Phil Zimmermann, creator of the the popular Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) email encryption program is hard at work to bring secure communications to the masses via VOIP. He is currently working on an improvement of his PGPfone voice encryption software that was used with modems to create secure VOIP applications. It is conceivable that the company he is currently trying to fund would be able to develop plugins for popular networks like Skype and Gizmo. Because PGP uses a PKI infrastructure it becomes easy to trade public keys with the people you wish to communicate with while keeping your private keys secure - thus making eavesdropping on your conversation virtually impossible.
Read More | Secure Communications
What better way to read your fortune every day than on your dashboard. Well, Cristiano Verondini, has thrown out all his newspapers and created this handy widget that take the information from www.astrology.com and puts it right on your dashboard. Makes me really wish for a fortune cookie widget - they are more accurate.
Read More | Verodini
Pheedo, a weblog marketing company, has released a few choice points of data about the way readers use RSS. Highlights from their report include:
- RSS is most active on Tuesdays and least active on Saturdays.
- The most content is viewed early in the morning.
- The most click-throughs occur late at night.
- Bloglines is the most popular RSS reader, with only 5 programs being used to read 70% of RSS feeds.
Pheedo’s posted information represents only an initial analysis of the data they’ve collected over the course of their work with their blogging clients. Pheedo is promising a follow-up program of more formalized reports called “Pheed Reads.” Check back here for more insights as these reports are released.
Read More | Pheedo
You know, it was only a matter of time before Konfabulator was snapped up by someone big, and it has finally happened. Yahoo! has bought the product, along with the company behind it - Pixora. Yahoo! didn’t delay on rebranding it as soon as they could, as there is already a Yahoo! Widgets site up and running. They are keeping the product free, and already have the library of PC and Mac widgets available for download. This is a smart move for Yahoo! in our opinion, a great way for them to get back on the desktops of computer users via information delivery.
Read More | Yahoo! Widgets
The powers that be at Microsoft have decided on an official name for their long-overdue follow-up to Windows XP: “Windows Vista.”
Microsoft employees and lay-people like myself alike stood back stunned for a moment at the sheer… monumental… absurdity of the name. As if “Longhorn” wasn’t easy enough to snicker about, “Vista” is such a “fluffy” sounding name that it’s hard to believe that they are serious. It’s hard to say without sounding like you have a serious lisp, implies a frothy nothingness, and conjures mental images of vast, empty space stretching for miles. Granted, I’m not the biggest fan of the Windows OS, but seriously. “Vista?!” Watch the announcement here.
Straight from the horse’s mouth — I can’t make stuff like this up.
Read More | Windows Vista
Our favorite internet apps just received updates. Trying to always stay one step ahead of security flaws, these new versions include security fixes and functionality fixes as well.
Firefox update addresses:
Restore API compatibility for extensions and web applications that did not work in Firefox 1.0.5.
Thunderbird update addresses:
Thunderbird 1.0.6 is a stability update which Mozilla urges everyone to download.
Camino update addresses:
The v0.9a2 update contains too many updates and fixes to list. Most of the updates are for memory optimization and speed. Visit the homepage to view all the updates and fixes.
We all love our little sticks right? I’m talking about the ones that carry data in a small package! So why not carry your favorite applications and some utilities for use wherever you go? Combobulate.com has a list and downloads links to some very useful applications such as Firefox and Putty. Check them out, download them, and load up your sticks.
Read More | Combobulate
I just got turned on to one of the coolest iTunes Dashboard widgets yet - Symphonic by Mindquirk software. Are you ever sitting there at your computer and suddenly have a specific song that you want to hear from iTunes - now it is literally at your fingertips. Bring up the dashboard and type the song title, artist, or any other unique piece of information about the song and it immediately starts playing in iTunes - no need to bring iTunes up or wade through a massive library. Symphonic them displays the full data for the track - artist, album and track name - before reverting to its initial state awaiting your next musical whim.
Adisasta has jumped on the bittorrent bandwagon by developing a Windows Mobile/Pocket PC bittorrent client. While I do think this is a nifty innovation and surely serves a purpose for someone, I am at a loss as to what most people would use it for. Bittorrent is highly bandwidth intensive and most people are using a PocketPC over a weak WiFi antenna or chained to a mobile phone over Bluetooth. Do they honestly expect people to need to access large bittorent files while on the go? Since bittorrent is usually used for very large files I’m also wondering if they plan to have the users carry around an array of SD cards to store their content on. I read a while back that bittorrent made up 30% or more of internet traffic - will the same be true of tomorrow’s 3G cellular networks now? The one faint glimmer of hope for this technology is for Podcasting - it does seem conceivable to me that II might want to grab the latest podcast on the go and that is a small enough file to perhaps make this practical. Well if you do have the need to bittorrent from your PDA then head on over to Adisasta and give them $20 and they will hook you right up!
With Reuters reporting today that global PC shipments are up 16% in 2nd quarter of 2005 it’s no surprise that more and more people are joining the PC revolution. Particularly with major manufacturers providing sub-$400 PC combos a lot of families are getting a second computer - for the kids, a media center for the living room, or a laptop for the college bound young adult. Many of these users are unable to take full advantage of the home network they have at their disposal for file sharing, printing from a single printer, or utilizing secure wireless technologies. Luckily a company called Pure Networks has released a piece of software called Network Magic which helps simplify the process of setting up a home network, securing it against intrusions, and taking full advantage of Windows networking technologies. Network Magic completely sets up a small home network, shares out printers and scanners, and is able to automatically configure most routers (both wired and 802.11 technologies) to provide the household with a secure network and one click access to a variety of network features. Consumers and OEM’s alike should pay attention to this new company providing a great product for those just getting their second computer.