Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Network Activity Indicator is a simple but gorgeous looking portable application for Windows 7 that shows network activity in the form of small graph. The program’s dashboard also shows the total number of packets sent and received, and the current upload and download speeds.
Love history? Then prepare to get yourself time-sucked into the world of wars and battles at this fascinating website that I discovered recently.
Conflict History is an interactive timeline and map of conflicts throughout recorded history – every significant battle fought by man since the last 6000 years.
The latest stable release of the Chrome browser (version 11) has a cool new feature: speech input through HTML. This means that you can now talk into your microphone and order commands on websites that support the new speech API. Currently, that's limited to Google Translate, which is again limited to only voice inputs in the English language.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
The trouble with Google Image search is that there is no way to search image by a specific date range or to search only for recent images. So when you search for photos of a current event, such as the ongoing football championship league you can never be sure whether the images returned are stale or fresh. You can add the year 2011, but it still doesn’t ensure that the first results will be from 2011.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Like me, many others of my generation has never used once, although I did get to type a few keys once when I was a kid. Typewriter were already in the decline when I was growing up, replaced by computers and dot-matrix printers. Within the next few years they will be gone for good as the last typewriter factory left in the world - Godrej and Boyce - has shut down its production plant in Mumbai, India with just a few hundred machines left in stock.
Edgar Choueiri, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, has developed a way to play true three-dimensional sound recordings over regular loudspeakers, such as those found in televisions and computer laptops.
Free system utilities producer IObit announced the release of its flagship product Advanced SystemCare 4, a free program that tunes and optimizes your PC to its best performance possible. Adopted with IObit’s latest engine and improved program core structure, Advanced SystemCare 4 is now capable of delivering more comprehensive and deeper system cleaning, repairing and optimization experience.
The SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) institute has effectively given up search for intelligent life on alien planets for lack of interest and funding. The 42 20-foot wide dish telescopes operated by SETI were shut down last week because the government was unwilling to fund the project. The Allen Telescope Array requires just $5 million to operate over the next two years.
Ribbon Hero 2: Clippy's Second Chance is the sequel to the Ribbon Hero game for Office 2007/2010 that Microsoft Labs introduced early last year as a mean to help users learn the ribbon interface in Microsoft Office products. Ribbon Hero 2 features a standalone interface with animated graphics, multiple levels of gameplay and even storylines featuring the celebrated Clippy as the lead character.
The Adobe Flash plugin for browsers uses a so called LSOs, or local shared objects, for storing user preferences, such as the preferred sound volume when visiting YouTube. Flash LSOs can also be used as a unique identifier to track user’s activity on the web, which is why some people refer them as “Flash cookies”.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Over the next few weeks, Google will be releasing three new features to Google Docs to make it easy for users to upload files to the cloud.
The first new feature is folder upload where you can upload the contents of entire folders to Google Docs. This will be very convenient for people who tend to upload a lot of documents. Even better: the upload will actually preserve the folder structure, which means that folders within folders will also upload and become collections within collections.
iSafePDF is a free open source PDF protection software that enables you to password protect, encrypt, add digital signature and timestamp and edit metadata on PDF documents. Additionally, it allows you to enforce a number of different copy protections measures such as restrict copying of text, printing, annotating etc.
Monday, April 25, 2011
You don’t memorize phone numbers anymore, do you? Nobody does. All your contacts’ phone numbers are saved in your phone. When you need to call someone, you whip out your phone, type your contact’s name and hit the call button. That’s very convenient, until you lose your phone or the battery runs dry. Then you can’t call anyone because you don’t know anyone’s number – even though there might be plenty of phones around you.
Friday, April 22, 2011
The latest version of the Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE) comes with an exciting new feature that enables users to put together panoramic images not only from a collection of photographs, but also from video. Instead of snapping multiple pictures, you can now record a video and then let Microsoft ICE generate a panoramic image by stitching together frames from the video.
Let’s look at three great games to enjoy this weekend.
The first one is PaperPlane, a simple video game where you fly a paper airplane through and around a rural farmhouse landscape. Flying through the swing or under the belly of the grazing cows enables “childhood memories” that give you access to little sketches which can be viewed in a polaroid pictures book inside a tree house.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Vectorian Giotto is a simple but powerful flash animation software that allows you to create professional quality Flash animations for websites and other projects without coding. Users who are already familiar with Adobe Flash will immediately find themselves at ease, for the user interface is identical to that of Adobe Flash. For the new user, there is a gentle learning curve that can be easily overcome with a few minutes (or hours) of dedication.
Often when you are typing text on a text editor or drafting a mail in your email program or typing a reply or comment on a blog, you wish you had the option to do a word count, or change case, or strip HTML codes and generally make the draft a bit tidier.
Portable Image Uploader is an extraordinarily feature rich image and file uploading utility that can capture images of the screen as well as from video and upload them to any image or file hosting site in one swoop. It supports uploading to more than 20 image hosting sites and 7 file sharing sites at the time of this writing. After uploading, Portable Image Uploader generates HTML code or BBCode for posting the image in online forums or blogs.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
TuneUp Utilities is currently giving away free license keys for TuneUp Utilities 2010, the system tweaking software for Windows. Interested users can get free serial keys by providing their email address on the promotion page. Download the program from this page and register with the key that will be sent to your email address.
A new free, temporary email service called MailNesia has just been launched. Like other services of this type, MailNesia allows you to create disposable email addresses on-the-fly for the purpose of registering on websites and forums, or for any correspondence where you don't want to reveal your real email ID. The most fabulous feature that makes MailNesia stand out from the crowd is that it can automatically open mails and click on activation links thereby completing the account registration process on its own.
DeviantART is a rich online community that showcase various forms of user-made artwork including photography, digital art, traditional art, literature, Flash, filmmaking, skins for applications, wallpapers, along with extensive downloadable resources such as tutorials and stock photography. DeviantART is one of my favorite hunting ground for Windows themes, wallpapers and more.
uTorrent has officially released the long-awaited version 3.0 Beta of their popular BitTorrent client. Version 3 has added a number of new features, the most notable ones being the ability to watch streaming videos as you download, as well as rate and comment on torrents so that other uTorrent users can see from within uTorrent and thus find high quality torrents easily.
Mozilla recently moved Firefox to a rapid release cycle to bring new features and security, stability, and other bug fixes to users much faster than previously. This means that users will be able to see at least one major version of the browser in one of the four development branches every 6 weeks. But this also means that add-ons could break more frequently. To deal with the issue, Mozilla has proposed a new plan.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Note: This is for the United States tax payers only.
Now that it is time to file your tax returns, people are once again curious of what happens to the tax money they pay. This time the White House is better prepared to answer that question. On tax day, the government launched an official taxpayer receipt.
Microsoft has released a free, portable on-demand virus scanner for Windows called Microsoft Safety Scanner. Although not specifically stated, Microsoft Safety Scanner is presumably powered by the same technologies as Microsoft’s popular Security Essentials anti-virus software. The only difference is that Microsoft Safety Scanner offers no real-time protection. On the positive side, this makes it possible to use this portable anti-virus scanner alongside your existing security software.
Ever noticed the little symbols that appear on the power button of your device and equipment? Most people don’t. If it is a toggle switch like the light switch installed on your home and office, you just know which way is ON and OFF since you use them everyday. If you live in North America, the switch is ON when it is “up” and OFF when “down”. This is reverse in many countries such as the UK, Ireland, India, Australia, and in New Zealand.
Images of a new task manager from the leaked Windows 8 build 7850 has surfaced. The new task manager is disabled by default, but persisting users who have been digging into the early Windows 8 build since it’s leak has unearthed a hidden registry key that enables the improved task manager.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Recently an early build of Windows 8 (build 7850) leaked to the web. While this build is from Milestone 1, an early compilation of the OS dating back to September 2010, there is still a lot under the hood for the users to discover. Users, particularly at the mydigitallife forums have been digging around the build and have come across several new features such as the portable workspace, push notification and a webcam tool. Meanwhile, a blogger at Softpedia has discovered that the Disk Cleanup utility has been vastly improved.
Opera 11.10 aka Barracuda, that was released a few days ago, includes a new improved Speed Dial function with a fluid layout, i.e. users can add as many sites as they want to the speed dial page; Opera no longer restricts users to a fixed number of columns and rows. The website thumbnails on the speed dial page automatically resize itself to make room for new thumbnails.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Magnum has launched a creative digital advertising campaign for a new ice-cream in the form of a compelling Flash game.
The appearance of your Gmail inbox is now fully customizable, Google announced in a blog post today. Gmail Themes have been around for a while, but these were limited as you only get to choose a color scheme or a theme from the ones that were available. Not any more. Starting today, you will be able to upload your own images and use it as a background to your Gmail inbox.
Google has introduced a new Print Preview option in early development and Canary build of the Chrome browser strongly indicating that these will become available in the Stable Channel of Chrome fairly soon. If you are using Chrome 11 Beta or Chrome 12 Dev and/or Canary you can enable this feature from the “about:flags” page in Chrome (just type “about:flags” in the address bar and hit Enter).
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Mozilla has just released the first Alpha or Aurora (Nightly build) of Firefox 6.0 offering users an early glimpse into the browser. Aurora is the new development channel that Mozilla introduced in addition to Central, Beta and Stable Releases. The Aurora channel will be the next development channel after the central channel, where new features will be tested to be either included into the Beta or dropped.
All My Movies is a personal movie database manager with a powerful set of features that you can use to catalogue and manage your personal collection of movies on your hard drive or on DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes. The software retrieves all information including cast, review, director, rating etc. from the internet along with movie posters and automatically adds them to your database. You can then browse through the collection, search movies, sort and filter your movie list using different parameters and play them from within All My Movies.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
When Google Chrome came out in 2008 it was the first browser to sport an extremely minimalist interface. It was the first to do away with the title bar, the status bar and integrate the address bar and search box into one. Chrome pushed browser design to the edge of minimalism and started a new trend, for good or for worse.
VirtualDub is an open source, linear video editing software for Windows that appears very bland and dated on the outside. But looks can be deceiving. Aside from the typical cut, copy and join features that most people believe is what video editing is all about, VirtualDub can perform a number of video manipulation such as video resizing, rotation, compression, direct stream copy, interlacing/de-interlacing, video filtering, etc.
TCHunt is a data forensic tool to find encrypted TrueCrypt volumes that are hidden or disguised as other files. The software was written to demonstrate that while encrypted volumes may be indistinguishable from random data, volumes themselves can be easily distinguished from most other files on your system.
Internet Explorer 9 is barely months old when Microsoft announced Internet Explorer 10 at its MIX developer conference in Las Vegas, yesterday. Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 1 is the first public preview of the IE10 web platform. In this release, Microsoft is showcasing support for CSS3 Flexbox, CSS3 Grid Alignment, CSS3 Multi-column, CSS3 Gradients on background-images and ECMAScript5 Strict Mode.
Monday, April 11, 2011
This is a guest post by David Murton
Shared Hosting has revolutionized the Internet by enabling many small- and mid-sized businesses to acquire websites with plenty of disk space, bandwidth, e-mail boxes and IT maintenance support. Online businesses don't need to make large initial investments in hardware, software and IT personnel when they outsource their Website Hosting to third-parties. Besides Conventional Shared Hosting Services, the market also offers Reseller Hosting and Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting options to website owners. These are a step up from Regular Shared Hosting but not quite as advanced as Dedicated Hosting.
Adobe has launched a subscription model for its new Creative Suite 5.5, a collection of graphic design, video editing, and web development applications. Under the subscription scheme users can rent the entire Creative Suite or individual applications on a month-to-month basis or for an entire year, without paying for the full product upfront. This will enable freelance designers and small businesses to legally use Adobe’s products at a fraction of the cost.
Transmission is a BitTorrent client for the Mac and Linux operating systems. It is the most popular client on Mac OS X and the default BitTorrent client on many Unix and Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora and OpenSuse.
FeedDemon is one of the best Windows desktop based RSS feed reader that I have seen to date. It has a set of very competitive features for easy reading and management of feeds such as the filter tool, Watches and tags. It has built in search, offline mode and the best of all – Google Reader synchronization. What FeedDemon lacks is a portable version. This is what we are going to create.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Google has added some new features to the Mountains layer in Google Earth to “more easily appreciate their elegance and beauty”. This include tours, videos, pictures and others.
To get to the Mountains layer, expand the Primary Database tree under the Layers panel on the left, and then expand Borders and Labels. Mountains can be found under Labels.
Microsoft is planning to boost the security of Windows 8 by implementing SmartScreen file checking inside the operating system to shield users from malicious applications. SmartScreen is a file verification utility that will check downloaded files, or for that matter, any files against a dynamic list of known illegal, viral, fraudulent, or malicious URLs that Microsoft identifies and maintains online. If a match is found, Windows 8 will prevent the application from executing.
Friday, April 8, 2011
The Facebook Like button is the web equivalent of nodding your head in approval. It’s the new way to tell the world that you like this website or this story or this person or this picture. When you ‘like’ something on a website or when you click ‘Like’ under someone’s comment that information is posted on your Facebook page and appear on your friends’ stream.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
The barrage of Windows 8 updates that the duo of Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott has been bringing the last few days has provided us some helpful insight into the upcoming version of Windows that we are all waiting to get our hands on. These updates are also keeping the small developers and designers busy as they race to get their themes out and the little tools that recreate Windows 8 functions on current Windows version.
Gmail by default automatically saves details of every person you email to in your contact list. If you are a prolific email user who receive lots of email from different people, and if you diligently reply to them all, your contact book must have grown to unmanageable proportions, just like entrepreneur and angle investor Brad Feld found out a few weeks ago.
In recent past, Virtual Private Network (VPN) services has started to proliferate and a number of these services are free. I have always posted about any new VPN service that I have happened to discover. Here are three more to add to the list.
One of the changes we saw on every leaked Windows 8 image is the Windows Live Integration, which showed up in the far right corner, in the taskbar, as the profile picture of the user. One DeviantArt user has produced a simple free utility that mimics this cosmetic change in Windows 7.
If you are a fan of Twitter and TweetDeck, then you will love this: TweetDeck has just announced that they will be launching a web based client for Twitter called TweetDeck Web that will have all of the features found on the Adobe AIR based program and more. TweetDeck Web will be based on HTML 5 and is supposed to work on all major web browsers.
Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott who has been brining us lots of new information about Windows 8 has revealed a new UI personalization feature that will be available in Windows 8.
Microsoft has added an automatic color selection tool for Aero, that will automatically configure the color of Aero elements, like the Start Menu, Windows Explorer windows, and the taskbar based on the desktop wallpaper.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Windows DreamScene is a utility that came with Windows Vista that allowed videos and animations to be used as desktop wallpapers. Technically, you can use any video as a ‘DreamScene’ but proper DreamScenes are short videos, usually a video loop, having simple animations and optimized in dimension for the desktop. You can also use animated GIFs as wallpaper, for which no Windows Vista or Windows 7 or DreamScene is required.
The distribution of free Ubuntu disks comes to an end. Canonical announced in a blog post yesterday that the company is killing the ShipIt Programme that distributed free disks with the Ubuntu OS - a service that has helped millions of people around the world to get their hands on the Linux operating system, and in a large way contributed to the continued success and steep adoption rate of Ubuntu over other distributions.
Aside from VLC Media Player, some of the finest applications in this category are based on the open source MPlayer such as SMPlayer and KMPlayer. All of these are frontends to the ubiquitous MPLayer. UMPlayer – short for Universal Multimedia Player – is yet another fork of MPlayer that is capable of playing anything you throw at it. Additionally, it comes packed with a number of features that you will sure find useful.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Microsoft is planning to integrate a PDF reader into Windows 8, the next version of Windows, due to be released in 2012. This will enable the operating system to natively open PDF files, thus making third party PDF readers such as the popular but bloated Adobe PDF Reader and many open source programs too, such like Foxit Reader, Sumatra PDF reader and others redundant.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Firefox’s core strength has been its extensions that allows the browser to adapt itself to the different needs of different users. But extensions also are the primary cause of most of Firefox problems, from memory leaks to security attacks to slow startups. To address these concerns Mozilla has decided to crack down on add-ons that adds precious seconds (or milliseconds) to Firefox start-up time.
GVNotifier is a wonderful desktop application to send and receive calls using Google Voice on Windows, with Windows 7 taskbar integration. GVNotifier brings voice calls, SMS, your contact list, call history, voicemail transcription and even audio playback to the desktop. Pin the program to the taskbar and you get a nice little Google Voice notification tool.
Printed Web pages from within Internet Explorer contain the page title, page number and total number of pages in the header, and the URL of the page and date in the footer. It is possible to remove these unwanted information from the page, or if you wish, customize it to include additional information such as your name.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Windows Explorer sported a toolbar until Windows XP, then got dropped in Windows Vista and Windows 7. If the changes that are currently cooking inside Redmond office make its way into the final build of Windows 8, due to be released sometime in 2012, the toolbar could make another appearance on the operating system, albeit in a different form – the Ribbon.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Google today added a set of five dynamic templates to Blogger that can be switched from one to the other by the visitor on-the-fly. Unlike other Blogger templates that are sort of hard coded into the blog and can be applied or changed only by the blog owner or administrator, the dynamic templates can be applied by any visitor to the blog, offering visitors fresh ways to browse and read Blogspot blogs.
Beneath the address bar in Google Chrome is the bookmarks bar that holds shortcuts to your most visited websites – your bookmarks. Space on this bar is scarce and therefore you have to be very choosy when you decide which shortcuts to place on the bar. Only rarely does the bookmarks bar prove to be adequate in holding all bookmarks of the user.
Leaked screenshots of the next iteration of Windows often showed a greenish wallpaper with a crossword like puzzle and the message “shhh… Let’s not leak our hard work”. It’s easy to see that those were created for the sole purpose of leaking, and hence could not be regarded as official wallpapers.
Microsoft has announced a new feature that will enable Internet Explorer 9 users to get desktop notification of incoming messages to their Hotmail accounts. The notification will be available for those user who have pinned Hotmail to Windows 7 taskbar. Starting today, the pinned tab will be displaying the number of unread emails on their Hotmail inbox, similar to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 icon which dynamically updates to show the count of messages that have been delivered since they last visited Hotmail.
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...
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...
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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...
Search engines can pull up hundreds of recipes for any given dish. Which one will you choose? Surely, the one that doesn’t require you to ru...
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...
A utility that handles compressed files like zip and rar is an essential requirement for every Windows PC. The softwares that are most popul...
Organizing your movie collection is much more than making a list of it. Apart from helping you to quickly browse through your personal co...
A watermark is any recognizable text, logo or pattern that appears over an image to identify the owner of the image and generally used to pr...
Windows default file copy dialog box offers little control over file copy and transfer operations. While the majority of users wouldn’t give...