Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bing Buzz - Get an early look at Microsoft's new search engine

CNET.com's Ina Freid shares an early glimpse of Bing:



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Hulu launches desktop app

Hulu has just made available a new desktop application that lets you find and watch video content with no need to open a browser. What's it all about? From the website:

"Hulu Desktop is a lean-back viewing experience for your personal computer. It features a sleek new look that's optimized for use with standard Windows Media Center remote controls or Apple remote controls, allowing you to navigate Hulu's entire library with just six buttons. For users without remotes, the application is keyboard and mouse-enabled. Hulu Desktop is a downloadable application and will work on PCs and Macs. It will initially launch as a beta product during which we plan to gather and incorporate user feedback to improve the service."



Get Hulu

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Catch the Google Wave - A preview of an amazing new technology

You won't be playing with Google Wave for a few months yet, unless you're a developer. But to understand what's coming in the email, social networking, instant messaging, chatting, and who knows what else world, you owe it to yourself to watch the video preview below.



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Friday, May 29, 2009

Files Over Miles - Safely transfer large files, no server-storage needed

Want to send a large file from point A to point B? Don't want to sign up for server storage space to park said file? Then this is a great tool for you. From the website:

"Your files are sent the shortest way - direct between you and the recipient. There are no intermediate servers slowing down the process. Try FilesOverMiles and send files between your home computers to see how fast it is!

You control who downloads your shared file. You give a secret and unique URL generated by FilesOverMiles. Your file is encrypted and sent direct to another user. No intermediate servers."


Go to Files Over Miles

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Skyfire 1.0 Mobile Browser - Windows Mobile browser hits a new high

I don't often post about other-than-PC platforms, but consider this a worthy exception. If you're a Windows Mobile smartphone, as I am, you'll want this browser. It's the best I've experienced and it just got even better now that it's hit version 1.0. From the website:

"For the first time ever, on your phone, you can watch any video, connect with friends, listen to music, shop, and browse the web using the full-featured PC versions of your favorite websites. With Skyfire, mobile browsing just works - speedy page loads, full video, images and audio."



Watch the video:



Get Skyfire

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TweakNow PowerPack 2009 - An integrated suite of tools for fine-tuning Windows

Some people know how to tweak Windows from under the hood. For the rest of us there's the powerful suite of fine-tuning tools contained in this app. From the website:

"TweakNow PowerPack is a fully-integrated suite of utilities that let you fine-tune every aspect of your computer's operating system and Web browser. The RAM Idle program manages the free memory that is available to run Windows programs. It prevents performance from degrading as you swap files and programs in and out of memory. The AutoShutdown program lets you suspend, hibernate, or shut down your computer after a specified period of time. In addition to saving resources, this program keeps your system more secure by making it unavailable to unauthorized people. The CD AutoRun is an extension of Windows' CD and DVD autorun features, giving you additional options for starting programs or listening to music."


Get TweakNow PowerPack 2009

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Monday, May 25, 2009

AutoDesk Project Dragonfly - A powerful, free 3-D floor-plan designer

Moving into a new home or apartment? Switching offices? Ready for a new layout? Just wanna have fun? Any of these scenarios will make for the effective use of this featured online tool. From the website:

"Streamline your next home improvement project by using Dragonfly's intuitive design tools to rapidly create and furnish your floor plan, experimenting in real time with your ideas in 2D and 3D before making it real!"


Go to AutoDesk Project Dragonfly

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

LastPass - The ultimate password manager add-on for Internet Explorer

I still see people attempting to recall all their logins from memory. How quaint. Of course they usually have to try several alternative user ids and passwords, often resorting to the "Lost your password?" option. Why go through all that when you can have the assistance of your computer's memory?

"LastPass is an online password manager and form filler that makes web browsing easier and more secure."


Get LastPass

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Common Craft - complex things explained in plain English

Not too many years ago, ignorance was a common condition. Vast swaths of knowledge remained difficult to access, elusive and unattainable. Our natural curiosity about how things worked or what things were remained unassuaged. Today, however, we no longer have to say, I don't know. Today, we have the Interweb!

I'm constantly surprised when friends ask me questions to which they can easily find answers without my help. When I do a quick search and tell them the answer, I look like a genius. I don't mind. So I'm giving away one of my secrets when I tell you about yet another mother lode of answers to your queries.

This site hosts tons of 3-minute videos that explain things in plain English (or French, or Spanish, etc.). You can even share the videos by getting the YouTube or other version. Here's an example: Twitter in plain English...



Visit Common Craft

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Google Chrome 2.0 - Out of beta and better than ever

Since software never wears out, developers have to be constantly improving it. I love that. Google Chrome's latest version offers faster, more reliable, and safer browsing.



Get Google Chrome 2.0


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

BackUp Maker - A simple and free backup solution

Whether you want to backup your data to a CD or hard drive, this app will make it simple to set up and forget. From the website:

"BackUp Maker is the professional solution for creation of data-backups. The ease of use as well as the range of functions enable you to create backup tasks for saving files and folders with a lack of time.

Once the backup task has been configured you may forget backup creation confidently - BackUp Maker saves your files fully automated, depending on time and interval settings or on system events like Windows log-on or log-off.

Reduce data capacity by using partial backups or limit data with the power of wide-ranging filter options. Go the secure way creating multiple backup generations."




Get BackUp Maker

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

printfriendly - An Internet tool for making any website printer-friendly

We all need to print out websites every now and again, so this Internet tool will come in handy. Enter the site you want made printer-friendly or, better yet, grab the bookmarklet from the website.


Go to printfriendly

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Yay! No ads for Twitter! - Twitter sees tools, not ads, for revenue

Reuters - May 18, 2009, by Alexei Oreskovic

Twitter is working on various ways to make money from its fast-growing microblogging service, but advertising is an option that is not currently being considered.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said on Monday that the company is developing various add-on tools and services for the businesses and professional users of Twitter, which could create a revenue stream for the company. He said Twitter plans to introduce some of these tools by year end.

But Stone dismissed the notion of selling advertisements on the popular service at this time, even though ad revenue is the main way most Web start-ups manage to stay in business while keeping their service free for consumers.

"There are a few reasons why we're not pursuing advertising -- one is it's just not quite as interesting to us," Stone told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York via videolink from San Francisco.

Stone said serving up ads alongside Twitter messages could also annoy users. And he said Twitter doesn't have, and isn't seeking to hire, the staff to create an advertising-based business.

Read more>>

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

PowerTools Lite - Excellent free registry cleaner

The Windows registry is like a old-fashioned carburetor. It can get all gunky very easily and needs to be cleaned up regularly. This free app does it safely and easily.



Get PowerTools Lite

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Keyboard Tweaker - Add and manage hotkeys

Hotkeys are wonderful if you take the time to set them up and can remember what they are. This app provides the power you need to make hotkeys work for you. From the website:

"Keyboard Tweaker is a Hotkeys manager. It transform a normal keyboard with 101/102 keys into a multimedia keyboard using the hotkeys. The program sets some combinations to the keyboard keys for a function."


Get Keyboard Tweaker

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wolfram|Alpha - A new search engine with answers to everything

This post could just as appropriately be placed on Singularity & Futurism. Wolfram|Alpha is a different kind of search engine. From the website:

"Today's Wolfram|Alpha is the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone. You enter your question or calculation, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and growing collection of data to compute the answer. Based on a new kind of knowledge-based computing..."



Go to Wolfram\Alpha

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Nimi Visuals - Prettify your Windows desktop

XP is a wonderful OS, but it's quite old and needs sprucing up. Here's a fantastic set of effects reminiscent of OsX.


From the website:

" Hey, why not make usage of Your desktop even more enjoyable? Try boosting Your productivity and workspace comfort with Nimi Visuals. Choose from over 20 precisely made effects - and find one matching your needs."





Get Nimi Visuals

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Wyzo - A superfast media browser

Many people use only one browser. That's all fine and good if your browsing is simple and straightforward, but if you're a power browser you recognize that each browser has its strengths and weaknesses and is good for certain tasks and not so good for others.

Hence Wyzo, which makes browsing for media fast and easy. From the website:

"Wyzo is an awesome new browser that optimizes your online media experience. It will accelerate your web downloads, let you download torrents with a single click, discover media in your browser and much more."


Get Wyzo

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Email Icon Generator - Hide your email address from the bots

When you want to post your email address for humans to see, but want the bots to be blind to it, use this handy Internet tool. (The image is a fictional address, btw.)


Email Icon Generator

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Microsoft SharedView - Safely share views of your screen with friends

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a screen view is worth 1,000 pictures. When you need to show a friend what the heck you're talking about on your screen, nothing beats showing them. From the website:

"Microsoft SharedView is a fast, easy way to share documents and screen views with small groups of friends or coworkers; anytime, anywhere. Use SharedView to put your heads together and collaborate - create, convey, and communicate…across physical boundaries, through firewalls, and down to the smallest details."


Microsoft SharedView

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kludgets - Put Mac dashboard widgets on your Windows desktop!

For all you Mac admirers who use Windows, here's a free, open-source widget engine that allows you to put Mac dashboard widgets on your Windows desktop. From the website:

"The Kludget Engine Beta is finally here. Dashboard compatible,Webkit-based, Nokia QT-based (multi-platform), Yahoo Widget Engine inspired, open sourced."


Kludgets

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Times Reader - A sweet interface for the NY Times online

You may not think you need a desktop app to read the New York Times online, and technically you'd be right. But the interface on this Adobe Air app is quite delightful. After all, looks do count.


Times Reader

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

BB Flashback - A very powerful (but free) screen recording app

One of the most feature-packed, free screen recording applications I've seen. To keep using the free app you only need to register. From the website:

"BB FlashBack can record high frame rate, high quality movies without affecting PC performance, even on lower powered PCs.

Our users have succeeded in recording large animations that other screen recorders struggled with.WebCam Recording Give your movies the personal touch. Make an appearance with a picture-in-picture webcam recording. One click, and BB FlashBack records from the webcam while it records the screen."




BB Flashback

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Prism for Firefox - Turn any website into its own desktop app

No need to open your browser? From the website:

"Once you have installed the extension and restarted the browser, you can turn any web site into a Prism application by choosing “Create Application for this Website” in the Tools menu."

Watch the video...



Prism

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Font Squirrel - Excellent free fonts

It's possible to have too many fonts installed since they can bog down your system, but you can add the ones your really like and delete some of the dogs. This site will have several you'll like.


Font Squirrel

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

SearchSite Firefox Add-On - Easier searches within websites

Search the website you're on via the context menu or sidebar. From the developer:

"This extension provides facilities to search within the current site using the search engine currently selected in the searchbar. Searches can be initiated either from the searchbar by entering the search terms into the searchbar and then clicking on the new "Search Site" icon, or by selecting text within a page and then right-clicking on the selected text and clicking on the "Search Site for selection" context menu item."


SearchSite

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

ActiveHotKeys - See all the active hotkeys on your system

Many of the applications we install and use have hotkeys associated with their operation. Those are shortcuts, people. That we never use because we forget about them. Well now you can find out what they all are with this useful application.



ActiveHotKeys

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Qipit - Capture and email or fax your notes

Use your camera phone or digital camera to capture and send your notes to Qipit. They'll store your documents in PDF format so you can fax o email them to your friends. This is what spies have needed since forever, but you can use it for completely legitimate purposes.


Qipit

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Monday, May 04, 2009

PDF to Excel - Now PDF spreadsheets can be made editable!

This is a very useful internet tool for anyone who wants to convert a PDF spreadsheet into an Excel document. You know who you are. From the website:

"While it's not possible to replicate the exact formatting and appearance of the original tables and spreadsheets, we believe our free PDF-to-Excel converter produces more accurate-looking and easier-to-edit XLS files than any other tool out there, including the most expensive desktop products."

PDF to Excel

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

AppRemover - Removes all traces of your unwanted security applications

Security apps are notoriously difficult to remove completely. Some are so deeply embedded in your system that removing them by normal means is like trying to clean up an oil spill. But why would you want to remove antivirus or antimalware applications?

Getting rid of a bloated commercial app to replace it with a sleek, free app is one reason. Realizng an app you installed is taking up to much of your system's resources is another.


AppRemover

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Ultimate Windows Tweaker - Customize Vista to your heart's content

Most of us don't want to mess around too much, if at all, with the Windows registry. So there's an app that lets you make changes to the way Windows works and looks easily and safely. From the website:

"Ultimate Windows Tweaker is a freeware Tweak UI Utility for tweaking and optimizing Windows Vista, 32-bit & 64-bit. It can simply be downloaded and used as a portable application to customize your Windows Vista to meet your requirements. With judicious tweaking, It can make your system faster, more stable, and more secure with just a few mouse clicks. The tweaker detects whether you have IE 7 or IE 8 installed and accordingly offers you the relevant tweaks only. This Tweaker was released at the Microsoft South Asia MVP Meet 2008."


(For tweaking XP, Vista and Windows 7, try XdN Tweaker.)

Ultimate Windows Tweaker

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Friday, May 01, 2009

PackWhiz - Never forget to pack anything, ever again!

If I could travel without having to pack anything, life would be so much sweeter. I hate packing. The most onerous part? Trying to remember everything I'll need. So this website is a godsend.


PackWhiz

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