With Firefox running rampant over what used to be Microsoft’s hallowed ground - the Internet browser, the boys (and girls) at Redmond are trying to play catch-up. Today they released the newest public beta of Internet Explorer 7.0, dubbed “beta 2” (imagine that). Internet Explorer 7 promises to deliver increased security through protection against phishing and malware, tabbed browsing for easier navigation, RSS capability, improved CSS (cascading style sheets) support, and tools for deploying/managing IE7 in enterprise environments. Microsoft had taken a hiatus with the release of IE6, and had stated that there would be no new releases of Internet Explorer until Vista shipped. With Firefox rapidly eating away at their market share, Microsoft had little choice but to accelerate their browser development time frame. So, if you’re a loyal IE user, or just curious, get your groove on by downloading the latest beta, but keep in mind that it’s only compatible with Windows XP running SP2.
We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. Usually it happens when you need it the most - a job interview, doctor’s appointment, a date, etc. Crowded elevators suck royally. Destination Floor Guidance System is trying to end our crowded, slow elevator woes by intelligently grouping people together. People going to the same floors will likely be in same elevator due to smart kiosks located where the passengers board. The elevators will better serve the building after some time, since the kiosks use historical data to their advantage by strategically stationing elevators near certain floors at their peak times. The elevator is already in use at the Metropolitan Park West Tower in downtown Seattle and is planned to debut in New York at the new New York Times Building next. While this is a real innovation in helping high-traffic buildings, I hope that we start shooting into pressurized tunnels in the near future.
Reveal is a Firefox extension that allows you to view your current tabs as thumbnails directly on your screen - as shown with my favorite websites above. So I thought that this might prove pretty useless to me considering that I’m already using tabbed browsing. Why would I need to have mini pictures of these and what purpose would they serve? What’s really great about this extension is the ease of use. Once installed, you just press F2 to bring up the interface. Not only is it that simple, but its pretty too. Your screenshot comes zooming in from the side of your screen and places itself in the middle of your screen with the current tab highlighted.
Steve Jobs and the gang are busily working on the next build of 10.4, but that’s not stopping them from advertising the fact they need some help with the next version of Finder. That is, the one for OS X 10.5, or Leopard. This ad was published on Apple’s site:
- Participate in all of the various stages of feature development from design brainstorms, through feature development, all the way to fixing that last critical elusive bug under a tight release deadline.
- You will be required to produce clear designs, excellent implementation and tight code.
- Deliver tight, well implemented features, fix bugs and develop Finder into the best file browser on the planet.
- Work on performance and responsiveness of the Finder, making it feel lightweight, fast, snappy and pleasant to use.
Mac Rumors tell us that one of the things that have been said about 10.5 is “extensive use of Spotlight alongside an improved user interface and performance improvement.” My application was just rejected because they said I was a “fanboy.”
Still don’t have a 360? If it’s because the stores around you keep running out, you’re in luck. This application will tell you when your local retailers will get their next shipment of Xbox 360s.
This app automatically checks your local BestBuy, Circuit City, and FutureShop’s website for the XBOX 360 Premiums at a time interval you specify and alerts you via Text-Message and/or Email. This is intended for those who really don’t have the time to frequently check on those online-store trackers, and would prefer to be seamlessly alerted when an XBOX 360 premium is in-stock at a near-by store.
We eagerly await a beta version for the Playstation 3.
Read More | Untitlednet
For those of you who can’t bear to be separated from the Internet, Opera has released the official version of their browser designed for smartphones - Opera Mini. Mini has been in beta testing in Europe for some time, and in December was released to the rest of the world’s software guinea pigs. Unlike Internet Explorer, which ships with most smartphones, or Opera’s other browser for the mobile market, Opera Mobile, this new browser relies on Opera’s backend servers. The servers convert the website requested into a format better suited for a phone’s tiny screen, and compress the graphics and other data so the page loads more quickly. Testing by this author on a Cingular 2125 confirms that pages load much faster than IE and are easier to navigate as well. Opera Mini has a handful of phones it is “certified” to work on, but should work on any Java-equipped smartphone. Two versions are available - a Basic edition with a small memory footprint, and an Advanced version that consumes more memory but delivers page icons, font options, better-looking menus, and smoother scrolling.
Read More | PCWorld
Normally we like to keep you interested in reading news about the latest gadgets and gizmos strolling about the town. However, sometimes something in the software world comes along that piques our interest. Today we decided to share this unique new twist on an old idea. If you are an RSS fiend - like most of us at Gear Live - you may have literally hundreds of feeds coming which you couldn’t possibly attempt to read on any given day. Greg Reinacker has come up with a way to “help” you decide on what entries to read based on what images are included in the feed. This “image only” aggregator will consecutively post images embedded in your RSS feeds and you can pick and choose what you want to read based solely on the images you see. It’s not perfect yet, but a good idea nonetheless. You will have to have a Newsgator account if you want to try it.
We were able to spend a few minutes chatting it up with a Microsoft employee going over some of the more interesting changes we can expect when Windows Vista ships. We recorded a video of the demonstration that we got while going hands on with Vista at CES. In it, we talk about:
- Animation effects
- Legacy metadata for 2000 legacy games built-in to the OS
- The new PC performance rating replacing “system requirements”
- Vista desktop search
- Vista’s way of alerting you of potential system problems
- The new Windows Defender Antivirus and Antispyware program
- The three official Windows Vista SKUs
- The new Breadcrumb Bar
Here’s how to get the video:
|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264
|Download| - MPEG-4
This is one of those absolutely wonderful little powertips we’re always thrilled to find. With a simple download of Microsoft’s PowerToys TweakUI (which offers a bunch of other fun goodies for XP) and a quick registry add-in, you can have your system boot up, log you in and lock your machine, so that when you get back to your system, everything’s already loaded and ready, awaiting your password. No more two minute wait until the login screen, and three minutes to the desktop. Now, it’s just five solid minutes.
It might not be very useful if you’re not the type who shuts down often, but BrainFuel cites the perfect example: an uninterrupted boot-up cycle lets you go get coffee or chill at the water cooler.
Check out the full step-by-step over there. It’ll take less than three minutes, and the registry “hack” is the harmless act of placing a “lock computer” command in your startup profile, so no worries there.
Read More | BrainFuel
While spending some time in the TiVo booth, we got to play around with their new, AJAX-based (aka Web 2.0 aka XMLHttpRequest) online scheduling utility. Clicking from show to show expands an information pane in the same window with all the details and options. You’re able to color certain genres of the guide on the fly and scrolling keeps the time bar at the top of the screen.
TiVo assured us that simply typing in the URL wouldn’t work, but, as it turns out, they were wrong. The application is still at an in-house Beta stage and shouldn’t be used unless you fully understand it, but that address is: http://www3-beta.tivo.com/tivo-tco/. Log in to your TiVo account somewhere else on the normal site first for full access to your DVRs and listings.
Keep in mind that TiVo could easily pull the plug on this the second they realize someone is linking to it, but we thought we’d give you the scoop and the opportunity to play around with the next generation of TiVo’s Online Scheduling software.
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