How to Read Popular Magazines on your Desktop for Free

via Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 5/26/08

free online magazines

This is a very simple & non-geeky trick to help you read the latest issue of popular magazines like PC Magazine, MIT Technology Review, Popular Mechanics, MacWorld, Lonely Planet, Reader’s Digest, etc without paying any subscription charges.

You will also get to read adult magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. Best of all, these digital magazines are exact replicas of print and served as high-resolution images that you can also download on to the computer for offline reading.

How to Read Online Magazines for Free

safari-magazines Step 1: If you are on a Windows PC, go to apple.com and download the Safari browser. Mac users already have Safari on their system.

Step 2: Once you install Safari, go to Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced and check the option that says “Show Develop menu in menu bar.”

Step 3: Open the “Develop” option in the browser menu bar and choose Mobile Safari 1.1.3 – iPhone as the User Agent.

iphone-user-agent

Step 4: You’re all set. Open zinio.com/iphone inside Safari browser and start reading your favorite magazines for free. Use the navigation arrows at the top to turn pages.

For people in countries like India who are already subscribed to Zinio Digital Magazines, this hack is still useful because you get access to certain magazines which are otherwise not available for subscription via Zinio (e.g., Penthouse and Playboy).

Geeks may write a AutoHotKey script or create a “scrolling capture” profile in SnagIt that will auto-flip magazine pages and save all the images locally. Thanks Scott. And here’s a related trick on how to read Wall Street for free.

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1st Gen vs 2nd Gen Xbox 360 & DVD Up Scaling (Component vs HDMI)

I have a 1st Generation Xbox 360 which i purchase about a year and a half ago. I connect to my HD-LCD TV via component cables at a resolution of 1080i. I also have a HD-DVD Player which i recently got for free (well $5) at a garage sale on my street.
Everything is working wonderful. Both my Xbox and my HD-DVD plays back regular DVD at a resolution of 480p.

HOWEVER, my roommate just purchased a 2nd generation Xbox 360 (core system), (for less then what i paid for mine btw), which came with an HDMI port. When we played a regular DVD movie via his Xbox 360, the system automatically up-scaled to 1080p (his TV is 1080p). How very angry i was.

I called Xbox Support and after a hour and half conversation, i was basically told that only Xbox 360’s with HDMI ports will up-covert regular DVD’s to 1080p. All 1st generation system does not have have ability because of the lack of a HDMI port.

When i asked about providing us, the early adopters of the Xbox 360 with a HDMI adaptor for our units so we can then use 1080p gaming as well as up-scale regular DVD movies, i was told one does not exist yet.

I was told if i wanted a system with a HDMI port i needed to sell my Xbox 360 and buy a new one that had a HDMI port on it.

I don’t know about you, but i find that kind of reply beyond &%&&$.

The bottom line here is that as a early adopter, i feel cheated that all these new units can not only plug into the HDMI port on my TV and get 1080p resolution but they can also up-scale DVD’s to 1080p. Which my Xbox cannot.

I am stuck now with an inferior Xbox 360, which upscales my regular DVD movies to 480p. Where is the fairness in that?

I don’t mind playing my games in 1080i, or even seeing my regular DVD’s in 1080i, but i want to have the same ability that all the Xbox 360’s have when playing back DVD’s with HDMI.

To up-scale to 1080p.

What do you think? – Xbox.com forum post

Contact Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

An Open Letter to Microsoft Legal Department (Xbox Legal Group)

Rumor: GTA IV DLC going coast to coast, Niko books ticket to San Andreas

via Joystiq by James Ransom-Wiley on 5/9/08
gta iv san andreas

New cities? Pfft! How about an entire state?! While rummaging through the Rockstar Social Club, a GTAForums poster uncovered the plane ticket pictured above (full view). Looks like Niko is headed to the fine state of San Andreas, famous for its lowriders and piping hot coffee. Whether it’s the stuff of fan fiction or a not-so-subtle hint of content to come, your guess is as good as ours, but the ticket does rekindle last month’s rumor that the exclusive GTA IV DLC for Xbox 360 will feature “new downloadable cities.” What’s curious is that the flight isn’t destined for one of San Andreas’ specific airports, but rather the state itself. What could it mean? Well, for one, that you’d need a bigger hard drive.

Alternate theory: The “San Andreas” on this plane ticket could be a reference to the original San Andreas, a top-down city based on San Francisco, from the first Grand Theft Auto.

[Via X3F]

BioWare drops 10-day validation from Mass Effect PC

via Joystiq by Jason Dobson on 5/10/08

After stirring up a hornets’ nest of gamer contempt last week by announcing that the forthcoming PC flavor of Mass Effect would require re-validation every 10 days, BioWare community manager Jay Watamaniuk has come forward as the voice of reason on the game’s official forums, stating that the developer has now removed the “feature” from the game.

Instead of employing the previously revealed DRM madness, Watamaniuk explained that Mass Effect will include just a one time online authentication, allowing players to play the game once validated without the disc in the drive at all. That said, if any new content is downloaded, the game will again have to bite the disc to make sure it’s real. The caveat to all of this, however, is that each Mass Effect purchase will only be able to be installed a maximum of three times, news that has again incited us to pick up our torches and pitchforks and join the mob outside.

Explore Liberty City with Google Map application

via Joystiq by Griffin McElroy on 5/3/08

Between the comprehensive in-game map, the GPS-imbued minimap, and the TomTom-esque functionality of certain vehicles, we’ve yet to misplace ourselves within Liberty City’s digital boroughs. Still, if you find yourself lost whilst playing Grand Theft Auto IV, we guess this Liberty City map application (mapplication?) using the Google Maps interface would come in handy.

A number of user contributions have already been made to the map, showing the location of hidden items, easter eggs, pigeon locations, stunt jumps, and yes, even hookers, whom we assume were fitted with GPS locaters by trained prostitute handlers before being released back into the wild. It makes for a useful cartographical companion for those with a laptop near their console of choice — if you don’t mind ruining the fun of exploring the nooks and crannies of Rockstar’s intricately crafted metropolis for yourself, that is.

Demand for Intel’s Atom already outstripping supply?

via Engadget by Nilay Patel on 4/30/08

There’s a ton of upcoming laptops and devices based around Intel’s Atom processor, and it looks like all the early interest is causing that best of all possible problems for the chipmaker: it’s gotten too many orders. Intel told the WSJ that it’s planning on producing “millions” of Atom chips this year, but that it’s “seeing better-than-expected demand” as production begins and that it’s “we are working quickly to address it.” Still, it looks like manufacturers are expecting a shortage to last for a while — ASUS predicted that supply would be constrained until the third quarter during its quarterly conference call, for example — and various Chinese trade publications have reported the same. That’s definitely not encouraging news, and with AMD’s Puma and VIA’s Isaiah nipping at Atom’s heels, Intel might want to kick things into a higher gear.

T-Mobile to debut 3G as voice-only. No data. We’re over it.

via Engadget by Ryan Block on 4/30/08

Well screw us — T-Mobile’s 3G network debut tomorrow? It’s going to be voice only. That’s right, you heard us, VOICE ONLY. So trepidatious is this company to actually get their 3G data rollout, um, rolled out, they’re launching first with kneecapped voice-only service, keeping only EDGE for those demanding data. Here’s the snippet from the memo we received:

“3G is the next generation of our wireless network, following our current GSM network. In this early phase of our network evolution, 3G is a new technology for carrying wireless voice calls and supporting existing data capabilities on our network. In future phases, this next generation network will power ‘high-speed’ (3G) products and services that connect customers in new and exciting ways. … Inform customers who are interested in high-speed data that the first phase of our 3G roll out supports voice only.” [Emphasis ours]

No word on when T-Mobile actually plans to turn on the faster data, but for everyone who hasn’t already jumped ship — hoping against hope — the wait continues.

P.S. -Don’t believe everything you hear about this kind of thing being status quo. Every single major US 3G network — including Cingular, Verizon, and Sprint — went live as either data card-only (with phones added later), or data and voice together.