Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Pirate Bay sold for $7.8 million

the-pirate-bay-logo Torrent users all over the world today are in for a shock. A Swedish software firm Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) announced this morning that they have acquired The Pirate Bay for 60 million Swedish crowns, which is approximately $7.8 million. In addition GGF is also set to acquire shares in Peerialism, a company that develops P2P technology. Incidentally, on April last, The Pirate Bay was fined $3.6 million and it’s owners sentenced to one year in prison for running the site.

But this isn’t a mere change in ownership. GGF says that the company will “launch new business models that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners,”.

Global Gaming Chief Executive Hans Pandeya said:

We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site.

GGF also says that it will use the new P2P distribution technology developed by Peerialism on The Pirate Bay. The technology is said to be backwards-compatible with BitTorrent although details are scarce at the moment.

This means that there will be radical changes at The Pirate Bay after August 2009, when the changeover is scheduled to happen. Is this the death knell for The Pirate Bay ?

Official statement from TPB.

[via Torrent Freak and Tech Crunch]

Monday, June 29, 2009

4 sites to create funny, fake effects on your photos

I’m sure you have seen online photo generators before where you can upload your photos and add funny effects to it. The Fake Magazine Cover Maker is worth mentioning. If you derive pleasure in such kind of things, you will certainly go orgasmic over these sites.

1. PicJoke has hundreds of fake image effects to choose from. See yourself on everything from road signs, banners, graffiti, billboard ads and posters. To ensure that you never get tired of them, the site adds one new effect everyday!

pic-effects pic-effects (6)pic-effects (1) pic-effects (7)

2. PhotoFunia is quite similar, but they focus more on face swapping. For instance, you can swap Mona Lisa’s head with yours or see yourself as Superman. At the time of writing this, they had more than 100 different effects.

pic-effects2

3. Fun Photo Box is another good place to seek out image effects. This site too has close to a hundred different fake image generators.

4. DeeFunia is somewhat amateurish. Most of their effects involve just putting a frame around your photo. They have several different effects, but their quality is inferior. They do have a few good ones among the bunch though, so you might as well check this out too.

Enjoy your bogus fame.

Tribler, a decentralized BitTorrent client

Tribler is a new, open source BitTorrent client developed by researchers from several European universities and Harvard that provides completely decentralized search capabilities, making it the first true Peer-2-Peer BitTorrent client ever. Tribler makes torrent tracker sites like PirateBay, Mininova and others redundant because the .torrent files can now be hosted among other peers.

In torrent networks, file transfer has always been decentralized but they still require central servers like PirateBay to host the tracker, the .torrent file. But with Tribler this is not required. Using a new P2P protocol called BuddyCast, Tribler enables user to share torrent files directly among peers without the need of a tracker, just like traditional P2P software like Limewire and Ares work.

tribler

The application looks slick and comes with a video player, that you can use to play torrent video files which is awesome. You can also use it to search content from video sites like YouTube and LiveLeak. However, the client itself is rather bare bone. Unlike BitTorrent clients like uTorrent, Tribler offers almost no information about the files being downloaded, their content, their sources etc. It was a big turn down.

Another downside of this application is that the content is limited, as the files come only from the Tribler users.

The technology is interesting and something we might eventually need in future with major torrent sites being dragged to the court. Unfortunately it isn’t going to work, not unless they improve the client.

[via Torrent Freak]

PowerSlave – Different power schemes for different times

Windows Power Management is a tool that enables the user to configure how long the computer should wait for user input (key press, mouse movement etc) before shutting down power consuming peripherals like monitor, hard disk etc. The idea is to save power, save money and save battery in laptops.

The power management feature, though quite useful very few people actually use it. Most people are unaware of it while others simply don’t care. The rest who care have only one power scheme to choose from. So usually we select one, adjust it according to our needs and forget about it.

Recently I came across a tool on ShellCity that helps extend the usability of the Windows power management tool by enabling you to choose two different power schemes for day and night time. The free tool PowerSlave allows you to define your day start time and end time. It then lets the user choose one power scheme that will be used during the day and a second power scheme that will be used at night.

powerslave

PowerSlave is pretty handy for PCs that tend to remain on all throughout the night. However, the application is too simple. I would like to see an option to choose different schemes for different weekdays. That would make it more useful.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nokia Sports Tracker – a workout tracker and diary

Nokia Sports Tracker is a workout diary application for GPS enabled Nokia devices such as the N and E series and other compatible Nokia phones, which is a must have for anyone serious in fitness and works out.

Using the built in GPS device in your phone (or external GPS device), Sports Tracker records your run, walk or cycle including the distance covered, your position, the maximum, minimum and average speed during the workout, calories burned etc, in real time. The information can then be uploaded to their web service and the records maintained in an online diary. It plots your route on a map and also generates detailed graph showing your speed, altitude, heart beat (if you are wearing a heart-beat tracking device) etc. It’s also possible to share your personal records with other members of the community.

nokia-sports-tracker

Additionally, if you take photos with your camera along the way it logs where you took them and uploads them. If you listen to music during the jog, you can record it and upload these too.

Nokia Sports Tracker is a free application.

[Sunday Treats] A Work in Progress – A short film

A Work in Progress is a short film by Wes Ball that tells the story of a lonely girl as she searches for a friend, in a combination of both traditional live-action and CG. It was screened at several film festivals all over the world and won the “Best Student Film Award” at Florida Film Festival 2003.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

LinuX-gamers, a Linux Live DVD of games

Not all Linux distributions contain the same stuff, not linux-gamers at least. This Linux live DVD is exclusively for gaming. The project has been around for some time, and just a few days ago they released their latest version 0.9.5.

The live DVD comes packed with a total of 34 games of various types, from role playing to first person shooter. Users can play the games directly from the Live DVD without having to install anything on their computers. Linux-gamers is based on Arch Linux.

Earlier editions of this distribution had a single version, but now three more variations has been introduced.

  1. Lite ISO: Small CD image (700MB) containing a limited games selection suitable for children and older computers.
  2. Lite USB: Same games selection as the Lite ISO version but for USB keys and USB sticks (requires minimum of 1GB USB device).
  3. Big ISO: Big DVD image (4.7GB) containing the full games selection for adults and more recent computers.
  4. Big USB: Contains full games selection as per Big ISO. Meant for USB sticks of at least 5GB capacity.

 linux-gamers

Linux-gamers live DVD requires an x86 architecture equivalent computer with atleast 512 MB memory and graphics card with 3D acceleration. The DVD includes NVIDIA drivers for GeForce2 MX up to GeForce GTX 295 and ATI driver for Radeon HD 2400 up to Radeon HD 4890.

Here is the list of games included:

· Armagetron Advanced
· AstroMenace
· Blobby Volley
· Chromium B.S.U.
· Extreme Tux Racer
· FooBillard
· Frozen Bubble
· Hedgewars
· LBreakout2
· Pingus
· Quadra
· Secret Maryo Chronicles
· Teeworlds
· World of Goo Demo
· XMoto
· Battle Tanks
· Frets On Fire
· Glest
· Maniadrive
· Neverball
· Neverputt
· Nexuiz
· OpenLieroX
· Sauerbraten
· Scorched 3D
· SuperTuxKart
· TORCS
· Tremulous
· Urban Terror
· Warsow
· Warzone 2100
· Battle for Wesnoth
· Widelands
· World of Padman

Friday, June 26, 2009

POW is Opera Unite for Firefox

Way before Opera brought Unite into the world, there was a Firefox addon that did a kind of similar thing to the browser. I discovered it in one of my follow ups on Opera Unite.

It’s called POW or Plain Old Webserver.

POW runs a web server inside Firefox, like Opera Unite. Without a doubt, the latter is more polished and functional than the Firefox addon. Getting the web server up and running is easy enough, but adding files to it so that it can be shared on the Internet requires some effort. There are Javascripts to code, firewalls to deal with and a hell lot of reading to be done. Thankfully, there is a wiki.

POW

The POW uses Server-side Javascript (SJS) to run a server inside your browser. Distributing files with the server requires you to code these SJS files. It supports Server-side JS, GET, POST, uploads, Cookies, SQLite and AJAX. It also has a security feature to password-protect your site. But what is the address of your web server? That you have to figure it out yourself, No-IP maybe.

Plain Old Webserver needs a lot of work and polishing to be done, before it’s actually usable.

Also read: How to setup your own web server at home

How to make Word documents read only, selectively editable or password protected

A lot of users prefer PDF documents over Word documents because they are read-only by nature, and hence tamper proof. But did you know that there are all kinds of security features built into Microsoft Word, and that it allows creation of Word documents that prevent users from editing it either completely or partially? That feature exist since Microsoft Word 2003 and an extra feature was introduced in Word 2007.

Let’s find out how to do it.

Doing it in Word 2003

  1. Open the document you want to make read only.
  2. From the Tools menu select Protect Document (you never noticed it, right?)
    word2003-protect 
  3. word2003-protect2A sidebar will appear on the right with “Protect Document” options.
  4. Check the box under “Editing restrictions”. Make sure the drop down menu is selected as “read only”.
  5. Click the button “Yes, start enforcing protection” and you will prompted for a password.
  6. Enter the password and save the document.

The document is now read-only. Users can still open and read the document without knowing the password. The password is required only if you want to edit the document. For this, you have to click on “Stop Protection”, that shows up at the bottom of the sidebar when you open such a protected document, and type the correct password.

Sometimes it may happen that you might need to make certain regions of the document editable. For example, you might issue a form that you need to protect but still enable users to type their names into it before printing.

That’s possible by checking the box against “Everyone”, under the section “Exceptions (optional)” as in the screenshot above. Then highlight the regions of the document which you want to make editable. Now click on “Yes, start enforcing protection”.

word-protected

This time the document is read-only except the highlighted region. This region is shown with a yellow background.

Doing it in Word 2007

Protecting a document in Word 2007 involves the same steps as in Word 2003, except that the “Protect Document” option is under the “Review” tab in the ribbon.

word2007-protect

I also mentioned about an extra feature in Word 2007. This feature is known as marking a document “final”, and it provides temporary read-only protection to a document to prevent accidental deletion or changes.

To mark a document final, click on the orb and select “Mark as Final” under Prepare sub menu. Click OK to make it final. The document now cannot be edited. To enable write mode, once again click on “Mark as Final”.

word2007-markfinal

Password Protecting Word Documents

This option can be found in another section, and it’s the same in both Word 2003 and Word 2007.

When you click on Save or Save as, look for an item called “Tools” in the save dialog box. Click it to reveal a drop down menu. From it choose “Security Options”.

word-password

Here you can set your password, also access the protect features and further, choose to remove personal information (meta data) from the document before saving.

Also see: Hide sensitive data in Word documents with Redaction

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Windows 7 pricing and upgrade programs announced

With less than 4 months to go before Windows 7 goes public, Microsoft today announced the pricing and upgrade options of the operating system. Here is a quick rundown of the prices:

windows-7-box-microsoft-store

The estimated retail prices for upgrade are:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade): $119.99
  • Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade): $199.99
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (Upgrade): $219.99

The estimated retail prices for full packaged retail are:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium (Full): $199.99
  • Windows 7 Professional (Full): $299.99
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (Full): $319.99

The good news is that, starting tomorrow, people in the US, Canada and Japan can pre-order the product at a ridiculous $49 for Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade while Windows 7 Professional upgrade will cost $99. This offer will last till July 11th in US and Canada, and till July 5th in Japan. The pre-order program will also launch in the UK, France and Germany starting July 15th and will run until August 14th.

You can take advantage of this special offer online via select retail partners such as Best Buy or Amazon, or the online Microsoft Store.

[via The Windows Blog]

VDrift - Open source, 3D racing simulator

VDrift is a cross-platform, open source, drift racing simulation game released under the GPL and available for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and Windows.

VDrift features over 20 real world tracks and almost 30 cars to choose from. The game has a very realistic physics and the tracks, scenery and terrain modeled in acceptable details. The game is intended to run on slower machines with GeForce 2 and later, so you can’t compare the graphics with today’s games. But the effort put by the developers on a non-profit project like VDrift is admirable.

The game includes such basic features like different camera modes, replays, customizable controls, automatic shifting, traction control, anti-lock braking etc. It supports joysticks and gamepad and also has an experimental force feedback feature.

vdrift1 vdrift2  vdrift4 vdrift3 vdrift5 vdrift6

I haven’t played it yet but from the screenshots the game looks promising.

Editra, a new open source text editor

If you feel that Notepad++ or it’s numerous equivalent has too many functions you never use, you can try Editra, an open source, multi-platform text editor that “focuses on creating an easy-to-use interface and features that aid in code development.”

Currently this application supports basic auto completion and syntax highlighting for more than 60 languages. There is also a style editor that allows the user to customize the syntax highlighting color, or choose from one of the several color schemes available.

editra

One handy feature of Editra is the availability of plugins. There are only a handful of them right now like calculator, code browser, CSS optimizer etc.

Key Features:
· Auto-Completion (Python)
· Auto-Indent
· Built-in Plugin Downloader/Installer
· Clipboard history
· Code Folding
· Code to Html/LaTeX Generation
· Open files by drag and drop
· Automatic file backup option to periodically backup buffer contents
· Search/Replace in selection option to find dialog
· Highlight Style Editor
· Line Bookmarking
· Line Edit Commands (Join, Transpose, ect...)
· Multilingual Interface
· Syntax Highlighting (60+ Languages)
· Tabbed Windows
· Word Wrap

Editra is still in alpha development stage.

Keep your Nokia phones in sync with Nokia Ovi Suite 2.0

If you own a Nokia phone you must be already using Nokia PC Suite to backup your phone and transfer data between the phone and the PC. On the otherhand if you own an N-series phone, you must be using the Nseries PC Suite. Now Nokia intends to replace the various existing Nokia suites with a single solution that will work with all Nokia devices.

This new tool is Nokia Ovi Suite 2.0 (beta) that allows users to keep their Nokia device and personal computer fully synchronized at all times. This new solution also comes with the main features offered by Nokia Photos, Nokia Software updater and Nokia Map loader.

nokia-ovi-suite

With Nokia Ovi Suite users can move messages, contacts, photos, videos, music and more between their computer and their Nokia device, while also enabling them to share photos on Ovi.com, a new online service launched by Nokia where users can share photos with friends, buy music and access third-party services like Flickr.

More than 100 different Nokia S60 and S40 devices supported by the fresh Nokia Ovi Suite 2.0 at the time of release including the recent N-series devices.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MouseShade puts a virtual spotlight around the mouse pointer

One of the most important aspect of doing a presentation or demo is to be able to guide the audience to look at a particular area of the screen. Most people use long canes or laser pointers to point at areas on the screen. MouseShade is a small tool for Windows that eliminates the need for such objects.

When MouseShade is turned on, it dims the screen and puts a spotlight on the area around the mouse pointer, easily guiding the audiences attention to the area of interest. The shape of the spotlight, the color of the shade and the opacity of the shade can all be varied by accessing a pop up menu from the icon in the System tray, simply by right clicking. The application can be quickly hidden giving a full view of the desktop and activated again from the  system tray menu.

mouseshade-screen 

There are three available shapes – circle, rectangle and rounded corner rectangle. The transparency of the shaded area has three predefined levels though I would have preferred a continuous sliding scale. There are 6 different colors for the dimmed screen, but only the black looks good and unusable.

mouseshade2

The program automatically saves all options when it’s closed.

MouseShade is not only useful for giving presentation, but it can be also used for taking great screenshots.

NetDrive maps remote FTP drives as local drives

FTP clients are so cumbersome to use. A tiny window to browse files on your FTP server and another tiny window to browse files on your local hard drive. It has limited file manipulation options and you can’t even open multiple windows to transfer files from multiple drives. It’s like using a tiny cell phone.

An easier way to work with remote FTP drives is to mount them as local drives on your computer. This can be done using a free tool called NetDrive.

netdrive

Creating and account and logging in is just like any FTP client. But once you get connected, the remote FTP drive will be automatically mapped under an available drive letter as a local drive. Now you can perform any file operation on it just like on a local drive. Drag files from one explorer window to another to quickly transfer files between the FTP drive and your computer. Double click on executable on the remote drive to execute them and even play video and audio files directly from it. See, it’s just like a local drive?

The only disadvantage is that if the remote FTP server runs on Linux, you cannot change the read/write/execute file permission of files the way you can do with an FTP client, since such permission settings are not available under Windows explorer.

URL shortener bit.ly adds Google Analytics

Hugely popular URL shortening service bit.ly just went ahead of it’s competitors by tightly integrating Google Analytics with their service giving users extended statistics on their bit.ly campaigns.

The bit.ly Campaign Builder tool allow users to segment their marketing efforts by applying different keywords to links that will be shared cross different distribution channels, such as blogs, twitter, email, Facebook etc. So now you can actually see how many clicks came from which channel, instead of just the total number of clicks allowing you to concentrate your marketing efforts in specific platforms.

 bitly-campaign

The actual Campaign Builder tool uses Google Spreadsheets to create campaigns. Start by entering a long URL in the first column, then add keywords or campaign parameters and then grab the different shortened URLs generated and send them across different channels.

Since Google Analytics does not track your clicks in real time, you can use the Info+ pages to track clicks while Google collects data about the traffic generated by each campaign. The next day you will get a detailed campaign report when you check your Analytics account.

bitly2

[via The Next Web]

Monday, June 22, 2009

5 short links for today #8

vocalgrabber 1. VocabGrabber is a small utility to analyze your writing, vocabulary and how frequently you use certain words. Insert any text (up to 200000 characters) and generate lists of the words used and their frequency. View as a list or tag cloud. You can further filter the words based on 7 subject areas (Arts & Literature, Geography, Math, People, Science, Social Studies, Vocabulary).

ie8-logo 2. How to slip stream Internet Explorer 8 to Windows installation discs: A downloadable PDF guide from Microsoft. Supported OS - Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP.

psd-logo 3. How to reduce PSD files size: Add a white filled layer on the top of your PSD file and save it to achieve a 20% size reduction. Then zip it to reduce the file size to a massive 85%. Nice trick.

dustme-selector 4. Dust-Me Selectors: A Firefox addon created by SitePoint.com that helps find unused CSS selectors on the current page. It extracts all the selectors from all the stylesheets on the page you're viewing, then analyzes that page to see which of those selectors are not used. The data is then stored so that when testing subsequent pages, selectors can be crossed off the list as they're encountered. A great tool to clean up your stylesheets.

chrome-channel 5. Google Chrome’s YouTube Channel: Some time back Google started airing Chrome ads on TV. Did you know that now there are 55 Chrome-only videos on YouTube?

CodySafe, another start menu for USB drives

Remember the 3 start menu tools for USB flash drives? There is another one I totally forgot to add. It’s called CodySafe.

CodySafe’s menu looks like another Windows Vista start menu, the only difference is it opens on the right side of the taskbar near the system tray. Like any of the previously mentioned tools, CodySafe allows you to add shortcuts to applications, files and folders in your portable drive to the menu and organize them into categories. It also supports keyboard hotkeys.

codysafe

Apart from the usual stuff, CodySafe carries a drive scanner and an auto-run prevention utility. The drive scanner can automatically scan and fix drive errors or bad sectors, and also prevents applications from launching itself automatically through the autorun.inf files which is often done by viruses.

CodySafe also lets the user create a ‘contact card’ containing the user’s name, address, phone number and other contact details and save it as a text, HTML or image file in the portable drive. The purpose of this is to allow the drive’s finder to locate the owner incase he or she loses it. That’s a nice afterthought, but not as intuitive as this trick.

Advanced Dork brings advanced Google search to Firefox

The built in Google search that you can access from Firefox’s context menu by highlighting a word on a page is a basic search. But you must be aware that Google has plenty of advanced search operators that can help you filter search results. For example, intext:, intitle:, inurl: etc.

Advanced Dork is an addon for Firefox that enables you to search Google using these advanced search operators, directly from the context menu. Simply highlight the word you want to search, select Advanced Dork and choose from over 15 advanced Google operators.

 advanced-dork 

Advanced Dork has some additional options that can be turned on in the Options menu. Right click anywhere on the page with no text selected to search the current page’s HTML title with the Google's “intitle” Operator, and the current page’s HTML ALT tags using the “allintext” Operator.

advanced-dork2

Again, right clicking on a link provides you more options under the Advanced Dork item. You are able to search the link using “site:”. “link:” and “cache:” operators. These operators are often useful for webmasters for SEO purposes. You can also access these operators by right-clicking on the address bar.

advanced-dork3

Vey useful addon if you frequently use advanced operators. Even if you have never used advanced operators, now you will.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

[Sunday Treats] The Danish Poet – Short animation movie

The Danish Poet is a short animation movie by Torill Kove and narrated by Liv Ullmann, that won the 2007 Academy Awards for the Best Short Subject Animation. 

Movie Synopsis:
Can we trace the chain of events that leads to our own birth? Is our existence just coincidence? Do little things matter?

The narrator of The Danish Poet considers these questions as we follow Kasper, a poet whose creative well has run dry, on a holiday to Norway to meet the famous writer, Sigrid Undset. As Kasper's quest for inspiration unfolds, it appears that a spell of bad weather, an angry dog, slippery barn planks, a careless postman, hungry goats and other seemingly unrelated factors might play important roles in the big scheme of things after all.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Weekend Games: Cargo Bridge

For the last one hour I have been playing a game called Cargo Bridge. It’s one of those games that can seriously hamper your productivity. The aim of the game is to build a bridge sturdy enough to allow workers transport several cargoes across a valley.

 cargo-bridge1

You have in your hand a limited amount of cash which you have to use to buy wood for constructing the bridge. First you have to design the bridge on a blueprint while keeping an eye on your funds. Take a look around the terrain, because sometimes you have to build multiple bridges. After the bridge or bridges has been built, you have to test it to see whether it can take the load. If it manages to hold on, you win the level and proceed to even more challenging jobs. If the bridge collapse, you start designing again.

cargo-bridge2

The good thing is, the game can be downloaded to play offline. I can assure you, you will enjoy playing this as much as I did.

Which ad network is using behavioral targeting on you and how to opt-out?

Have you ever seen ads during web surfing that seem to offer you a solution for exactly the thing you have been researching on lately? That’s called behavioral targeting. Behavioral Targeting is a relatively new form of advertising that has raised privacy concerns among consumers because of the way they invade their privacy.

In behavioral targeting advertising networks place tracking cookies on visitors PCs that collect their browsing behavior and use this information to display relevant ads to them. So if an Internet surfer is searching for say, laptops, the advertisers will start pushing laptop ads to this user in the hope of making a sale.

There is nothing to be paranoid of because the information collected by these cookies are usually anonymous, and flushing the browsers cache usually removes all information collected on you. But you don’t even have to do that, because thankfully, every major advertising network allows users to opt-out of behavioral targeting.

How to opt-out of behavioral targeting

Option 1: An industry group, The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), provides an easy way for users to opt-out of the behavioral targeting performed by its member companies. Just visit their opt-out page to find out which advertising network has currently placed a cookie on your PC. You can then opt-out of either all of these networks or a selected few.

NAI-opt-out

The NAI network currently consist of 29 ad networks.

Option 2: Many more ad networks exist that aren't a part of NAI. To opt-out of these non-NAI ad networks, you can use PrivacyChoice. This one allows you to opt-out from up to 78 ad companies. But PrivacyChoice doesn’t provide you any information about your status in the advertisers market the way NAI provides. Also you can’t see which networks you have actually opted out from.

Be aware that both NAI and PrivacyChoice uses cookies to set the opt-out options in your browser. If you clean the browser cache, this cookie will be lost and you have to reset the NAI or PrivacyChoice cookie by re-visiting their pages.

Option 3: The third option is a Firefox addon called TACO (Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-Out). The TACO addon permanently sets opt-out cookies to stop behavioral targeting by 40 different advertising networks, including all members of NAI. The advantage of using the addon is that it’s permanent. Clearing your browsers cache or cookies doesn’t remove the opt-out cookies. The obvious disadvantage is of course, it works only with Firefox.

taco-addon

Before I end this article, I want to say that may be behavioral targeting is a bad idea, but Internet advertising is not. Advertising supports free content on the web, contents that you would otherwise have to pay for. Don’t hurt a site by taking only the good contents and blocking all ads that generates revenue for the site. It’s selfish. True, nobody likes pop-up, or flashy obnoxious ads. Use adblock to block them, but use it judiciously. The Internet wouldn’t even exist without ads.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials, Morro, leaked. Plus new screenshots.

morro-logo No, I’m not talking about the leaked screenshots that appeared on the Internet a few days ago. It’s the actual application that got leaked now! Morro is slated for public release on June 23, 2009, but now you can grab it a week earlier.

Those who still haven’t heard about it, Microsoft Security Essentials or Morro is a free antivirus based on the Microsoft One Care which is a paid solution. Well, One Care was never a great anti-virus to begin with, and Morro is going to be a reduced-feature version of Morro. Still, you might want to give it a whirl, just like one forum user puts it, “Oh what the hell?! I'll give it a try ...can't be any worse than AVG.”

And in case you don’t want to try it, enjoy these exclusive and more recent  screenshots.

morro1

morro3 morro4

More screenshots

Download links at JCXP

[via BlogsDNA]

Unattended software installation with Windows Post-Install Wizard

After every Windows reinstall an average user spends several long hours remembering what applications they had installed, and then re-installing each one of them, one after the other, individually and with a couple of reboots between them. It’s enough to drive any people insane. That’s why projects such as nLite, vLite, TGUP etc thrive.

But why slipstream all your software into the Windows installation CD and make it bloated? Instead, why not make a separate installation media which installs all your favorite software at one go. This is what Windows Post-Install Wizard (WPI) can do.

WPI

The initial configuration of WPI can be rather time consuming, but this will payoff later. To add applications to WPI, you have to copy the installers to the directory “Installer” and then use WPI’s interface to configure the application - add silent switches, categories, specify scripts to run, etc. After you are done, burn the entire directory structure on a CD or DVD. Optionally you can choose to integrate the whole thing into Windows installation media using applications such as nLite or vlite, or even make the disc bootable. 

Unlike tools such as nLite, WPI offers a big advantage. When you launch the WPI created disc after a fresh Windows install, you can choose from the list which applications you want to install. This means that you can include multiple software installers on the disc and only install those which you want, something like in a Linux distribution. Can’t decide between Avast or Avira Antivir? Include both and also throw in AVG. With WPI the only factor that limits the number of applications you can add is the size of the disc. 

The interface of WPI is also fully configurable, and it can even play your preferred music while the installation is on.

gMote brings mouse gestures to Windows

We use shortcuts all the time in the form of keyboard hotkeys and often mouse gestures in browsers like Opera or Firefox. While Windows has plenty of built in keyboard shortcuts, to enable mouse gesture we have to use third party tools such as gMote, an excellent mouse gesture program for Windows.

gMote lets you configure your own set of mouse gesture, by drawing them on a canvas and recording the gesture. Then you can assign an action to the gesture which can be anything from launching programs, files, opening website, controlling the media player, minimizing/maximizing windows, copy/paste and even simulate a keyboard combination press.

gmote

gmote-actions

Another useful feature is the ability to create multiple sets of mouse gestures. For instance, you can create a set of gestures for opening different web URLs and use this set only when you are browsing. This gives you the possibility to assign the same gesture to perform different tasks under different situations.

To prevent accidentally making a mouse gesture, you can configure the application to accept gestures only when you press the CTRL key or CTRL+SHIFT key, or middle mouse and so on. By default the gesture is performed using the right mouse button.

There is another option called Timeout which when enabled will ignore the gesture if you don’t move the pointer soon after pressing keyboard button (SHIFT/CTRL), which makes it possible to perform the same gestures like dragging window around without triggering gMote.

Here is a video demonstration of the program.