The Evangelist

Worldwide Technology News

If you are into tech or browse news sites such as Slashdot, you have probably heard of Intel's new Atom Processor. And you probably know that the processor is meant for use in ultra-mobile PCs and other mobile devices, even smartphones.

You might be thinking, "these have existed in the past without the Atom processor, how are things going to be any different?" If so, you are right that both AMD and Intel have had mobile offerings available for a while. However, in these cases the lowest-power chips available from both were used for an application they really weren't originally made for. Also, because they consumed little power and were so small, they were generally underpowered, which made these UMPCs slow. And then there are "Netbooks" and other small laptops that relied on processors like low-powered Intel Pentium-M and, more recently, Core 2 chips to keep their small form factor. And finally there are even smaller devices, such as Smartphones, that use processors not compatible with the x86 instruction set that is standard in Intel and AMD processors which run Windows and standard Linux distributions. One example of this is Nvidia's Tegra, which will supposedly have superior performance to Atom, but will not support the x86 instruction set, and instead be based on the ARM RISC architecture.

This is where Atom comes in. Intel's Atom has a maximum CPU clock of a decent 1.87 GHz (with the lowest clock being 800 MHz), and supports the x86 instruction set. While AMD's Geode processors have supported Windows operating systems and standard software, they are underpowered compared to Intel's Atom.

Now, with Atom, even a smartphone could run the standard applications end-users have gotten used to, not just special versions adapted for a mobile platform, often with less functionality. And there is software that is not available at all for current mobile platforms. Two good examples would be Flash and Java, which can be important parts of the web browsing experience. With Intel Atom, both Flash and Java could run on Windows or Linux on a UMPC or MID (Mobile Internet Device).

Hopefully manufacturers will realize the potential here, and that the companies selling these devices properly market these devices, making sure that consumers know that these devices can do what other mobile devices cannot.

At the same time, I hope that innovation marches on, and that AMD comes up with their own mobile solution to compete with Intel.

In the meanwhile, Intel has unveiled their Centrino 2 Platform. Highlights include an 802.11n-compatible Wireless card.

You may have heard of or even participated in beta testing programs before. But you've probably never seen something like this.

Microsoft Connect is a community created by Microsoft around the idea of letting the general public beta test Microsoft software.

On the website, you can report bugs, suggest a new feature for a program, or participate in community discussions.

Connect is completely free of charge to use. They have a program to fit virtually everyone, from Windows Home Server feedback to Microsoft Game Studios betas.

Connect presents an opportunity to test new software that wouldn't otherwise be available. It also shows that Microsoft is listening to their customers more and more, likely do to the reception of Vista.

Targeted advertisements. You've probably seen them before. They advertise something that you are interested in, have searched lately, or seem to know where you live.

Because of targeted advertisements, I have Firefox set to delete my cookies, cache, and other internet information every time I close my browser. While this can be annoying and log you out of your session at many sites, it can also help improve your internet security and anonymity.

However, I recently saw an incredibly targeted ad. I had looked at the weather for my local area (which, of course, means my zip code). Next thing you know, I see an ad for the county fair. While the fact that the ad was for the county fair did not creep me out that much, the fact that I was being shown an ad for the county fair did.

For those who would like to avoid these advertisements, deleting your cookies and the information saved by your browser regularly can help.

However, for those who are more concerned about protecting their privacy, there are tools like Tor, which can help ensure that advertisers and those looking for personal information alike can't get it. By using Tor, the website you are connecting to won't be able to determine where you are located based on your IP address and more. The downside is that browsing is slowed significantly, even on broadband connections (if you have dial-up, don't even consider it).

What do you think about targeted advertisements? Leave your comment to get the discussion going.

Microsoft has expanded its limit on those allowed to test the Live Mesh Tech Preview from 10,000 to 20,000 testers maximum.

Live Mesh is a system meant to synchronize folders and personal data across your machines and allow you to share files that you would like to share. While Microsoft already has their Windows Live SkyDrive service for uploading and sharing files and Windows Live FolderShare for keeping entire folders accessible across both computers running Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X, Live Mesh goes beyond that, and some even claim that Mesh is a critical part of the way Microsoft intends to "stay relevant," as many bloggers have said, now that Bill Gates has stepped down.

Backing up this interpretation are the facts that one of the key components of this system is a "Live Desktop," which acts more as a traditional desktop, as the name suggests, retaining the folder and file hierarchy that can be found on a computer. Live mesh also has a feature called "Live Mesh Devices." Currently, this allows users to remotely access their files on Windows XP and Vista computers through the Live Mesh software, which is downloadable for free to those testing Live Mesh. Microsoft has plans, however, to add support for Macs as well as mobile devices in the future.

It seems that Microsoft plans to open up Live Mesh more to developers in the future, and this will probably expand its usability greatly, allowing for more sharing features and possibly for some innovative new apps.

You can be added to the waiting list by visiting the Live Mesh Website, or the Microsoft Connect Directory. With any luck, you will be running Live Mesh on your computers as well. You need a Live ID to participate in the program, which can be obtained for free at those websites if you do not already have one.

The Pirate Bay, a popular torrent site that allows users to download material such as music, movies, and more (much of the time illegally, hence the name of the site), has posted a technical proposal for "Transparent end-to-end encryption of the Internets," which they shorten to "IPETEE."

Instead of working on the same level as programs, IPETEE would work on the network level, effectively encrypting all traffic possible on the internet. Therefore, IPETEE would even be able to encrypt applications that don't support encryption some of the time.

This, of course, would help to make sure that local and federal governments can't go snooping into any possible illegal pirating activities, and this is clearly one of the main reasons that The Pirate Bay has begun work on this system. However, IPETEE would also be better for legitimate web traffic. With so many security concerns now, especially over transmissions over wireless networks, especially wireless "hotspots," IPETEE could help make the average user feel more comfortable using the internet, and make it so that businesses and corporations would not have to spend as much making sure that their information remains confidential when sent over the internet.

While this will likely be opposed by governments and corporations with interests in keeping the internet unencrypted, this would be a big step forward. While the entire "Web 2.0" movement is just fine, the new technologies involved have presented numerous security concerns. IPETEE would help bring internet security up to the level of protection users need against a whole new world of "hackers" (script-kiddies) who are exploiting new technologies to collect personal data and make web browsing a possibly painful experience for all but the most experienced power users. And while these hackers will likely try to find a way around IPETEE, through reverse-engineering or other methods, perhaps the people behind IPETEE, including the Pirate Bay, will have a better idea of who they are dealing with then a company such as Microsoft, Apple, or Symantec.

For more information, see the technical proposal at

If you have been wondering why I haven't been posting for a little while, it's because of this post. Since I don't want to bombard you with a million articles relating to the iPhone 3G, I will keep it to one, comprehensive article.

As you probably know, Apple released its new iPhone 3G to the public last friday, touting it as the only phone better than the original iPhone. And then there were the problems. People had problems activating them early Friday due to errors with the activation servers. This meant that those who bought the iPhone 3G early had to activate them using iTunes on their own computers because they could not be activated in Apple and AT&T stores.

Apple has also been blamed for the iPhone 3G being in short supply while thousands of consumers want to get their hands on the new gadget right away.

And then there is the entire argument that the iPhone 3G is not selling as well as the original iPhone and won't in the future. This seems to me like a continuation of the "only Apple fanboys would buy the newer iPod when they already have one" argument, although I stay neutral when it comes to that (it's not worth getting involved).

All in all though, the iPhone 3G is a pretty cool new little device. The 8GB model comes in black, while the 16GB model comes in both black and white. The models sell for $199 and $299, respectively, a definite improvement from the original iPhone.

Of course the iPhone 3G comes with all of the features of the original iPhone such as iPod functionality, phone and SMS capability, an internet browser, and all of those features. However, by Apple's claims the device's connection will be twice as fast. The new iPhone also features GPS capabilities that track your location, adding a hodgepodge of new features, some of which are actually third-party applications.

Speaking of third-party applications, Apple has released iTunes 7.7 with the release of the iPhone 3G. The new version is mostly a minor upgrade. It does, however, add the App Store, where you can find applications for your iPhone. Some of them are even free of charge.

The iPhone 3G also includes push email, calendar, and contacts, making it more ideal for enterprise and business use. If you aren't in it for business, you can get Apple's MobileMe service for $99 a year for an individual or a family pack for $149 a year. The service replaces Apple's .Mac, and offers push email, just as you could get with Microsoft Exhange or another service on the iPhone, except for personal use.

Other new features include support for email attachments (yay) and a scientific calculator.

A software update is available for the original iPhone which adds many of the iPhone 3G's software features without needing to buy a completely new unit. Keep this in mind before getting the iPhone 3G if you already have an iPhone.

Personally I think it will be interesting to see what apps developers churn out for this platform. The possibilities truly do seem endless.

Gentoo Linux has finally released the 2008.0 release of their distribution.

Due to problems, Gentoo was unable to release any new versions of their distribution after the release of 2007.0, which was highly irregular.

Gentoo is an excellent distributions geared toward software developers and power users. This makes it powerful yet fast. The portage package manager borrows from the old ports system for software installation. And since usually most software is compiled from source just for your machine, it should run as fast as possible.

With the new version comes a better installer, a newer version of the Linux Kernel with better support for hardware, and the more compact, faster Xfce desktop environment instead of Gnome on the LiveCD installer.

If you would like to download 2008.0, a simple visit to the download page will get you what you want. Enjoy!

Do you frequent tech news sites and forums? Then you are probably looking for more. is a community forum dedicated to computer-related topics, ranging from the internet to gaming, and everything in between.

Join the discussion today.

Looking for a free web host? Look no further than 110mb.

110mb offers you 5GB of space, 300GB of bandwidth, PHP5 and more.

Plus, they do not display any advertisements on your pages, nor do they put any sneaky pop-up ads in place.

However, unlike many other free web hosts that offer ad-free webspace, 110mb has the resources to back it up. Because there are so many users, 110mb can generate profit to keep the site constantly going, so you don't have to worry about your web host not being there tomorrow. In addition, inexpensive paid upgrades keep the flow of cash going.

So, if you have been looking for a free web host, or are just now considering the possibility of having your own website, check out 110mb.

If you need any help with the setup, just contact me. I'd be happy to help.

Do you have a web server? If you do, and you are interested in using Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) on your site, Jaxer is right for you.

Jaxer, which is based on Mozilla technologies, will allow you to easily create a great experience for your visitors. All interested webmasters, web designers, and programmers should check it out.

Need a calendar, but don't like the one that comes with Windows (or for that matter your other operating system)?

Then you should take a look at Sunbird, another free, open-source product from Mozilla.

Or, if you have Thunderbird as your email client, you can download Lightning, which is a plugin that integrates a calendar into Thunderbird.

Have a Mac and like the features and power of Firefox, but prefer the look of Safari?

There's an easy solution to your dilemma: Camino.

Camino is made by Mozilla, the same organization that makes Firefox. It has all the features you would expect from a Mozilla-made browser adapted to the Mac GUI.

Plus, Camino uses Mozilla's Gecko layout engine, which is the same as Firefox, meaning pages should render the same. And Camino is, of course, free and open source. Check it out today.

Speaking of social networking, a new and useful service,, has emerged.

Do you have many accounts across multiple social networks and blogs? Then is for you. The site allows you to send a message to your profile on tons of different social networks simultaneously, meaning you don't have to copy and paste the message to each profile across the networks.

To top it off, you get a posting email address so that you can post from a remote location.

The service is in beta, so you will need a beta code. The current beta code is "dreamofping."

I hope you enjoy this service as much as I do.

Are you a member of many social networks? Do you feel like you have to run around to many different sites just to check up on all of your friends and contacts?

Then you need Flock, the Social Web Browser. Flock 2, based on Firefox 3, allows you to easily stay connected to your friends online. Flock makes it easier to share with others and to keep up-to-date when a contact updates their profile.

Flock is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

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By commenting, you can give me new topics, ideas, and start a discussion of your own.

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Hello everybody, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jon, and I'll be blogging about new technology, software, hardware, web sites, and other items of interest.

If you have come here hoping to find an aggregation of content from a bunch of other blogs, you will be sadly disappointed. I will be composing original articles for your reading pleasure.

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