Google Earth has always been a great tool to explore the world. But now you can use it to explore weather patterns around the globe too. A new update for Google Earth has just been released that projects images of rain, snow and other weather patterns over the areas as it’s actually happening. Unlike the imagery, weather reports are real time. Of course, it wouldn’t make sense to show stale weather information.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Shortly after releasing The Word 2010: Interactive menu to ribbon guide, Microsoft has made available similar guides for the remaining software application that make up the Office 2010 suite. These include Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Publisher 2010 and OneNote 2010.
Comodo Programs Manager is the latest free software to join the ever growing Comodo’s product family. Comodo Programs Manager is designed to help you manage your Windows operating system by providing you invaluable tools for program and drivers uninstallation, windows tweaker, malware scanner, and Windows updates manager.
FluentNotepad is a simple, stylish Notepad application for Windows with the famous Microsoft Office Ribbon interface. Not the first Notepad application to do that, despite what the creator claims (Notepad 2008 was the first Ribbon based notepad application), but yes, FluentNotepad does it nicer.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Lifextender is a free, open source application that can remove advertisements from recorded TV shows that were recorded either through Windows Media Center or any TV recording software. Lifeextender can be used both as a standalone application and as a plug-in for Windows Vista and Windows 7 Media Center.
Images of what appears to be an early build of Internet Explorer 9 has been leaked by a Chinese website. The screenshots reveal a new download manager with support for pausing and canceling downloads (goddamn! Microsoft, what took you so long to implement that?) and a very Chrome like start page.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
KernelEx is a fascinating open source project that aims to resurrect a dead operating system. KernelEx enables machines running Windows 98 and Me to run applications designed to be used on Windows XP and 2000. The software “patch” adds a compatibility layer to the older operating system that implements missing API calls used by newer applications that are absent from Windows 98 and Windows ME.
Kludget Engine is a widget engine for the Windows platform that enables Windows users to run MacOS’s Dashboard widgets. Although Kludgets Engine draws inspiration from MacOS’s Dashboard it brings some of the better features from Yahoo’s Widget Engine, Microsoft Gadget, Google Desktop, and Opera Widgets.
Anonymous whistle blower website Wikileaks which publishes anonymous leaks of otherwise unavailable documents, usually sensitive ones, has come to be perceived as a serious threat to government organization worldwide, particularly big brother United States. Recently, the site released more than 90,000 government documents related to the war in Afghanistan not previously available for public review. Prior to that, the site leaked sensational videos of US military indiscriminating slaying dozens of people including two Reuter journalist on a website called Collateral Murder.
Still struggling your way around the Office Ribbon interface that was introduced in Office 2007 and continued to Office 2010? Microsoft is here is help. A new resource has been made available for free download by Microsoft that is designed to help customers upgrading from Office 2003 or earlier to Office 2010, to get familiarized with the new Office interface.
Animated Weather Forecast is a software application for Windows that brings weather information to the desktop in the form of self explaining animation – rain, clouds, snow and so on.
System Silencer is a helpful little utility that can perform a multitude of different actions after your computer goes idle. On a typical modern operating system, usually the only actions a computer can perform when it’s idling are turning off monitor and hard disk to save power or launching the screensaver. System Silencer goes beyond that.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Sometime ago Google introduced a new way to read Google Reader – Google Reader Play. On Google Reader Play you can browse the news in slideshows, view pictures and videos and read popular stories in comforting white text over black. Unfortunately, you can’t use Google Reader Play to read your subscription, only stories recommended by some algorithm which limits it’s usefulness, if any.
Looks like iSkysoft is really celebrating about something. This is their third giveaway (earlier giveaways) in less than 2 months. The iSkysoft DVD to iPhone Converter for Windows and Mac is currently available for free download until August 9th, 2010. The software normally retails at $29.
CleverPrint is a printing application that enables users to control how and what they want to print. It’s smarter than your average printer software and offers a handful of tools to customize and clean up your documents before sending them to the printer. CleverPrint can reduce your printing costs by up to 50%, they claim.
Analytical search engine Wolfram Alpha today started offering web users widgets that they can put on their sites and provide visitors with customized computational results on their own websites.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Skype has an auto answer feature that automatically picks up the call whenever an incoming call to your computer is detected. While it does save you a click, auto answer is not an enjoyable option to have as it forces you to accept calls even from your most loathsome contacts.
Vodburner is a free software that enables Skype users to record video calls for free. The software also comes with a set of video post-production tools that allows users to produce an output that shows either one or both sides of the call, with fancy transitions effects, overlay texts and so on.
Amarok 1.4 was arguably one of the best music players produced during recent years. Then sometime around 2008, the Amarok team decided to migrate the code base to Qt4 and so came a new Amarok 2. The 1.4x series was abandoned and no longer supported.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Did you know you can embed images in HTML pages or blogs, right there within the page, without linking them to an external server? That means no uploading to any file server. The image data can be embedded right into the page. This is possible using data URI.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
YouTube just introduced a new video encoding method by which users will now be able to embed videos in blog post and HTML pages using IFRAMES. The regular Flash video embedding codes are still available.
DownloadCrew.co.uk is giving away fee copies of Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 SE which normally retails at $49.95. The offer is valid till July 31, 2010. If you wish to grab a copy, jump to the end of the article for instructions. Or just continue reading to know what the software does.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Google allows you to download reports from your Analytics account as CSV sheets which you can open in any spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel. This is useful when you wish to keep an offline record or carry trend analysis upon the data. If you do that quite often, there is a way by which you can skip the entire step of logging into your Analytics account from a browser, generating a report and downloading it to your computer. Instead, you can import that data directly into Excel from within Excel.
The Indian government today unveiled a low cost tablet PC designed specifically for students. The device which is expected to ship by 2011, will be initially priced at INR 1500 (around $30), gradually dropping down to INR 1000 ($20) and ultimately to INR 500 ($10) a piece.
At last, somebody did it. Somebody finally did it. Yes, somebody actually wrote a GUI interface using VB to track an IP Address. If you have no idea what I’m referring to, you aren’t watching enough TV, buddy. Here, watch this clip from CSI, a show that makes every geek cringe.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Yesterday, I wrote about FFixer, a Greasemonkey script that greatly enhances Facebook (my favorite is full image pop-up on mouse hover; saves a lot of time). Here is another indispensible Greasemonkey script – this one cleans up your Facebook wall from junk updates.
Latvian programmer and geek Peteris Krumins along with his American partner James Halliday are working on an pretty neat project called StackVM. Using StackVM users will be able to access and run virtual machines right within their browser, something like Microsoft is doing on their Windows 7 test drive site, only much more accessible and without requiring special plug-ins. StackVM will even let people embed virtual machines in their blogs!
DSBMarks is an add-on for Firefox that lets you save your bookmarks in a different way. Rather than organizing them by folders, DSBMarks automatically creates a date based hierarchy to sort your new bookmarks.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Microsoft is offering users plenty of resources and guides for their latest Office product – Microsoft Office 2010. Most of them are online, but two of them are available as ebooks and available free of cost.
SpeedCrunch is an open source, cross platform calculator designed for power users who struggle with formulas like volume of sphere and surface area of a cone. SpeedCrunch’s built in help system containing mathematical formulas, physical constants and functions ensures that you arrive at the correct result each time you hit Enter without having to memorize any 18 digit number.
FFixer, previously known as Facebook Fixer, is a userscript that enhances your Facebook experience by adding a ton of features to the site. The added functionality allows you to tailor Facebook to your needs, and make it easier to browse and use.
Dell in collaboration with the recently acquired KACE network just released a free browser for safer Internet browsing. Dell’s free browser, unintuitively named Secure Browser, is essentially Firefox running in a virtualized container with built addons, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader.
Planet Earth’s Interorbital's TubeSat Personal Satellite (PS) Kit is a low-cost alternative to the CubeSat, another private satellite project started in 1999 to help universities, companies and even government organization to perform space science and exploration at fraction of the cost. CubeSats could each be made and launched for an estimated $65,000 – $80,000 dollars, a price tag far lower than most satellite launches. Planet Earth does it for even lower - $8000.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Earlier this year when the Pirate Bay was ousted by their host due to legal troubles, a Swedish political party by the name of Swedish Pirate Party came forward to provide bandwidth to The Pirate Bay to safeguard it from constant bullying by record companies and government agencies. Now the Pirate Party will be doing the same for the average citizen by launching its own ISP with focus on anonymity, privacy and protection.
Security experts and fanboys can argue as long as they want upon the question of the most vulnerable (or secure) operating system in the world. But here, we have a clear winner. Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is a Linux distribution that is riddled with security holes. It is everything a good Linux distribution isn't, the developers explain. Its developers have spent hours stuffing it with broken, ill-configured, outdated, and exploitable software that makes it vulnerable to attacks. That’s because DVL isn't built to run on your desktop - it's a learning tool for security students.
Wondershare Time Freeze Free is a software that essentially freezes your computer in time by allowing you to install software, run application and surf the Internet, and then roll back any changes you made to the system after you are done.
Alien Swarm, which started out as an Unreal Tournament mod, is today a full blown multi-player shooter game that just got released in its entirety, including the SDK, on Valve owned Steam.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Early this month Emisoft Software announced that they would phase out the popular antivirus product A-Squared and replace it with two new products - Emsisoft Anti-Malware and Emsisoft Emergency Kit.
System Nucleus is an all-in-one, all powerful Windows administration software that serves as the “nucleus” of your entire computer system. System Nucleus packs more than 10 different system utilities such as system audit, backup, disk management, startup manager and more. The aim of the software is to provide all essential Windows maintenance tool under a single roof.
When you create a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation on a computer that uses a particular set of fonts, those fonts may not look the same when you open the same document on another computer that has different fonts installed.
You can solve this problem by embedding the fonts in the Word document or PowerPoint presentation. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint supports embedding of fonts that do not have license restrictions that prevent embedding.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The Indian Rupee Symbol was finalized a few days ago by the Union Cabinet. The country didn’t have an international symbol until now. Previously the Indian currency was typed as INR which is an abbreviation of “Indian Rupees”. The new symbol for the Indian Rupee, which was designed by a postgraduate at Indian Institute of Technology, looks like this:
After treating amateur astronomers like us with high resolution images of Mars, the Microsoft Research team has come up with another project – a terapixel image of the night sky, the largest and clearest image ever produced.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
I have never believed figures provided by web traffic estimators like Alexa, Compete and Quantcast. My personal opinion is that it’s impossible to estimate the traffic of any website unless you are actively tracking the site with a piece of code.
Send to Dropbox is a new service that allows you to upload files to your Dropbox account via email from any computer. A major advantage of using Send to Dropbox, over other services (MailDrop, for example) is you don’t require to install the Dropbox client or any other software to use it. This lets you quickly send files to Dropbox from any public computer without having to spend time setting up the computer.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Do you frequently keep checking your watch to see how many hours are left before you can finally call it a day, pack your things and go home? Well, why not have a progress bar like the ones that appear when installing stuff on the computer?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Microsoft always offers the Live Essential suit in the form of web install. But some of us prefer to keep an offline installer – it’s faster and saves bandwidth if you need to reinstall it or install on multiple computers.
Paragon Go Virtual is a brand new software from the popular Paragon Software Group, that lets users migrate a physical computer into a virtual environment. The software allows the user to convert a physical system running a Windows operating system later than Windows 2000, with all application, settings and user files intact, into a virtual system.
Since I haven’t posted a link collection in a while, I will try to make up by publishing 10 links in place of the usual 5.
1. Apollo Images: 20,000 high-resolution scans of original film from the Apollo missions – from Apollo 9 through Apollo 17. The total size of the collection is reported to be in excess of 12 GB.
2. Video card troubleshooting: This page has a collection of screen grabs of corrupted screens which are results of specific video card problems. You can diagnose your video card by comparing your screen with the example corrupted screens.
BlackBox Security Monitor is a kind of spy application software that allows administrators to monitor and oversee user activities on other computers on a network.
The software guides the administrator through a short wizard type program via which the administrator adds computers and users to monitor on BlackBox Security Monitor. It’s possible to monitor activities of only specific users. The program than monitors the following activities and events on the computers:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Often designers get so used to Adobe Photoshop’s interface that anything different feels totally alien. This is where you might find Photoshop-like Color Picker useful.
The idea behind Photoshop-like Color Picker is to give designers the familiar look and feel of Photoshop’s color picking tool.
Being a student is advantageous these days, at least in the United States. There are enticing student discounts from Microsoft for various products – Windows 7, Office, Technet subscriptions, free products through DreamSpark and so on. And now comes an offer from Amazon.
Shortly after starting the free iSkysoft FLV Converter giveaway, which is still active, iSkysoft has come up with yet another giveaway of a full product. This time it’s iSkysoft iPhone Video Converter for Windows and Mac.
Genie-Soft, the makers of backup solutions like Genie Backup Manager and Genie Timeline, is currently giving away free license keys of Genie Backup Manager Home Edition 7. The promotion comes a few months after the publisher released version 8 of the same software.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Creating video slideshows from your images is not a big deal. You can easily do that with even rudimentary tools like Windows Movie Maker or Virtual Dub. But to make your slideshow appealing and standout from the crowd you have to add few distinctive touches to it, and what’s better than the good ol’ Ken Burns effect?
Ever set a movie to download, turned off your monitor and came back an hour later equipped with a bag of popcorns only to find the download had aborted 10 minutes after it started because the Internet connection got reset? Probably happens all the time – Murphy’s law.
Daniusoft Video Converter Ultimate, formerly called Daniusoft Media Converter, is a software application that carries a spectacular set of tools under an average sounding name. Daniusoft Video Converter Ultimate, as the publisher puts it, “cuts in the scope of multimedia decoding & encoding, legitimate copyright circumventing, DVD decrypting & authoring and media file transferring for personal use.”
Saturday, July 10, 2010
You can’t remove your ex from your past or erase them from your memory, but thanks to the wonders of technology, you can definitely delete them from the Internet.
For years, Google Maps showed only rooftops of city houses. Starting today, you will be able to view the sides too and count the number of windows on apartments buildings.
PowerArchiver 2010 Free is the latest version of the powerful file compression utility that comes free of cost for personal use. Many of the advanced features found on the Pro version are disabled in the free edition. But most of these are peripheral like CD burning and FTP client. The core features related to file archiving and compression remain untouched.
Got tired of 1080p videos already? Listen to what Google did today – they added support for playing videos all the way to 4096p on YouTube. "Today at the VidCon 2010 conference, we announced support for videos shot in 4K (a reference resolution of 4096 x 3072), meaning that now we support original video resolution from 360p all the way up to 4096p.”, they announced.
Stop press! A Reddit user has discovered a way to watch streaming content on Hulu from outside US without resorting to any of the typical methods users employ – proxy connection or VPN network. Rather, he has invented an indigenous method that involves an addon for Firefox and blocking of a few ports. Sounds unbelievable, right? So lets get this thing working. Ready?
Friday, July 9, 2010
WideStream is an open source download manager, FTP manager, FTP explorer, Host manager and URL crawler all bundled into one, and it manages to do that without making the program too overwhelming or cluttered.
Russian publication Vedomosti reported on Wednesday that Microsoft had agreed to open up the source code of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Office 2010 and several other products to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) as per an agreement the company had with Russia in 2002.
Some of you like open source software and many of you prefer open source over anything. So here you are, an open source hard sensor monitor for Windows.
The Open Hardware Monitor is a free open source application that monitors temperature sensors, fan speeds, voltages, load and clock speeds of a computer. It supports most hardware monitoring chips found on today's mainboards like the ITE, Winbond and Fintek families. The CPU temperature can be monitored by reading the core temperature sensors of Intel and AMD processors. The sensors of ATI and Nvidia video cards as well as SMART hard drive temperature can be displayed.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
When you open a program, resize the window and move it to one corner of the screen you expect the program to remember that position when you open it the next time. Some programs do, others do not. Even the ones that do tend to forget the position after a few days.
A new update was made available by Microsoft for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system that is designed to advance the backward compatibility capability of the two platforms.
The backward compatibility feature of Windows 7 allows running of older application that doesn’t play nice with the new operating system. Although not a one-hundred percent fool proof solution, the backward compatibility feature has worked for me on a number of occasions in the past.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Shotwell is a photo organizer and viewer that runs on both Windows and Linux operating system. It comes with a photo manager that allows you to import photos from disk or camera, organize them in various ways, tag them, do basic image enhancing and view them in slideshows. The Linux version comes with an additional option that allows publishing of photos on Facebook, Flickr and Picasa Web album.
Lavasoft has released Ad-Aware Free Internet Security 8.3 that includes two major updates – antivirus support and a scheduler. The antivirus feature was introduced into the anti-malware program in 2008 but was available only to paying customers, until now.
Microsoft has just launched a totally awesome free web development suite called WebMatrix that provides an all-in-one solution for building websites on Windows. WebMatrix has all the components needed to build both static and dynamic - a web server, a database, a web framework, and a development environment.
NASA has debuted its first game Moonbase Alpha that allows players to assume the role of an astronaut and part of an exploration team in a futuristic 3D lunar settlement. The game is available on Steam as a free download and includes both single player capability and LAN or internet multiplayer gameplay.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Microsoft always has the sweetest deals for schools and college students. In a new initiative called College Ready – Career Ready, Microsoft is offering massive discounts to students on purchase of Windows 7 and Office 2010.
If your computer has multiple users, like those on family PCs, you can display messages or what is known as “legal notices” to each user when they login. This can be done by adding a simple registry key as explained in this Microsoft support page. This is an old trick and I’m pretty sure a majority of Windows users are aware of it.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Style Jukebox is a new media player for Windows, the beta version of which became available just the other day. The application is designed to be used as a full featured media managing solution with support for major audio and video formats, media library and support for portable media devices like the iPod.
The Libraries feature on Windows 7 is useful but not enough, because it doesn’t give me access to the most recently used folders.
When I was on Windows XP, FlashFolder used to help me with this. It attached a toolbar to the File Open and Save dialog box that gave me options to access the recently opened folders, favorite folders and so on. Unfortunately, FlashFolder doesn’t work on Windows 7. But Buzz Folders do.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
There are several open source and actively developed, wireless router firmware projects created by people not affiliated with the manufacturers. Many of these are based on source code that some vendors have been forced to release to the public as part of it was based on software licensed under the GNU General Public License. Specifically the Linksys WRT54G series, which was the starting point for many of these projects.
Do you have a hard time deciding what to wear when you go out? Which shirt to wear and which trousers, tie and shoes will go along with it? Then you should try one of these wardrobe managing solutions.
Grab a camera, take pictures of your clothes and create a virtual wardrobe of your actual clothes on your computer. Whenever you need to make a match, instead of rummaging through a physical closet, browse through the virtual closet and pick the most appropriate dress to wear in record time.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Usually when you are working on your computer, you like to keep your work-in-progress files close at hand. I have come across people who dump all their recent downloads and work files on the desktop because it saves time when accessing.
Google Analytics is an excellent visitor tracking and web analytics software that many of us use. But the drawback of this otherwise power tool is that it’s almost 24 hours late in providing stats. As such many bloggers are forced to use additional tracking software like Sitemeter or Statcounter.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
A new software called SleepServer developed by Yuvraj Agarwal, a research scientist at the University of California, San Diego, allows personal computers in enterprise environments to save energy and money by entering into a “sleep-working” mode.
There are several different ways to create a table in Word 2007 and 2010. Apart from the traditional method of inputting the number of rows and columns in the ‘Insert table’ dialog, you can also visually choose the table size on a grid or even use the mouse to draw columns and rows on page.
Windows 2000 introduced a new security feature called ‘account lockout’ that disables a user account when a certain number of failed logons occur due to wrong passwords within a certain interval of time. The purpose behind it is to foil any attempt by attackers to brute-force into a user account by guessing the password. If the attacker enters too many bad guesses the account gets locked.