indonesia Andreas Diantoro has confirmed this particular Windows 9 feature.

According to Diantoro, the Windows 9 upgrade will be available free of charge to all existing Windows 8 users once it’s released. Apparently, users will be able to easily install the Windows 9 update after downloading it from Microsoft, which is how Apple’s OS X updates have been rolled out to Macs for a few years now. For what it’s worth, some of the recent Windows 9 leaks did say that Microsoft already has a tool in place that will allow users to easily perform software updates.

It’s not clear whether other Windows users who are on older versions of the OS will get any other special offers, and actual prices for Windows 9 have yet to be revealed. Microsoft is reportedly interested in moving many people from the older, and no longer supported, Windows XP and offering Windows 9 as a free download might be a great incentive for some.

Microsoft is going to soon unveil Windows 9 and release a technical preview of it. Recent leaks, including many videos, have revealed some of the major features coming to Windows 9, including the return of the Start menu, the Cortana voice-based search assistant that’s currently available only on Windows Phone, the Notification Center, support for multiple desktops, and several other UI enhancements.

[Source: Yahoo! News]

September 27, 2014

Ubuntu 14.10 Final Beta Now Available for Download

ubuntu kylin unicornThe first, and final, beta of Ubuntu 14.10 ‘Utopic Unicorn’ is now available to download.

Other Ubuntu flavors have issued alpha and beta milestones for testing, but this beta marks the first formal development release of Ubuntu with Unity.

With all hands on polishing up the RTM builds of Ubuntu for Phones ahead of the first handset launch before year’s end, little attention has been given to bringing new features to the desktop.

It’s not an exact clone of 14.04 LTS, however. There's minor changes here and there, and a round of package bumps for LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and so on. The majority of the GNOME stack remains on 3.10 (Nautilus, Totem, Rhythmbox, Eye of GNOME, etc.).

If you planned to take it for a ride to revel in the newness you’ll need to temper expectations accordingly. This is the first Ubuntu milestone in nearly six years of coverage that even I am struggling to find big differences in.

Despite the beta tag the OS performs great —testament to the strict quality assurance framework Ubuntu has in place. While there is little compelling to make upgrading a must-do come next month, those who like to have some of the latest software will want to jump aboard the Unicorn.

Check out OMG! Ubuntu! for more information and download links.

September 26, 2014

LibreOffice 4.3.2 Goes Live With More Than 80 Fixes

LibreOffice Bug FixesLibreOffice 4.3.2, the second minor update to the 4.3.x release series, has been made available for immediate download.

Announcing its availability ahead of the project’s fourth birthday on Sunday, The Document Foundation say the majority of fixes — more than 80 in total — “…focus on interoperability issues when reading or writing Microsoft Office DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files.”

As boring as “interoperability” may read it is an important and integral feature of any office suite.

Robust file compatibility helps persuade and wean users, businesses and governments off of proprietary suites like Microsoft Office software, and onto open-source alternatives without impacting productivity.

[Source: OMG! Ubuntu!]