Zooniverse is a citizen science portal that offers enthusiastic members of the public to participate in scientific research projects – projects that requires immense amount of man hours and which cannot be automated. Zooniverse was originally started in 2007 as Galaxy Zoo (previously) in which the public was enlisted to classify galaxies in images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Since then it added others such as Milky Way project, Galaxy Zoo Hubble, Galaxy Zoo Supernovae, and Solar StormWatch among others.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Adobe Labs has unveiled a new Adobe Flash Incubator program, a place where the company will share with developers features that are under development or under consideration for inclusion in future versions of the Flash Platform runtimes. The Incubator program will allow developers preview technologies with “bleeding-edge capabilities” and contribute to the future of the Flash Platform.
Internet telephony service Skype has introduced a new service, Skype To Go, that makes it possible to make international calls from any phones – mobile or landlines. The service has been around for years, but the re-launch brings in new feature – now you can directly dial numbers for your Skype contacts without going through a voice menu and you can do that without even needing an Internet connection or 3G access.
Last week Google dealt a big blow on content farms and scrapper sites that copy content from others and essentially all blogs in general. The algorithm change, which I reckon, you have heard, read and experienced yourself by now is aimed to move sites with “original” content to the top of search results and push down sites with “low quality” content to the bottom.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Google has quietly made a major change in policy regarding storage on Picasa Web Albums. According to the new rules, pictures less than 800 pixels in size no longer count towards used Picasa Web Albums storage. Similarly, all videos under 15 minutes also don't count towards used storage. This means that if you remain strictly under the size limits, you can upload as many pictures and videos as you want without worrying about running out of space.
Mozilla has just released the latest beta of Firefox 4, which, the corporation says, will be the last beta build of the browser. Firefox 4 beta 12 boasts of increased performance while viewing Flash content, improved plugin compatibility with hardware acceleration enabled, and general stability, performance, and compatibility improvements.
Friday, February 25, 2011
The other day, Amazon made some changes to their file hosting service S3 enabling customers to use it as a web server to host websites. Of course, Amazon S3 is not free so you would still require to pay to use their service, the same way you would pay for a normal web server. So if you are looking for a free solution, you have to look for alternatives such as the robust servers at Google App Engine. Yup! you can host static websites there too. This guide teaches you how to.
Google has added a new section to their search engine dedicated to finding recipes. It can be found by expanding the left sidebar on Google search results page by clicking on the “More” button. The Recipe View lets you narrow your search results to show only recipes, and helps you choose the right recipe amongst the search results by showing clearly marked ratings, ingredients and pictures.
Google Cloud Connect is a free plugin that integrates Google Docs with Microsoft Office thus bringing cloud syncing, sharing, simultaneous collaboration, revision history and more to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint applications. Google Cloud Connect was launched last November for limited number of users as a beta software. It is now available to everyone.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
A lot of software has hit the freeware route during the last few days. Download Squad reported another software that had recently dumped the commercial version for good - BufferZone Pro, a sandboxing software that allows users to run software in isolated environments for security. Incidentally, Trustware had launched a promotion not long ago and gave away BufferZone Pro for free. The discount is now made permanent.
Microsoft has upgraded the trial pack for Windows Azure Platform. It now offers a whooping 750 free hours on an Extra Small Compute Instance – a new introductory special, apart from the regular 25 free hours on a Small Compute Instance. This extended free trial will allow developers to try out the Windows Azure platform without the need for up-front investment costs.
Many applications that provide function like timely notifications for things like calendar events and incoming chat messages rely on background services that enable users to avail the functionality without keeping the application running in foreground. Extensions for chrome and packaged apps can already display notifications and maintain state without any visible windows, using background pages – a feature available to extension developers. This functionality is now made available to hosted apps - the most common form of apps in the Chrome Web Store - via a new background window mechanism.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
CPU throttling or dynamic frequency scaling is a technique where the frequency or clock of the microprocessor is reduced to conserve power. A throttled CPU runs at a speed less than capacity. This is the opposite of overclocking
Lavasoft, the company behind Ad-Aware malware removal program, has put up a page that prominently displays all fake antivirus and rogue applications discovered till date for all to see.
The World Cup Cricket 2011 which is being jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, is currently underway. If you are from one of the 14 participating nations or from just about anywhere on earth and follow cricket, you must be keeping track of the tournament through website updates and the news. Here is another way to keep abreast without going anywhere – right from your own blog, assuming you do have a blog.
Monday, February 21, 2011
With the first service pack of Windows 7 just out the door, Microsoft has already begun offering the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7 SP1, allowing administrators to deploy the operating system along with the upgrade.
Seriously, who installs toolbar for browsers, on purpose (other than your mom and your friends and your relatives and friends of your relatives who generally have messy, virus-laden computers)? But the newly redesigned Bing Bar for Internet Explorer, by Microsoft, is probably the one and only toolbar in history that you might actually want to install. In fact, I recommend that you install the Bing Bar.
Game Booster is a software that helps you optimize your PC so that you get better performance while playing resource intensive games. The program accomplishes this by shutting down a variety of Windows background services that are normally not needed during game play, cleaning RAM, defragmenting game directories and intensifying processor performance.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Google’s online document viewer is getting better by the day. Today, Google added support for 12 more file types including the remaining Microsoft Office formats – the ones that were missing till now were Office 2007/2010 file formats – as well as Apple Pages, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Autodesk AutoCad, and Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG) among many others.
WinX DVD Author, the DVD authoring and DVD burning solution that we gave away last year, has been released as a freeware product. The software was once shareware which cost $49.95. The developers at Digiarty Software, Inc updated the software with a more powerful encoder and decoder engine, and recoded it to a complete freeware. So those who are looking for free solution to create and burn home video DVD, the enhanced WinX DVD Author freeware will be surely a nice choice.
Everybody needs some form of image editing or the other. Some are satisfied with Microsoft Paint, others go for Paint.Net, GIMP and the millions or so alternative image editor and painting program that is currently available. One such program that you might like to try, since it was made completely free with the latest release, is Chasys Draw IES.
Friday, February 18, 2011
J7Z is a free program that offers an alternative user interface for the open source file archiving program 7-Zip. J7Z features easy operation from explorer context menu, the ability to create compression profiles for different uses and some other improvements.
Last December rumors about an impending doom for popular bookmark service Delicious over a leaked document from Yahoo quarters began spreading the blogosphere. Soon competing bookmark services and even new startups began promoting their own Delicious bookmarks importer. Later Yahoo assured that Delicious was not going to be shut down, just merely changed hands.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Today the first service pack of Windows 7 were made available for download to subscribers of MSDN and TechNet. Later this month - the expected date is Feb 22 – the download links will be made public for all and sundry. Of course, download links for the RTM and prior builds of the service pack has been floating around the web for weeks. But before you go about installing SP1, you should read a Knowledge Base article that Microsoft published not too long ago.
Spider Player (previously reviewed) is a free music player with built in Internet radio stations with recording capabilities, a CD ripper and music converter. The player came in two variants - a free version and a paid one. I enjoyed Spider Player free for a few days before moving back to my regular music player Clementine. But those who are still sticking with the free version of Spider Player, here is some good news – Spider Player Pro is now available for free.
The Mozilla team has released to the public a couple of screenshots of what appears to be mock-ups of yet to be conceived Firefox 5. It is not unusual for developers to be working on more than one version of their software simultaneously. The Firefox team having scheduled for themselves a busy year ahead, they have to do better than just mockups. For now, let us look what the UI team has in mind.
Recently, Gawker Media and all the blogs under their wing underwent a full-blown redesign that has been attracting a lot of criticism from readers. Even traffic seems to have taken a major hit. Despite all the criticisms and the flaws in the design, Sahas Katta of Skatter Tech has built a Wordpress theme clone of the Gawker’s new design for anyone who wishes to implement it in their blogs.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Microsoft Excel 2010 includes a very useful feature called Sparklines. These are little chart displayed in a cell that helps you track and visualize data trends. A Sparkline fits inside a single cell, allowing you to view data and charts on the same table.
The Event Log is a very useful piece of tool on Windows that automatically records details of any events and problems that your computer encounters, including software installs and uninstalls, system crashes and such. But the Event Log is not easy to view. This is where EventLog Inspector comes in.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
The Khan Academy is a free online education resource containing exceptionally high quality videos on a wide range of topics - from physics to algebra to history. In recent times, along with hundreds and thousands of free courses available from MIT and other universities, this renowned not-for-profit organization has turned into a powerhouse in the online education space.
Friday, February 11, 2011
The two-step authentication process, which has been available for Google Apps customers since September 2010, is being slowly rolled out to all Google users. It might seem a bit confusing and intimidating to some users, and definitely time consuming to set up, but it’s worth the hassle because of the robust protection it offers to your entire Google account and all the valuable data it holds.
Microsoft has just released the first Release Candidate of IE9, so those who are dying to try out the latest offering from the Redmond company, check out the links below.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Security expert Didier Stevens has created a partially functional task manager replica in Microsoft Excel that allows you to view processes, and kill or suspend selected processes - useful in situations when the real task manager is disabled by the administrator or by a malware attack. The Microsoft Excel Task Manager is written in the scripting language VBA (Visual Basic for Applications).
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Opera has the ability to restore text typed in an online form or in a reply box on blogs or discussion board, even after you have moved away from the page. Just hit the back button and presto, all that you typed are still there. This is immensely useful in situations where the connection goes dead the moment you click the send button or the server was busy and the data couldn’t go through. You don’t have to type again.
Most modern operating system, except Windows, has a built-in package manager that handles software downloads and installation. Ubuntu has Synaptic, OSX as the App Store, but Microsoft never tried to integrate a package manager with Windows. Several independent developers tried to do that with varying level of success. FreeApp , ZeuAPP, FreewareUpdater and Windows Package Manager are some of these programs that we have seen in the past. Npacked is a new one.
If you are the kind of user that plays around with the Windows Registry far too often and find the default regedit.exe tool cumbersome to use, there is a shell extension that integrates Windows Registry with Windows Explorer that allows you to browse and edit the Registry like they are folders and files.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Waiting for Firefox 4? How about Firefox 7?
Epic Games has unveiled, what could be called, one of the most epic promotional campaign ever for a videogame. The game house, best known for the Unreal and Gears of War series, has created a cheeky new game Duty Calls that takes a stab at the rather successful Call Of Duty franchise while promoting their own soon-to-be-released videogame Bulletstorm.
The Windows software install process is a pain in the ass. It is one thing that hasn’t changed for nearly two decades. The repeated clicking of the ‘Next’ button, the agreeing of the EULA that nobody reads, the checking/unchecking of boxes - all requires you to sit through the entire process, for every single program you install.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
This week a new dating site called Lovely-Faces.com was launched with 250,000 member profiles the very first day of launch? How? Simple – they scrapped the data from Facebook without the user’s permission, of course. But be not alarmed, for this is only a prank site created to prove a point – the dangers of entrusting one’s personal data to a website and how vulnerable our virtual identities are in the age of social media.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Livestation is a free software that lets you watch live television and radio broadcasts through a desktop player on your PC, Mac or Linux computer. LiveStation focuses on news channels making it an excellent choice for following the latest news online. The channels can be also watched on Livestation website, but the desktop player presents all of them through an easily accessible interface.
As a blogger who install hundreds of software every month (most of them never get a review), one of the things that I have to deal with regularly is browser toolbar and junk software that publishers sneak into their products - the infamous Ask toolbar, that is notoriously difficult to remove, the Yahoo toolbar and other crapware.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Do you like to keep pictures of hot babes on your desktop? Who doesn’t? Well, you just need to head over to website Skins[dot]be (could be NSFW) and drool over thousands of wallpapers of beautiful women. As much as you would like to spend maximum amount of time on that site, you do have important work to do, don’t you? The presentation to complete, the sales report to prepare and the blog post to write. So what you should do is get your hands on Skins.be Downloader.
BlueGriffon is a new, graphical WYSIWYG web editor that supports the latest HTML5 and CSS3 standards, and is based on Gecko 2.0, the rendering engine that powers Firefox 4.0.
Bluegriffon complies with the W3C's web standards, and can create and edit pages in accordance to HTML 4, XHTML 1.0, HTML 5 and XHTML 5. It supports CSS 2.1 and all parts of CSS 3 already implemented by Gecko. BlueGriffon also includes SVG-edit, an XUL-based editor for SVG that is originally distributed as an add-on to Firefox and was adapted to BlueGriffon.
In an effort to catch-up to competitor’s service, notably, Gmail, Microsoft has just introduced a new email alias feature for Hotmail users, that takes them one step ahead in the competition. Email alias are alternative email addresses that users can generate on-the-fly for easy organization and also to counter spam.
The Google Webmaster Blog announced a surprising and totally unnecessary change to how the search queries reports are displayed. Google will be rounding the impressions and clicks to only one or two significant digits instead of two or three significant digits as it was before to “simplify their interpretation”. What it means is that from now on, the figures on your dashboard will be less accurate.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Flickr had one of their biggest oops! moment in history when an employee accidentally deleted a user’s account with 4000 photos and 5 year’s worth of toil.
Flickr user Mirco Wilhelm was dismayed when a Flickr representative told him matter-of-factly that they had they had accidentally wiped his entire account thinking it to be of someone else.
Google unveiled a new project - a unique collaboration with some of the world's most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail. Basically, what Google did was drove the camera mounted Street View cars up the steps and into the museums.
Last month Google made headlines across the web with the announcement that they will drop support for the popular video codec H.264 from Chrome in favor of open standards like WebM and Theora. The news caused an uproar as a significant percentage of videos on the web are h.264 encoded, which means that providers will either have to re-encode them again to WebM to support HTML5 or simply drop HTML5 video support. Many feel that this move is only going to push the web backward.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Investintech.com Inc. has created a set of one of a kind Facebook apps that allow people to convert Word, PowerPoint and Excel files into PDF and also convert PDF to Word document, right from within Facebook.
The first public beta of Avast! anti virus program version 6 has just been made available. Version 6 includes an array of new technologies including a new AutoSandbox feature based on virtualization technology that can automatically detect a suspicious program as it's launched, and execute it in the sandbox, an isolated environment where it can’t infect or damage your PC.
A camera is a mechanical device, and just like any piece of mechanical equipment, it will eventually fail. The life of an SLR or Digital SLR...
Today a good part of the internet is run by bots. A bot is simply a program or an algorithm that behaves as if it was an actual human doing ...
Whenever the computer is lagging or some application is taking too long to respond, we usually fire up task manager and look under the Perfo...
Recently, my brother-in-law bought a new Sony Bravia HD-Television that plays videos directly from USB drives. Everything was going find unt...
If you have changed the default Facebook profile picture and uploaded your own, it’s fine. But if not, then why not replace that boring pict...
A Content Management System without a database seems so unorthodox that one might feel that it shouldn’t have been put into practice in the ...
Are you running the same mouse cursor (pointer) that came with Windows XP or Vista? How boring! If you can change your desktop wallpaper and...
Organizing your movie collection is much more than making a list of it. Apart from helping you to quickly browse through your personal co...
Let’s say you and your friend are preparing for an all important exam that is going to decide the course the rest of your life takes. Your f...
Did you ever wish there was an undo button on your PC so that if you mess up something you could just press it and everything returns back t...