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Check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, win some awesome gadgets!
Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
Skype 1.1 was release last week, with some nice changes. If you are unfamiliar with the program, Skype allows you to make voice calls to other Skype users, anywhere in the world, for free. Think of it as AIM with very reliable voice chat. You can also use the program to call regular phones for a small fee. Check out the changelog for the upgrade, and if you haven’t yet, download Skype here. I personally recommend it, as Skype is my messaging program of choice.
A test update for the PSP has been leaked from a Sony owned web domain. This update includes web browsing, word processing, voice communication and music downloading software among more applications. Sony has not released any information about this update nor is it known if it is fake or the real thing. Installing this update will corrupt your system, however some people have already installed it. You may check out the pictures and video of the installation here. Of course the page is in Japanese, but you can see that the file does work. The full contents of the update include web browsing software, e-mail, word processing, voice communication, scheduling, a text-to-speech application, a program for music download and organization using SonicStage software, and three titles which appear to be new online games. Remember this information is unofficial. Could the reason that Sony is slowing down on the Clie side of things be that the PSP might take its place?
Read More | Joystiq
It looks like the next version of the Windows OS, codenamed Longhorn, could possibly integrate features of Microsoft’s Media Center and Tablet PC features into the main OS. The example given is docking your laptop and having it act as a Media Center, and then undocking and act like a tablet. While Microsoft may think these features being built into the system give its users more flexibility, it will likely make the OS more bloated than it needs to be. Most users with HTPC systems have their own software for running their computers, and having Windows force settings on them might not sit well with the crowd. Microsoft is still deciding on the direction they would like the next OS to take.
Read More | PCWorld
How many times have you printed a label for a freshly burned disc and screwed it up? Those labels are tough to stick on. With HP’s LightScribe discs and software, you will never have to print a label again. Using the laser in your drive, the software will etch a design of your choosing into the disc. All you have to do is flip the disc, run the software, and choose your image. Everytime, you will get a perfect image on your disk.
A few examples of things you can print on the disc:
- A list of track titles and lengths for a music CD
- A digital picture of the DVD or concert on the disc
- Images created in PhotoShop
- Professional looking labels for disks you give to clients
This technology is sure to change the way users burn discs. Now, if only they could figure out how to make labels for dual layer discs…
Read More | Hewlett-Packard LightScribe
Imagine doing a search using a picture taken from your camera enabled cell phone. Does it sound too good to be true? Hatmut Neven doesn’t think so. He is currently working on a way to make this happen. Image-recognition software is already being tested for used in various tasks. Using that technology he hopes to make it happen. The following is a quote of what this service could do for you:
”You take a picture of something, send it to our servers, and we either provide you with more information or link you to the place that will. Let’s say you’re standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. You take a snapshot with your camera phone and instantly receive an audio-visual narrative about the painting. Then you step out of the Louvre and see a cafe. Should you go in? Take a shot from the other side of the street and a restaurant guide will appear on your phone. You sit down inside, but perhaps your French is a little rusty. You take a picture of the menu and a dictionary comes up to translate.”
Read More | TheFeature.com
You are a hip, young, internet user. This means you like free music, no matter how you get it. If you are a new iPod user, you have been treated to a free album download on iTunes when you first synched your iPod to your PC, titled “Universal Motown New Music Sampler”. While it isn’t a compilation of huge hits, it’s still nice to get 13 tracks of music for free. But what about those of us that have had iPods for a while, or just use iTunes but don’t want Apple’s MP3 player? You too can download the Motown New Music Sampler free of charge. How so? Simple be sure you have iTunes installed on your PC, and click this link.
Yesterday we told you about how opening Internet Explorer for just a few minutes opened one of us up to spyware. Of course, running programs like Ad-Aware and Spybot - Search and Destroy do a great job at eliminating a lot of what you can bring into your PC. However, did you know that there is now an even better solution currently being offered by Microsoft? Before you start laughing uncontrollably, read on. Anti spyware software maker Giant was recently purchased by Microsoft. They simply took the software and rebranded it as Microsoft Antispyware Beta. Don’t let the name fool you, it is still the Giant software, it is better than Ad-Aware and Spybot, and it is free. Want it? Simply click here.
Read More | MSN
Yesterday, I had to use Internet Explorer for about 5 minutes to do an offer for someone on a freestuff website. After I finished, I closed IE and switched back to firefox. Later that day, I was bombarded with virus warnings and popups—when no browsers were open. I had to run adaware 3 times and reboot twice in order to clear my registry of spyware (and I’m not convinced its gone.) This was after running my computer for 3 months on a fresh reformat and using Firefox exclusively. One final trick I pulled was using system restore in XP to go back to an earlier time—specifically, the day before.
CNet has a great article on things you can do to avoid, prevent, and workaround spyware. They offer several solutions, such as using system restore, Firefox, and SP2 for Windows XP. Check it out, and avoid all that spyware!
Read More | CNet
Pretty soon, we’re going to be flooded with lots of news on all the new gear products coming out later this year and beyond. It’s because the annual Consumer Electronics Show opens up this week in Las Vegas. The show runs January 6-9, and features a messload of exhibits showcasing the latest in everything from BlueTooth technology to home theatre to WiFi. Some of the major products that debuted in past CES shows include plasma TV’s, HDTV, CD’s and DVD’s. It’s just huge, with some 129,000 attendees. Special events to look out for this year include a pre-show keynote speech by Bill Gates, and a show-floor gaming competition. Speaking of games, PSXExtreme reports that details on the Sony PSP’s US launch, pricing, and titles will all be revealed at the show.
If you didn’t have enough choices for browser add-ons, you can thank Netcraft for adding more to the pool. If you are not familiar with Netcraft, they are an Internet services company providing research data and analysis on many aspects of the Internet. The Netcraft toolbar allows a user to find out a lot of information about a website, including what the server is running on, where it is hosted, as well as its uptime. The real power of the toolbar is its ability to protect you from phising attacks and internet fraud. By using features such as site ranking and the hosting location, you can determine if the site you are visiting is a legitimate website. So far this is only for Internet Explorer users, but they are working on a version for Firefox as well.
You can download it here.
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