Microsoft is testing out a new subscription PC Tune Up service with the help of their employees. They have distributed copies of the software to all their employees this past week and will be launching an invitation only test this summer. This software will be similar to Symantec’s large array of titles, as it aims to protect it’s users from viruses, spam, and also provide tools to help your computer perform better. There is no estimated price for the subscription or launch date, but the testing is expected to be in full force by the end of the year.
Read More | Silicon Valley Report
The Google search engine is a powerful force. We have all heard of the different ways you can manipulate the search field to find things that people would rather keep private. Now it appears that someone has uncovered another security flaw, this time concerning iCal. Now, after talking to Joel it was made clear to me that the user needs to do something in order to get their information out there. Apparently, if you publish your iCal, anyone can view it if they know what to plug in to Google. Check it out for yourself. Click on a result to view the calendar, addresses, appointments, and all. Unfortunately, many users will publish a calendar on the web to share with friends, family, or co-workers, not knowing that it would become available for all to see. Perusing through the search results, you can find personal addresses and phone numbers - things I am sure the users probably didn’t mean to broadcast across the interweb.
Yahoo! has made a very bold move in the digital audio download arena. Yahoo! Music Unlimited will bring its users music downloads, similar to services provided by Napster and Rhapsody, for the extremely low price of $7 per month. If you purchase one year all at once, it costs just $60 - that is $5 a month! The music is your standard DRM protected WMA format and can be transferred to portable devices, same thing offered by all the other music stores that aren’t called iTunes. It even allows you to share music via Yahoo! Messenger. Comparatively, NapsterToGo costs $15 per month. I have been messing around with the interface for a bit, and it is honestly just a bit buggy. My guess is that they will have their programmers working on a new build throughout the day in preparation for launch tomorrow. $60for one year’s worth of music? That just may be too hard to pass up.
Read More | Yahoo! Music Unlimited
Microsoft has finally announced Windows Mobile 5.0, a.k.a. Magneto, at the 2005 Microsoft Mobile & Embedded DevCon. The software looks fantastic - I am most stoked about the upgraded network support with 3G optimization. Other features include a new mobile office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), a one-handed navigation scheme, improved WiFi, improved BlueTooth, persistent memory to ensure your data will remain safe in the even of battery failure, video calling, push-to-talk calling, external drive support, and USB 2.0. This will all go into the next generation of Windows Mobile Smartphones and handheld devices.
Read More | Windows Mobile 5.0 Page
Apple has released the latest version of the iTunes jukebox software today, version 4.8. They don’t seem to be making a big deal about this one, which is a rarity for Apple. In fact, this is how Apple describes the new software:
iTunes 4.8 includes new Music Store features and support for transferring contacts and calendars from your computer to your iPod (requires Mac OS X version 10.4 on your computer).
The contacts and calendar syncing to the iPod is a nice feature. I personally feel that the iPod photo handles this the best, at least as far as the visual aspect goes. While it’s great, Apple does not mention the fact that iTunes can now catalog and play videos stored locally on your PC instead of just those housed on the iTunes Music Store. Of course, speculation is now running rampant that this could mean that Apple will begin selling movies through the iTunes interface, turning it into a full media store. Even more, since iTunes is so tightly integrated with the iPod, could this mean that an iPod that supports video playback is near?
In today’s world, communication is of great importance. That is why instant messaging has become so popular in the business sector as much as in the personal web experience. However, sometimes the standard features that come in two of the biggest names for instant communication is not enough. Versoworks seeks to customize your instant messaging experience with its latest offering – Messenger:Mate. The software comes in two flavors: Messenger:Mate for MSN messenger and Messenger:Mate for AIM. I took a look at the AIM version of Messenger:Mate and took it for a spin.
In an effort to thwart pirates yet again, Microsoft is looking to gain their information by way of their customers. If someone has purchased a high-quality copy of Windows XP that closely resembles Microsoft’s official packaging of the product, they can pick up a free license key and installation CD for the product if they reveal the identity of the selling party.
Microsoft said that only edge-to-edge hologram CDs are considered for a free replacement. The participation in the program also requires users to agree to a full scan of their system files and to reveal the identity of the seller of the counterfeit software.
Users of “low-quality” pirated versions of Windows XP also can request an update to a legal version of Windows XP. In this case, the upgrade however costs $149.
Read More | Genuine Microsoft Software
Most impressed by the new widgets in the OS, Time tells us their favorite things about Tiger. The latest iteration of OS X from Apple was last week’s Gadget of the Week. Here’s an brief overview:
1. You can automatically look up words in the integrated dictionary as you surf.
2. It’s got a standalone version of the Migration Assistant, which lets you move all of your programs and settings from one Mac to another.
3. HD movies are coming to QuickTime.
4. Album art can be your screensaver.
5. VoiceOver will read all of your web pages (and other text documents) out loud.
Read More | Time Gadget of the Week
The famous simple networking system from the Mac OS is now available for Windows. This easy file/Internet/printer sharing software has been a staple for Macs everywhere. Great for those of us that aren’t good at figuring out the routers and printers on our networks, or those who just want to feel as cool as a Mac user should download this for their Windows-based PC.
Now anyone using a Windows PC can take advantage of the effortlessness of Bonjour for free. The Bonjour Setup Wizard makes setting up a printer under Windows as easy as Mac OS X (we can’t make it as beautiful, unfortunately). Bonjour for Windows includes a plug-in for Internet Explorer, so you can setup a Bonjour-enabled device without knowing its IP address. You can even print to printers connected over USB to Airport Extreme Base Station or Airport Express. If you’re an Open Source enthusiast, you will be able to download the Bonjour source code to create software for virtually any platform.
Read More | Apple Bonjour
The TiVo Desktop software has been upgraded, and version 2.1 is now available for download. The biggest change, aside from the visual aspect, is that TiVo Desktop 2.1 includes support for playing TiVoToGo shows on Microsoft Portable Media Center units. The update is available for the Windows XP and 2000 operating systems. On the flip side, if you are on a Mac, it looks like TiVo Desktop 1.9.1 is broken in Tiger. Personally, I am still waiting for them to release TiVoToGo for DVD players with integrated TiVo software. What gives?
Read More | TiVo Desktop 2.1
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