The iPhone Almost Had a Physical Keyboard

Apple’s iconic iPhone was almost released with a physical keyboard. Apple reportedly considered the phone design before finally deciding on the handset’s touchscreen-only form factor.

Tony Fadell, who was previously Senior Vice President of the iPod division of Apple, talked about the early days of the iPhone during a recording of On The Verge Friday. Fadell worked with the company for 18 generations of the iPod and the first 3 generations of the iPhone. In 2010, he started his own company, Nest, which makes smart thermostats.
According to Fadell there were three versions of the iPhone in the works: an “iPod + iPhone, a device called the iPhone, and then finally the iPhone we know and love that was released in 2007. Fadell, who worked on the iPhone through the iPhone 3GS said he was personally in favor of the touchscreen-only design.
While Apple was a pioneer in iPhone’s original design, it’s a design that many smartphone makers have decided to follow. The vast majority of smartphones made today are also touchscreen-centric, offering only a few buttons and a virtual keyboard rather than a physical one.
During its initial launch, many people were upset that Apple had chosen to not include a physical keyboard on the iPhone, paving the way for a few accessory makers to even make cases that added a keyboard the phone.
What do you think about the possibility of an iPhone with a physical keyboard? Would a physical keyboard have changed your decision to buy or not buy the handset?via[Mashable]

X-Proxy, Proxy Server Management and Switching Tool for Windows

Having one or multiple proxy servers at hand can be quite useful on the Internet these days. Even though the Internet itself is globally accessible from virtually any location, you will run into restrictions eventually. This can be websites that only allow users of a certain geographic region to access their contents, countries that block their citizens from accessing certain sites, or organizations that block access to sites and services in the work environment.
Proxy servers can be a viable option to get around those restrictions, especially if the restrictions are imposed by a website or service, or the country you are living in. But proxies can do more than bypassing restrictions. Some allow you to hide your own IP, which can be quite useful if you do not want a site or service record your actual IP address. While you won’t get 100% anonymity this way, it is something to consider.
Info: Proxies basically sit between your Internet connection and the Internet, so that the Internet sites and services communicate with the proxy directly, and not your computer. This also highlights one of the dangers of using a proxy that you do know nothing about. Since all of your computer’s traffic is routed through that proxy, it is theoretically possible to capture it and misuse the information.


X-Proxy is a free .net application for the Microsoft Windows operating system that improves the proxy management on the PC.  It offers several advantages over browser specific proxy tools, including the ability to set proxy servers for multiple web browsers on the system. It is in this regard similar to the previously reviewed  Proxy Switcher application.
You download a small web installer from the developer site, which downloads the actual application. One thing that you may not like is that it automatically verifies the installation every time you start the program.
When you start it up, you see the following interface.
x-proxy software
A click on proxy list displays the current proxy list. The program retrieves dozens of proxy servers automatically and displays them in the program interface. Proxies are listed by IP and hostname, the country the proxy server is located in, the ping, speed, and whether it is anonymous.
You can now connect to a server with a double-click on a select proxy. It makes sense to look at the countries first, and then pick the proxy with a good ping and speed rating. The program displays whether the connection was successful or not. You can check that as well by opening the Ghacks IP Lookup tool in your browser which displays the IP address you are currently using in your browser of choice.
When it comes to browsers, X-Proxy supports Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer. A click on restore the real IP disables the proxy server again on the system.
A click on Settings in the program window lets you change the program interface language (Spanish and Portuguese are available besides English), or refresh the proxy list which updates it by querying an Internet server.
With the right proxy server, it becomes possible to access contents on websites that you’d otherwise be blocked from accessing. This includes the U.S. TV streaming service Hulu, Pandora Radio, as well as contents from the English BBC, or YouTube videos that are blocked in your country of origin.

Closing Words

The program itself is pretty easy to use. Since it makes available a list of proxy servers automatically, there is not a lot to do for the user in terms of verification. It basically comes down to selecting one of the available proxy servers, and making sure that it does not spill your IP address. All it takes for this are a few clicks with the mouse.
X-Proxy requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 to be installed on the system. (via Dottech)

The Best Free TV Streaming Sites in 2012

The rise of broadband in many country and regions around the world has opened up new possibilities for bandwidth intensive services on the Internet. TV Streaming services have sprung to life in the past years that often provide their users with access to free TV series and episodes. And while that is a good thing, the services more often than not restrict access to users connecting from a specific region or country.
The following guide looks at the best free web services that stream TV series and episodes. To be included in this list, the services need to offer free streams, and need to be on legal grounds in their country of origin.
Since this is an English website, we are concentrating on English television only. Feel free to add websites that offer television streams in other languages in the comments.

Free Sites that Stream TV

1. Hulu (US-only)
Hulu is probably the best known site when it comes to free TV streams. It offers access to many different TV shows, from shows that are currently airing to a back catalog of tv shows that were once popular. Free users get access to the five most recent episodes of tv shows that currently air in the U.S., and access to classic shows.
Hulu Plus is a subscription-based service that provides access to all episodes of the current season, as well as access to Hulu on game consoles and televisions, and high definition streams when available.
Shows available at the time of writing include Fringe, Grimm, Family Guy, The Office, Southpark, Law and Order, and dozens of other shows.
2. ABC Player (U.S. only)
Here you can watch TV shows that are produced by the U.S. network ABC.  At the time of writing that includes Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, Missing, Lst Man Standing, Castle, Jimmy Kimmel Live or Scandal.
abc player
3. ABC Family (U.S. Only)
A family friendly TV streaming site. It currently offers access to the following shows: Jane by Design, The Lying Game, Make it or break it, Melissa & Joey, Pretty Little Liars, Switched at Birth, and The secret life of the American teenager.
abc family
4. NBC Video Library (U.S. Only)
Another U.S. only network streaming its shows on the Internet.  Available shows include classic television series, like Simon and Simon, Magnum P.I. or The A-Team, as well as 2012 shows like Bent, 30 Rock, The Event or The Biggest Loser. It is interesting to note that NBC provides access to the full back catalog of many shows, and not only a show’s current season.
nbc video
5. CBS (U.S. only)
You can watch tv shows that air on CBS on this site. Popular shows include The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, all the CSI shows, How I Met Your Mother or Two and a half men. Access is again only available for users connecting to the site from the United States.
6. The WB (U.S. Only)
Here you find shows airing on the Warner Browser network. Shows available include both current season shows like Fringe or The Mentalist, but also classic shows like The Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Babylon 5 or Friends.
the wb
The site unfortunately does not offer access to the full back catalog of current or classic tv shows. You only find a handful of episodes available for streaming on the site.
7. Fox (U.S. Only)
Here you can watch TV shows that air on the Fox network. This includes Family Guy, The Simpsons, House, American Idol, or New Girl.Only select episodes are available on the Fox.com website.
8. Channel 4 (U.K. Only)
If you are connecting from the United Kingdom, you can head over to the 4OD website to view tv show streams on the website. Full episodes may be limited depending on the show.
channel 4
9. BBC iPlayer (U.K. Only)
This website offers BBC TV streams. Access is limited to the UK, but it is providing users with access to hundreds of programs.
bbc iplayer

TV Aggregators

This one monitors several streaming video sites, and maintains a database of tv shows, series and episodes that link back to destinations on the Internet where those shows are available as streams. It is mostly U.S.-based but you find British and Canadian offers there as well.
Another aggregator that monitors various tv network sites and sites like Hulu. Allows you to keep track of all tv shows that are currently airing in the United States, or that have aired previously.

Bypass Access Restrictions

Access to the TV show streams is only granted for users connecting from specific regions of countries. If you live abroad, or are on holiday, you may not be able to access the TV streams.
There are options available to bypass streaming TV site restrictions.
1. X-Proxy
We have reviewed the proxy software today. It pulls a list of proxies from the Internet automatically, and lets you select a proxy that browsers such as Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer when that happens. This allows you to bypass the restrictions.
A better solution in many regards is a virtual private network that you connect to. This includes Hotspot ShieldTunnelbear or VyprVPN
You may also be interested in a guide explaining how to set up a VPN on Windows 7, or on Linux machines.via[ghacks]