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Trade systems on Forex

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Trading with brokers. Foreign exchange brokers, unlike equity brokers, do not take positions for
themselves; they only service banks. Their roles are to bring together buyers and sellers in the market, to optimize the price they show to their customers and quickly, accurately, and faithfully executing the traders' orders.

The majority of the foreign exchange brokers execute business via phone using an open box system — a microphone in front of the broker that continuously transmits everything he or she says on the direct phone lines to the speaker boxes in the banks. This way, all banks can hear all the deals being executed.

Because of the open box system used by brokers, a trader is able to hear all prices quoted; whether the bid was hit or the offer taken; and the following price. What the trader will not be able to hear is the amounts of particular bids and offers and the names of the banks showing the prices. Prices are anonymous. The anonymity of the banks that are trading in the market ensures the market's efficiency, as all banks have a fair chance to trade.

Sometimes brokers charge a commission that is paid equally by the buyer and the seller. The fees are negotiated on an individual basis by the bank and the brokerage firm.
Brokers show their customers the prices made by other customers either two-way (bid and offer) prices or one way (bid or offer) prices from his or her customers. Traders show different prices because they "read" the market differently; they have different expectations and different interests. A broker who has more than one price on one or both sides will automatically optimize the price. In other words, the broker will always show the highest bid and the lowest offer. Therefore, the market has access to an optimal spread possible. Fundamental and technical analyses are used for forecasting the future direction of the currency. A trader might test the market by hitting a bid for a small amount to see if there is any reaction.

Another advantage of the brokers' market is that brokers might provide a broader selection of banks to their customers. Some European and Asian banks have overnight desks so their orders are usually placed with brokers who can deal with the American banks, adding to the liquidity of the market.

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11:40 PM

Risks by the foreign exchange on Forex

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Trading on the Forex is essentially risk-bearing. By the evaluation of the grade of a possible risk accounted should be the following kinds of it: exchange rate risk, interest rate risk, and credit risk, country risk.

Exchange rate risk: Exchange rate risk is the effect of the continuous shift in the worldwide
market supply and demand balance on an outstanding foreign exchange position. For the period it is outstanding, the position will be subject to all the price changes. The most popular measures to cut losses short and ride profitable positions that losses should be kept within manageable limits are the position limit and the loss limit. By the position limitation a maximum amount of a certain currency a trader is allowed to carry at any single time during the regular trading hours is to be established. The loss limit is a measure designed to avoid unsustainable losses made by traders by means of stop-loss levels setting.

Interest rate risk: Interest rate risk refers to the profit and loss generated by fluctuations in the forward spreads, along with forward amount mismatches and maturity gaps among transactions in the foreign exchange book. This risk is pertinent to currency swaps, forward outright, futures, and options. To minimize interest rate risk, one sets limits on the total size of mismatches. A common approach is to separate the mismatches, based on their maturity dates, into up to six months and past six months. All the transactions are entered in computerized systems in order to calculate the positions for all the dates of the delivery, gains and losses. Continuous analysis of the interest rate environment is necessary to forecast any changes that may impact on the outstanding gaps.

Credit risk: Credit risk refers to the possibility that an outstanding currency position may not be repaid as agreed, due to a voluntary or involuntary action by a counter party. In these cases, trading occurs on regulated exchanges, such as the clearinghouse of Chicago. The following forms of credit risk are known:

1. Replacement risk occurs when counterparties of the failed bank find their books are subjected to the danger not to get refunds from the bank, where appropriate accounts became unbalanced.
2. Settlement risk occurs because of the time zones on different continents. Consequently,
currencies may be traded at the different price at different times during the trading day. Australian and New Zealand dollars are credited first, then Japanese yen, followed by the European currencies and ending with the U.S. dollar. Therefore, payment may be made to a party that will declare insolvency (or be declared insolvent) immediately after, but prior to executing its own payments.

Therefore in assessing the credit risk, end users must consider not only the market value of their
currency portfolios, but also the potential exposure of these portfolios. The potential exposure may be determined through probability analysis over the time to maturity of the outstanding position. The computerized systems currently available are very useful in imple menting credit risk policies. Credit lines are easily monitored. In addition, the matching systems introduced in foreign exchange since April 1993 are used by traders for credit policy implementation as well. Traders input the total line of credit for a specific counterparty. During the trading session, the line of credit is automatically adjusted. If the line is fully used, the system will prevent the trader from further dealing with that counterparty. After maturity, the credit line reverts to its original level.

Dictatorship risk Dictatorship (sovereign) risk refers to the government's interference in the Forex activity. Although theoretically present in all foreign exchange instruments, currency futures are, for all practical purposes, excepted from country risk, because the major currency futures markets are located in the USA. Hence, traders have to realize that kind of the risk and be in state to account possible administrative restrictions.

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11:40 PM

An Introduction to Forex

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Forex – What is it? The international currency market Forex is a special kind of the world financial market. Trader’s purpose on the Forex to get profit as the result of foreign currencies purchase and sale. The exchange rates of all currencies being in the market turnover are permanently changing under the action of the demand and supply alteration. The latter is a strong subject to the influence of any important for the human society event in the sphere of economy, politics and nature. Consequently current prices of foreign currencies evaluated for instance in the US dollars fluctuate towards its higher and lower meanings. Using these
fluctuations in accordance with a known principle “buy cheaper – sell higher” traders obtain gains. Forex is different in compare to all other sectors of the world financial system thanks to his heightened sensibility to a large and continuously changing number of factors, accessibility to all individual and corporative traders, exclusively high trade turnover which creates an ensured liquidity of traded currencies and the round - the clock business hours which enable traders to deal after normal hours or during national holidays in their country finding markets abroad open.

Just as on any other market the trading on Forex, along with an exclusively high potential profitability, is essentially risk - bearing one. It is possible to gain a success on it only after a certain training including a familiarization with the structure and kinds of Forex, the principles of currencies price formation, the factors affecting prices alterations and trading risks levels, sources of the information necessary to account all those factors, techniques of the analysis and prediction of the market movements as well as with the trading tools and rules. An important role in the process of the preparation for the trading on Forex belongs to the demotrading (that is to trade using a demo-account with some virtual money), which allows to testify all the theoretical knowledge and to obtain a required minimum of the trade experience not being subjected to a material damage.

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11:40 PM

"Hidden" features of Apple iLife 09

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Apple recently released upgraded its suite of iLife applications. Apple iLife `09 packs updates to iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. The package also includes iWeb '09 for creating Web sites and iDVD '09 for creating DVDs.

Apple unveiled the iLife upgrade at the Macworld conference in San Francisco last month.

Here's a look into some of the most interesting and not-so-known features of Apple iLife `09.

iPhoto: Not for animals

One of the most innovative feature in the upgrade is in the iPhoto application. Apple has added face-recognition technology to enable users to organise and find photos based on the faces of subjects.

However, this face tech is for humans still to `match up' animals. iPhoto's facial recognition abilities are not designed for use on animals. Though if your furry friend is distinctively different, it may work too!






Go Facebooking

iPhoto app will also automatically tag all the photos in Facebook. All you need to do is hit the new 'send album to Facebook' button. Also, make sure that when you've indentified the faces, you add in their Facebook names.

In addition, the software is able to read the geo tags placed in photos by the global positioning systems in the latest digital cameras and Apple's iPhone 3G. By reading the data, the software can organize and locate photos based on where they were taken.

Offers tuition

Here's your new teacher. GarageBand ’09 offers the easiest way to learn piano and guitar, right on your Mac. Follow along at your own pace with interactive lessons that teach you the fundamentals through HD video instruction, synchronized notation, and animated onscreen instruments.

You can learn to play either the guitar or the piano, taking lessons from the likes of Sting, Norah Jones and Fallout Boy. Users can also adjust which bits of the song they hear, from their instrument to the backing track and even their vocals.

No longer just MobileMe

With upgraded iWeb, users can create their site using themes. Customise it with photos, movies, text, and widgets. Plus, now you can also publish it on not just MobileMe but on any hosting service.

iWeb even notifies Facebook when your site changes and adds a link to your profile so your friends stay up to date.




Simple cut to music

According to reviews, editing the music has become easier. Users can pick a song, pick their clips, and iMovie will automatically make the transition in time with the beat. They can also do this with still images, since these are accessible in iMovie as well.

iMovie now also identifies jittery motion and reduces it by comparing frames of video to subsequent and previous frames.




Keynote remote

Another addition is Keynote Remote application. This works the same way as the existing iTunes Remote. On iPod Touch/iPhone screen the top half has a miniature of the current slide, whilst underneath users can get their speaker notes.

There's now also the option to have the document appear as a full page. This means that everything else on your desktop will disappear. If the user hovers his mouse at the top, the formatting tools will appear.

iWork.com
Also available from Apple is the all new iWork.com public beta. This allows users to put their documents online using their Apple ID and by simply clicking the iWork.com icon in the Keynote, Pages or Number toolbar. Comments and notes too can be posted plus a copy of the document is also downloadable.

This basically means that anyone with iWork `09 can send a link to anyone, who can then be able to see a copy of the document, spreadsheet or presentation online. There is also the option to make comments, engage in a chat in a sidebar or download it themselves.

As a collaboration service, iWork.com is an Apple-centric version of similar services available from Google and other technology companies. However, while most of such services are largely free, Apple plans to eventually charge for the use of iWork.com. The beta version, however, is available free.

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8:29 PM

AT&T stores now offering early upgrade pricing on iPhone 3G

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In the latest move aimed at helping Apple clear inventory of iPhone 3Gs ahead of new models anticipated this spring, AT&T retail stores are now offering some customers early upgrades to the Apple handset at subsidized pricing.

The silent offer, which began this week, is being extended to customers on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the carrier would only offer non-iPhone customers the option to upgrade from their non-Apple phone to an iPhone 3G at the $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) subsidized price points after their 24-month contract had run its course.

However, AT&T representatives have confirmed to AppleInsider that as of this week the company is waiving the upgrade clause for customers who are approximately 14 months into their two-year contract.

The waiver isn't bound to strict terms, however, meaning that retail employees are free to grant upgrade pricing for customers who may not be quite as far into their 2-year contract, but that determination is to be made by the employee after accessing and reviewing the customer's account history. Other factors like long-term loyalty to AT&T may play into the decisions.

The move follows similar initiatives by both Apple and AT&T to rid their stores of lingering iPhone 3G inventory. Both companies on Thursday began offering the handset at a "no commit" price of $599 for the 8GB version or $699 for the 16GB model.

AT&T is extending the offer only to existing subscribers and is limiting sales to just one iPhone. Apple, however, is willing to sell the phones to anyone who walks into its stores and isn't limiting the number they can purchase.

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8:25 PM

JavaScript 3-10x Faster On iPhone OS 3.0

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There has been a reasonable amount of speculation surrounding JavaScript speed improvements in iPhone 3.0. Testing carried out on the iPhone Simulator bundled with the SDK didn’t lead to a conclusive outcome, but benchmarking done by Wayne Pan would seem to suggest that iPhone 3.0 handles JavaScript 3x-10x faster than iPhone 2.1.

Last year the WebKit development team released information about a new JavaScript engine, slated to have a dramatic improvement in performance. Originally dubbed SquirrelFish (now called ‘Nitro’), to date it has not been included in any major release of the iPhone OS. Expectations are that the performance enhancements found in iPhone 3.0 are due to the inclusion of the SquirrelFish engine, leading to faster web site browsing and snappier web app performance.

The new Nitro engine has gradually been improved by the WebKit team over the past year, and is included in the latest Safari 4 Beta. This new engine accounts for the dramatic performance improvement in Safari 4, which Apple states as enhancing both JavaScript and HTML rendering:

Using the new Nitro Engine, for example, Safari executes JavaScript up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and more than 3 times faster than Firefox 3 based on performance in leading industry benchmark tests: iBench and SunSpider.

In addition to superior JavaScript performance, Safari offers top-flight HTML performance — the best on any platform — loading pages 3 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and almost 3 times faster than Firefox 3.

While Nitro is certainly responsible for the improved JavaScript performance, better HTML loading times may be due to other browser enhancements. Hopefully these will also make the move to Mobile Safari, increasing performance and page loading speed. This is even more important on a mobile device, where connection speed is far more limited than on most desktop machines.

Moving this new engine across to Mobile Safari on the iPhone is indeed the next logical step, and the 3.0 release of Apple’s iPhone operating system would seem a reasonable point at which to integrate it. John Gruber created a simple script to test whether a browser is likely to be running the Nitro engine — this tests positive in Safari 4, and he confirmed yesterday that the test is also passed on the iPhone 3.0.

All these pieces of an ongoing puzzle would seem to lead to a fairly strong conclusion that Mobile Safari on iPhone 3.0 will receive a completely new JavaScript engine, significant speed improvements, and better web application performance. I’m thoroughly looking forward to experiencing the same speed boost on my iPhone that Safari 4 brought to my desktop, and can’t wait to try out the new software.

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8:24 PM

Why can't Windows shut down promptly?

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Back in the old days when TVs and radios had tubes, it took a couple of minutes for a set to warm up before you could watch or listen. But even then, you could turn it off instantly. That's not true with Windows PCs. Not only does it sometimes take seemingly forever for them to boot, but it can take several minutes for one to shut down. Even worse, if a program stops responding, you may or may not be able to shut it down. And even if it does terminate, it may take awhile.

And by the way, I'm not just talking about Windows XP and Vista. I'm having the same problem with Windows 7 though, to be fair, the new operating system is still in beta so it's possible that Microsoft could amaze and delight me by fixing this in the final version.

I can understand why it takes at least some time for a PC to boot from a power-off situation because the operating system and some software and drivers have to be copied from storage into memory. But I can't understand why it takes more than a few seconds for the computer or one of its applications to shut down. I realize that sometimes there is a bit of housekeeping to do in the form of closing files but--give me a break--should that really have to take up to five minutes? And there have been countless times in my experience when it simply never shuts down, forcing me to hold the power button for several seconds. I've even had laptops that were so stubborn that I had to remove the battery to turn them off.

I'm particularly annoyed at how Windows often fails to terminate programs that have crashed. In theory, pressing Ctrl Alt and Delete to bring up the Task Manager followed by clicking End Task should simply stop the program and return you to the operating system. But that doesn't always work. Sometimes the program just hangs there forever, sometimes it quits after a random period of time and sometimes the entire computer just crashes. Imagine if you had a lamp in your house that was malfunctioning and the only way to turn it off was to turn off all the power to your house from the main breaker.

I haven't raised this particular issue with people at Microsoft, but a couple of years ago- when I was researching a story for The New York Times on technology energy hogs, the standard response from folks in Redmond was to blame third party applications and drivers for the fact that Windows machines often fail to properly go to or wake up from from sleep mode. Third party applications may very well be to blame, but it's no excuse. One of Windows strongest selling points is its ability to work with software and hardware from thousands of sources so it seems to me that a company with the resources and experience of Microsoft should have by now figured out how to handle errant programs and drivers.

I do like many of the improvements in Windows 7 and appreciate that it boots a little faster and--at least on my machine--seems better at going to sleep and waking up. Now all I want is the ability to turn off the darn machine and terminate a misbehaving program without having to dedicate my entire afternoon to the task.

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8:21 PM

IBM-Sun deal: What it means

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If IBM Corp scoops up Sun Microsystems Inc for at least $6.5 billion in cash, as the companies are discussing, IBM would be making an opportunistic grab for a deep well of technology that Sun has nearly buried itself developing.

The proposed acquisition would be IBM's biggest yet. It would shake up Silicon Valley and the corporate computing world, marrying two traditional foes whose animosity was relatively recently squashed.

The acquisition negotiations were reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal. The news had sent Sun shares soaring $3.92, or 79 percent, to $8.89. IBM shares fell 96 cents, or 1 percent, to $91.95.

Fiercer competition

If a deal can be done it would come as companies specialising in computing infrastructure are consolidating, and encroaching deeper onto each others' turf.

Hewlett-Packard Co paid $13.9 billion last year to buy technology-services provider Electronic Data Systems, and this week Cisco Systems Inc announced its long-rumored plans to start selling servers, a move that pits Cisco against longtime partners like HP and IBM.

Lead to job cuts

Merging the corporate cultures of Armonk, New York-based IBM and Santa Clara, California-based Sun would be a challenge, and lots of Sun's jobs would probably be cut.

Sun revealed plans in November to jettison up to 6,000 jobs, or 18 per cent of the global workforce, after slashing 7,000 jobs the previous three years in several rounds of layoffs.

Good bargain

But Sun would come relatively inexpensively, because its shares have been on a steady downfall since the dotcom bust. Although $6.5 billion would represent a significant premium over the market value of less than $4 billion that Sun had before the talks leaked, Sun's last quarterly report shows it with more than $2.6 billion in cash and securities that could be readily converted to cash.

Widen IBM's footprint

IBM would get access to many businesses that use Sun's servers or software and could be pitched on buying other things from IBM. Despite its long-running financial problems, Sun's customer base is loyal.

Market research firm IDC estimates that there are more than 1.6 million active Sun servers in use worldwide. "Sun has a wealth of technology and intellectual property," said Jean Bozman, a research vice president with IDC. "You have to look at Sun in a three-dimensional way. It provides hardware, it does servers and storage, it has software -- it has all these elements that would go into the next-generation data center, not just one or two. And it has historically been on the leading edge of technological trends.''

As of the end of 2008, Sun owned 10.1 per cent of the worldwide server market. IBM held nearly 32 per cent and HP had nearly 30 per cent. In addition, many of Sun's customers are heavy hitters in finance, telecommunications and the government. Those are areas where IBM also has a strong presence but is looking for an even bigger footprint as it rolls out new services geared toward digitizing key pieces of infrastructure, from electric utilities to water supplies.

Give R&D high


Sun is well regarded in engineering circles for spending big on research and development even in tough times. Sun put $1.8 billion toward R&D last year, more than 13 per cent of the company's total sales. That's a much bigger slice of total revenue than either IBM (6 per cent) or Hewlett-Packard (3 per cent) devoted to their R&D.

Sun's commitment to R&D has made it a pioneer in high-end servers, microprocessors for servers, and the open-source software it gives away for free in hopes of attracting new customers to the Sun brand. Sun has also been a pioneer in networked computing and its technology was instrumental in the rise of the Internet.

In fact, in the heady 1990s when Sun was a darling, IBM often got a ribbing from Sun's then-CEO, Scott McNealy. Touting Sun's decentralized server technology, McNealy derided big, centralised mainframes, a core product from IBM for decades, as dinosaurs. IBM responded by naming a line of mainframes the 'T-Rex.'

Bigger enemy for Microsoft

Although Sun and IBM worked together to spread the Java programming language, which became a key ingredient of the Internet, the companies' relationship appeared to make its biggest improvement after Jonathan Schwartz took over from McNealy in 2006.

Schwartz reached out to IBM and CEO Sam Palmisano to brainstorm ways they could cooperate -- especially since they share Microsoft Corp as a rival -- and the companies ended up announcing an August 2007 pact to collaborate on server technologies.

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10:30 PM

Apple upgraded iTunes store with HD blockbuster movies rentals and purchases

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Apple is now offering box office blockbusters such as "Quantum of Solace" and "Twilight" in HD for purchase and rent. And yes, you guessed it, the privilege of owning such a movie is not cheap.

This is the first time Apple has offered (720p) high-definition movies for both streaming or purchase on desktops. Until this announcement, HD streaming and purchasing via the iTunes story was strictly limited to Apple TV -- which has HDMI with HDCP copy-protection, meaning users can't copy high-definition content from the iTunes store.

Apple’s stronger focus on high-definition seems to be a natural evolution as the company claims that more than 50% of TV programming is being purchased in HD, if available. HD movies are an opportunity to charge a premium for content and improve the average paid price per download.

If you are interested in movies such as "Quantum of Solace" and "Twilight" in “stunning” HD, you’ll have to plunk down $19.99 for every download and $4.99 for a rental. Apple says that movies will be available as HD rentals within 30 days after their release. Standard definition rentals are priced at $2.99.

iTunes customers can pre-order "Quantum of Solace" today and download to their computer on March 24; "Twilight" will be available on March 21 and "The Spirit" will be available on April 14. Titles such as "Transporter 3”, "Punisher: War Zone" and some other titles are already available in HD.

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10:28 PM

YouTube Mobile App: 90% faster, supported on more devices

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Yesterday, YouTube posted a blog entry about their new Mobile YouTube application. It has been optimized for Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60 devices, enabling the YouTube page to load around 90% faster with simplified search, navigation, selection after search, and video playback features.

YouTube mentioned in their blog, "Our goal is to provide you with a great YouTube experience wherever you want to watch videos -- whether it's on your computer, on your television, or on your mobile phone. While YouTube has been available for many mobile phones for over a year, today we're taking a big step forward with a new version of our mobile YouTube application."

The application can be downloaded at m.youtube.com and works on Windows Mobile and these Symbian Series 60 devices: 5320 XpressMusic, 5630 XpressMusic, 5700 XpressMusic, 5730 XpressMusic, 6110 Navigator, 6120 classic, 6121 classic, 6124 classic, 6290, 6650, 6710 Navigator, 6720 classic, E51, E55, E63, E66, E71, E75, E90, N76, N79, N81, N81 8GB, N82, N85, N86 8MP, N95, N95 8GB. Nokia also has a device matrix which lists compatible 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1 & 2 phones.

The video application allows the most popular videos to be scrolled right/left by using your phone's controls. Searching is possible from a search box which then allows you to view the search results in the same right/left manner. YouTube warns m.youtube.com users about the high-bandwidth nature of the website in advance, possibly saving on data overage costs.

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10:23 PM

Gmail lets you to unsend an email

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A Google post unveils the launch of a new service, “Google Unsend” which allows users to unsend e-mails they don’t want delivered within a five second window. Though the product does seem to have more validity than Twitter Premier services April Fool’s Day is approaching, so I question the products authenticity. In fact, it has actually given me Déjà vu. Do you Remember “Gmail Custom Time”?

Google has an interesting history of providing users with technologies which save individuals from themselves. With products such as "Google Goggles", which prevents users from emailing under the influence during the early morning hours by making them complete a math quiz first. There is also the Google Domains Applications, typically used by businesses which use Gmail on a corporate level has a feature which alerts users that emails are coming from outside of the company via an orange border around sender address. This is to prevent the sharing of private or sensitive company information with outside individuals. The forgotten attachment detector is available to all Gmail users to prevent any embarrassing “Oops, forgot the attachment” messages by detecting the word “attach” and alerting users that there are no attachments with the document. Now, the new “Gmail Unsend” feature will too protect you from becoming your own worst enemy.

We’ve all been there. After an upsetting e-mail from a boss, or a significant other you reply back without a breather. Instantly you regretting hitting the send key, and you realize you want your words back. Maybe you have hit the “reply all” key when you really only meant to make a direct response to the sender. What if you submit your resume for a new job, and see that you misspelled a word, or copy and pasted wrong company information. Ooops! Undo Send is a feature which allows you to jerk back that electronic response before it is delivered. But you must do this with haste!

The feature which was developed by an engineer from Japan was utilized internally for testing. It has the ability to recall e-mail as long as it is done within five seconds (with an option to increase the unsend time window to 10 seconds). Trying to add additional recall time would cause a lag in e-mail delivery in general, which would make communication frustrating. The company claims they might potentially opt to increase time options for the function. The feature does not merely recall an email, it pulls it back meaning there will be no record that you ever sent it in the first place.

Users can now turn the option on in Gmail Labs (the small Erlenmeyer flask icon beside your username) by going to Settings. Once you’ve added it you’ll see a new “Undo” link on every sent email confirmation.

Personally, I dont think this feature would be of any benefit much with a mere 5 second response time. If I’ve fired off an angry e-mail, or said something I regret it typically takes me longer than 5 seconds to realize it, by then it’d be too late. But for some users this might save you from a drunken profession of love, or a snide remark to a coworker.

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10:20 PM

Share of Internet Explorer 8 is not up to the mark

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The launch of Internet Explorer 8 boosted the browser’s market share – not very surprisingly, but in a much more subdued way that we would have expected. Given Microsoft’s reach and the massive press coverage, the bump in market share was less than what we have seen with the launch of Google Chrome or major versions of Microsoft. However the numbers released by Net Applications indicate that IE8 was downloaded about 5 million times yesterday.

Yes, I am admiting upfront that I am very picky and despite the fact that IE8 has shown some substantial improvements, especially in security, I was somewhat disappointed in how users have been accepting the browser during the first 36 hours after launch. There are virtually no reasons why IE7 users should keep their browser and not upgrade, but the download pace has been rather slow so far.

Of course, it is all a number game and you can skew the perception in either direction. If you prefer to make the browser look bad, you could point to the fact that the market share gains have not been so dramatic so far, increasing from an average of 1.34% on the day before the final version of the browser became available to an average of 1.45% on the first day of availability, according to Net Applications. However, during launch day, the market share climbed to as high as 1.86% and currently stands at slightly below 1.7%. In that view, you could say that the browser’s market share climbed by as much as 40% (and .52 percentage points), which does not sound that bad.

Net Applications do not provide absolute usage numbers, but our sources suggest that 1 percentage point pretty much translates into 10 million browsers in use, which would mean that a .52 point percentage increase translates to about 5 million downloaded and installed browsers, which is not that far from the actual number, sources told TG Daily.

The IE8 market share gain is quite difficult to pinpoint and compare with other final versions of browsers. It compares well with the launch of Google Chrome 1.0, which only gained about 0.1 points on launch day, but not so well with Firefox 3, which gained .66 points on day 1 and 3.51 points over 48 hours, according to Net Applications. At this time, it does not appear that IE8 will increase its market share by more than 1 point over its first 48 hours.

Firefox has a slight advantage in this game as it launched on a Monday (June 16, 2008) and had even more exposure than IE8, especially since Mozilla had forged a massive launch campaign surrounding the browser. The launch of IE8 was less expected and since we know that the use of IE7 and IE8 (as well as that of Firefox) is higher on weekends than during the week (business users still tend to use IE6 in corporate environments) we would expect a substantial jump in IE8 market share over the weekend.

But in the light of Microsoft’s great marketing power, the market share gain so far has been disappointing. If we look at the importance of the browser for Microsoft and the implications of the upcoming cloud computing era, I am pretty sure that not everyone at Microsoft is happy with the way IE8 was launched.

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10:12 PM

YouTube viewers in U.S. exceed 100 million for first time

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With the inauguration, major awards shows, X-Games and other major events occurring recently it is no shock that users took to YouTube to catch up on things missed and to check out the videos they want to see again. It's even less surprising that YouTube has much to be excited about, as the company surpassed the 100 million viewer mark in the United States alone, making them the #3 most visited website on the the Internet (and also #3 in U.S.), and #3 in most traffic, accounting for around 17% of all Internet traffic world-wide. This gives an idea as to the demand and growth of the online video industry.

When Google acquired the video site in 2006, they obviously made a great decision as the site now ranks as the most popular provider of online video in the United States. In January alone about 6.4 billion videos were viewed, this is the equivalent of 43 percent of the video market in the United States.

The figures released from comScore reveal that web surfers in the United States alone sat down to watch over 15 billion videos each month over many different video sites, however YouTube is the site drawing the most attention and the majority of users. Alexa posts this chart showing YouTube's bandwidth usage, page views and ranking over time. At one point, YouTube accounted for over 20% of all Internet traffic (May/June, 2008).

In January, comScore stated that the number of individuals viewing online video was on the rise, with numbers climbing four percent since December. Ninety-one percent of this growth was accounted for by YouTube. Just under one billion individuals in the United States viewed 6.3 billion videos via the site, that averages out to about 63 videos per viewer. The average viewer will spent almost 6 hours watching videos online in January, which is fifteen percent higher than in December.

Even though YouTube is Google owned, Fox Interactive Media isn't doing a horrible job themselves with 552 million videos, or 3.7 percent of the market share.

YouTube falls behind Google and Yahoo as the only two websites with more daily hits. Facebook and MySpace fall immediately behind it.

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9:41 PM

Google shakes things up with "earthquakes" search

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Yesterday, Google announced a slick new feature that is sure to rattle your mind. When searching for the keyword "earthquakes" (plural), users will be given relevant information about recent earthquakes. The search can be refined using "earthquakes California", for example, to show only those earthquakes in/near that geographical region, and there are additional features for distance, time and magnitude.

The resulting search lists recent earthquakes with the most recent shown first (click this link to
launch the California earthquake search shown below with the most recent updates):

Photobucket

After the Google-enhanced Earthquake feature listing, which appears at the top of the page, the normal web-search results are shown below in order of Google ranking.

Google has created additional drill-down keywords that can help users find pertinent information in their daily searches:

"If you'd like to know the local time where an earthquake occurred, search for "time" followed by the location (for example, "time Japan"). Let's say the epicenter was 50km from the coast and you want to know how far that is in miles. Type "50km in miles" into the search box. You can find out about these special features and many more on the Search Features page."

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Google's Search Features page shows input boxes for many of these common net-enhancing search experiences. Google has provided a large set of tools which, throughout normal browsing, could greatly enhance a user's experience.

See Google's Earthquakes press release.

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9:38 PM

WikiPock: Selling Offline wikipedia for $10

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Would you pay $10 for an entire offline copy of Wikipedia, the crowdsourced encyclopedia of information that you can get on the Web for free? WikiPock, a Paris-based startup, has compressed the entire English language version of Wikipedia to under 4 gigabytes (not including images), and is selling it for mobile phones. The other language versions are smaller (it also comes in German, French, Polish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish).

The application lets you search and read Wikipedia articles on your mobile phone without an Internet connection. It can be downloaded directly, or on its own microSD card. For $15, you can download updates, but only for a year. The first 30 people to send an email to tc[at]wikipock[dot]com will get a free copy. It is available for Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones right now, and will soon be available for the iPhone, Android, and Symbian phones.

Since all of these phones can access Wikipedia via their browsers, what you are paying for is offline access, a mobile-friendly format, and fast search. Consumers seem more willing to pay for mobile apps, even when the same information is free on the Web (witness the success of paid apps in iTunes). And at least WikiPock is giving back to the Wikipedia community. Ten percent of all sales will be donated to the Wikimedia Foundation

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9:27 PM

Firefox dominance: 100% Market Share In Antarctica

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Despite Microsoft’s global domination, there are some places where Firefox is a vastly dominant browser. One of them is Antarctica; according to StatCounter’s recently added feature, GlobalStats, in 2009, only one browser was used there.

I’m guessing the data comes from one user - and he’s using Firefox.

Don’t believe me? Check out the graph below. If you go a bit further back in time, you’ll find that Internet Explorer also came on top at times, perhaps because of those pesky Windows Updates. But, this year, it’s all about open source, baby!


Looking at the operating systems used, Windows 2003 stands at 80 percent, with Windows XP holding the other 20 percent. Unsurprisingly, Google is the only search engine used. As far as the mobile browser market is concerned, Antarctica is still virgin territory. So, if you have an iPhone, and you don’t mind the coldish weather…

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9:05 PM