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05 January 2011

android 2.2 review

If you consider where Android was when it started versus how far it's advanced in 18 months with Android 2.2, you might get brain freeze.

Android 2.2—aka Froyo—is the most usable, polished iteration of Android yet. But more importantly, it's the first release that makes Android truly compelling for a broad consumer audience. Froyo's updates aren't that radical, but serious under-the-hood improvements and refinements throughout make it tangibly more pleasing to use.

Need for Speed

Without getting overly technical, Android executes its apps in a layer above its core Linux OS in a virtual machine called Dalvik. One of the major under-the-hood changes in 2.2 is a just-in-time compiler for Dalvik, which—here come the chocolate sprinkles—results in a 2x–5x performance boost for CPU-heavy code. That means faster apps—faster everything. (Google demoed it last week with the game Replica Island, which kept a higher framerate while doing more stuff in 2.2 compared to its performance on Android 2.1)
In everyday use, the new compiler combined with Android's efficient memory management means that pretty much everything you do, in both the general OS as well as apps, feels more responsive. The speed increase itself isn't staggering in and of itself, but the subconscious effects of a smoother, less draggy experience are real. The slowdowns and stutters I've come to just expect from Android (even with beefier processors) are mostly gone. And after a year-and-a-half of dealing with them, it's kind of remarkable to no longer rage at Android's persistent lagging.

According to Google, this speed boost incongruously comes with slightly better battery life. But any power improvements haven't been dramatic enough for us to notice during tests on the Nexus One.

The other place you'll subtly notice things are faster is web browsing. Again, Google's promising 2x faster JavaScript rendering speeds thanks to the new V8 engine, and this is actually a pretty solid estimate.

compared a Nexus One with 2.1 to one running 2.2 (both on Wi-Fi). Here's what I saw on a handful of sites, some with Flash set to "on demand" (that's essentially "off"); some with with Flash turned on completely. Plus we threw the Flash-less iPad in for comparison. As you can see, the boosts are non-trivial—extra speed that adds up to a far happier browsing experience.
The biggest feature in the browser is that it now supports Adobe Flash, an optional download from the Android Market. That might be more blessing than curse. If you leave Flash turned on, the purpose it will most often serve is to render Flash ads. Fortunately, you have the option to make plugins for the Android browser available "on demand," so it works more like ClicktoFlash—you click when you want a piece of Flash to render. The version of Flash available now is "pre-beta" so it doesn't have common desktop features like hardware acceleration for h.264 video. It's also not exactly perfect at rendering stuff, as you can see comparing this Flash-based infographic on the phone versus desktop, which limits its utility, as least given the way I browse on a phone. (I'm not a Farmville player, and Hulu blocks Android 2.2.)
It's the Little Things

The speed boost in 2.2 is fantastic, but what makes Froyo a truly great update is that it tightens bolts all across the entire platform. Android has evolved into a real product, on a totally different level than its first year.

One of Android's major shortcomings has been its interface, which has varied from wildly inconsistent to simply confusing. The UI is largely the same—it's still more complex and less elegant than either the iPhone or Palm's webOS—but it's striking how much nicer it feels thanks to even a few tweaks.
• The messages app—for SMS and MMS—and Google Talk now share a mostly unified interface with the Gmail app: black-text-on-purpleish background, moving away from the incongruous white-text-on-black.

• Inside of Gmail, you can now quickly switch between accounts by tapping the name of the account in the top right hand corner.

• When you plug the phone into your computer and turn on USB storage, a fancy Android graphic now tells you what's up, with clear instructions about mounting and unmounting your phone.

• The camera app's controls are markedly improved, putting all of the settings like white balance and flash mode right up front, rather than sticking them behind a finicky slider that didn't work half the time.

• Usefully and enjoyable—and with maybe just a little poking at Apple—galleries now have a pinch-to-peek gesture, so that you can see what photos are inside of a gallery before you open it.

Perhaps my favorite tweaks are on the home screen.

• Since smartphones have been shedding buttons like promise rings on prom night, a new center widget on the home screen puts the dialer, app menu and browser permanently at your fingertips.

• Pressing and holding the central apps button brings up thumbnail previews of every screen on your desktop. Update: Originally, these preview tabs popped up only when you pressed and held the left/right desktop buttons—which I never used, since I always swiped from one desktop to another.
Lingering Issues

Android's still not all the way there. There are still too many buried features, hidden by menu button, and general complexities, like a separate email app for non-Gmail accounts, remain. Selecting text, while now possible in the Gmail app, is confusing. And the white-on-black interface for the dialer and contacts seems even more out of place now that messages and Gtalk use a lighter UI.

The interface could always stand to be sleeker and more graceful. It's so strange, in a way, that Android has the most impressive voice controls and speech-to-text of any phone out there, but basic things like copy-and-paste can feel as slippery as brain surgery on a snail. The problem extends to the Android Market. Sure, one day we might be pushing apps to the phone from our desktop, but app discoverability, particularly on the phone itself, is a long way from optimal.

But you can see where things are going. And it feels more unified and complete than it ever has, which is a good thing. (Except the touch keyboard. It still feels like you're typing with two fingers glued together, and Andy Rubin didn't offer us much hope on that front.)


31 December 2010

Thailand Holiday Deals

Do you want to know how to get a cheap Thailand holiday deal that is packed with quality 4 star accommodations? The secret will be revealed below!

The best thing about Thailand is everything is so modern and the people are so friendly. The food and accommodation is so cheap. Remember to stay at least two weeks to enjoy your time there.

The other highlight about Thailand is people speak good English there so it isn't hard to communicate.

I advise that you go to Thailand and ask the local travel agents for cheap hotel deals. Buying them overseas could be more expensive and you wouldn't have the benefit of the local knowledge. You can also score a bargain and get free tours. Top 10 destinations you should visit include:

1. Bangkok - hustle and bustle, great for shopping and bargain hunting

2. Phuket - gorgeous beaches

3. Chang Mai - where there are plenty of historical relics

4. Chang Rai - beautiful temples

5. Phuket - lovely resorts and delicious seafood

6. Hua Hin - beautiful beach near Bangkok

7. Pattaya - shopping and water sports

8. Krabi - natural mountains and beaches

9. Koh Samui - paradise and coconut island

10. Phang Nga - conservation park and unspoilt beaches

If you are planning for a trip to Thailand, always do a quick research on the reputable Thai eateries and plan to make a visit to them.

The top 10 food you should try include:

1. Tom yum Gar soup

2. Pud Thai noodles

3. Juicy red curry with roast duck

4. Hot Green curry with fresh coconut juice

5. Basil seafood

6. Chilli fresh mud crab

7. Spicy beef salad

8. Crispy green papaya salad

9. Cashew nut chicken stir fried

10. Open grill BBQ satays

I am a chef and I love my Thai food! Why? Thai cuisine is so interesting with all its flavours and fresh ingredients, you can hardly fault it. Thai food can also be very healthy for you if you use lean meat and fresh ingredients in your cooking. To be honest, it isn't hard to cook Thai food. The most important thing to remember is to use fresh in season produce and avoid frozen ingredients. Frozen ingredients usually have lost a lot of their flavours. Thai food can be made and served at dinner parties. It is also very easy to adapt to different peoples tastes. So if you have fussy guests it isn't difficult to satisfy them. The food has so many rich flavours it is hard for any food critic to find weakness in properly made Thai cuisine.

Have a safe trip and have a lovely time!

Lam Bong is an Author living in Sydney, Australia. He is interested in reading and creating websites. His latest website is about Best Thai Holiday Packages and finding the Easy Thai Holiday Tips on the web today.

Article Source: HERE


24 December 2010

Creating a Working Atmosphere

When we start to work from home, work at home moms often begin with a space that may include a couch, or dirty dishes, toys scattered, paperwork from the kids and yourself and who knows what else. All of these things are taking up space that should be reserved for work. I know I want to work my business in a stress-free environment; that starts with a clean and well equipped work area. How is this accomplished?

* It is optimal that you have a desk set aside from the everyday chaos of your life. No need for added distractions as you're trying to juggle your kids and a lucrative business. The kitchen table worked for a while, but the ideal would be to have an area to call your own for your business. Less risk for sticky papers and other things that collect on a kitchen table.
* If your desk is full of clutter, clear it off and only add back what you need. Remember to make it known throughout the house that your desk is off limits to any unauthorized personnel.

What other organizational products might you need for your at home desk? This may include things you'll need or someone else may need for their business. You'll get a good feel for it.

* Computer
* Pens
* Pencils
* Notebook
* A few catalogs if you distribute catalogs in your business.
* Files to hold company news, information, history
* Phone (with mute, 3 way calling, and unlimited long distance)
* headset for phone
* Calendar
* Calculator
* Shelving for file cabinet for paperwork, bills and other important papers.
* Files
* Stapler
* Paperclips
* Tape
* hole punch
* scissors
* staple remover
* mail supplies (stamps, envelopes, labels,shipping labels,boxes,packing tape, bubble wrap)
* printer ink
* business cards
* flyers
* sticky notes
* Bulletin board - Nice for reminders, appointments, inspirational quotes, family photos, or something from training you don't want to forget.
* stick pins for the bulletin board

*Your computer can help you reduce clutter even more:

* Use Excel as your calculator.
* Use Notepad or Word to write notes. This will allow for a smaller notepad and less space taken up by the pad. Use the notebook as a temporary holder for your notes when the computer isn't on or near by. Then transfer the notes to Word or Notebook if you'd still like to keep the notes. This also gives you the chance to organize your notes. Organize by date, topic, or whatever is most convenient for you. What a relief that would be to be able to rely on your notes being in all one place
* Use the calendar on your computer rather than a hard copy. Google has a calendar system where you can share your calendar with business associates so they can check to see if you're busy before they try to schedule a meeting with that person.

**In regards to the shelving, I would get only a couple of trays at a time. You'll have a better perception of how many trays you need once you learn the business you're in. If you end up needing quite a few you might want to upgrade to a filing cabinet. Did I miss anything? What ideas do you to organize my space to work my business?

Angela Steward


18 December 2010

Business Mortgages Interest Rate and Payment Schedules

A part of every business mortgage loan is the rate of interest. There are two main interest rate selections that a borrower must consider. A business mortgage can use a fixed rate, or a variable rate.

The way that a business mortgage works that has a fixed rate interest is that an interest rate is the same for a certain period of time. When this period of time is over with, the borrower has to pay the variable rate. In addition to the interest rate fees, the commercial mortgage lenders will also charge an arrangement fee.

Another charge that you might see with a fixed rate is an early redemption charge. This kind of charge can go over the fixed period of the loan. A lot of people have not agreed upon this extra charge, so most business mortgage lenders are now offering commercial mortgages that have no charges for any extra payments or changes the contracts after the fixed period of time is over with.

You most likely want to borrow a commercial mortgage that has a fixed rate when you think that the interest rate might increase or you want to make sure that what you pay each month pretty much stays the same over a longer period of time.

The other type of commercial mortgage is that which has a variable interest rate. This type of commercial mortgage carries an interest rate changes based on when the Bank of England's base rate changes. A lot of times, the variable interest rate can be lower than the rate on a fixed rate mortgage.

You actually have the possibility to save your money with a variable interest rate mortgage when the overall interest rate of the market goes down. If that same rate does go up, your monthly payment will also go up because your interest rate will increase.
If you compare business mortgages to residential mortgages, you will find that the interest rates run a little bit higher on the commercial mortgages. The terms of the arrangement will also run less than that of the residential mortgages. The rates whether fixed or variable are all based on the Bank of England base rate. You will find that the rates tend to be anywhere from one to 7 per cent higher than this base rate.

Once you have been approved for a business mortgage, you will negotiate the repayment terms. The terms that you will negotiate will be either a monthly repayment schedule or an interest-only payment schedule. The interest-only terms mean that you will also need to have another product that will handle the principle portion of the commercial mortgage.

If you are ready to talk to a business mortgages specialist, make sure that you get the specific details surrounding a fixed rate commercial mortgage versus a variable rate commercial mortgage. You'll also want to make sure that you get the details on any extra fees that might be added to your business mortgage.

Visit Business Mortgages Broker today to get a quotation for your business mortgage.

Visit http://www.businessmortgagesbroker.co.uk today to get a quotation for your finance. In addition, we also offer free business plan templates, which are available to download from our website.

We would be very happy to help with any questions which you may have.
source here

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