Opera Software will be releasing its newest Internet browser at the end of next month. This latest version talks back to the user. It also accepts voice commands. This version will have many features other than “speaking” the text on a web page for people with vision problems. This browser will also have the ability to magnify text up to 10 times, (no more fine print?) Even though this browser has many features to help visually impaired users, the company says that these features are not just for visually impaired users. Their goal is to take a first step in making human-computer interaction more natural. A nice feature is that, unlike most voice recognition software, Opera does not have to be “trained” in order to recognize the user’s voice. As technology improves, we are seeing steps in making computers smaller, more portable, with less wires, and now more interactive.
Read More | BBC News
Like to doodle? Like computers? Great! Art.com offers an amazingly cool web-based app called ArtPad that lets you create paintings on a digital canvas. What makes it cool is that it records all of your color selections and your brush strokes, as you paint it. Then you can save your finished piece and have others view it online in the sequence that it was painted. It’s like watching your friend paint an image right before you. The site also allows you to “speed up” the recorded painting motions or jump straight to the finished image. Click here to see how the PSP image above was created.
It was only a matter of time before one of the nation’s largest internet service providers began to offer Mozilla Firefox as an alternative to Internet Explorer. Speakeasy, which offers DSL and VOIP service, announced today that they will begin to recommend its users install Mozilla Firefox 1.0, the latest browser from Mozilla, and customize it with plugins and helpful bookmarks for their customers. While they won’t be installing the software for their customers, they do offer the links to download Firefox and the plugin from an easy location on their homepage. The last time an ISP offered an alternative browser with installation was back in the days of dial-up, when many companies offered Netscape Communicator, also a Mozilla browser. If this business practice continues, Firefox will continue to gain market share against IE, and hopefully help many users with virus and spyware problems, as well.
Read More | Speakeasy
Apparently Google has hired the top programmer of Firefox, leading people to believe that Google is indeed planning on developing its own web browser. Ben Goodger announced on his blog that he made the move to Google. He plans to continue working on Firefox in the same role he has now. Still don’t believe they are developing a web browser? Do a WhoIs on gbrowser.com. Yep, registered to Google, Inc. Keep an eye out because if it’s true, this might be another nice alternative to IE.
Read More | ZDNet
eXeem™ is a brand new Peer-To-Peer program, which is based on the BitTorrent idea. eXeem™ eliminates the need for trackers as nodes in the program will be taking their role. eXeem™ also features easy publication of files to the network as well as a rating and comments system. eXeem™ contains NO SPYWARE. eXeem™ is free and is ad-supported. eXeem™ is currently still in its beta testing phase, which means that the network might not be completely stable yet. You are still very welcome to give eXeem™ a try and see how it is different from other Peer-To-Peer programs.
Give it a download, and let us know what you think in the comments.
Read More | eXeem
I think it is safe to say that we have all received less than stellar directions from services like MapQuest, MapBlast, and all the others. Well, check out the latest faux pas from MSN MapPoint. Instead of going in a stright line from point A to point B, why not travel though a couple of countries and make an almost complete circle en route to your destination? All the cool kids are doing it.
Mozilla Firefox has jumped to nearly 5% market share, according to online measurement company WebSideStory, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has dropped to just below 93%. MSIE has dropped 4% in market share since June, most of which can be attributed to the Department of Homeland Security’s endorsement of alternative browsers to prevent spyware as well as vigorous promotion by satisfied Firefox users. While MSIE maintains a high percentage of users, its obvious that many are switching. There are some who believe that as Firefox gains market share, hackers will begin to find exploits in its code, which will be the true test of Firefox’s open source nature.
Looking at Gear Live’s visitor statistics, back in June less than 2% of our visitors entered using a Firefox browser. Today, we have an average of 65% of readers using Internet Explorer, and a nice 26% using Firefox.
Read More | CNET
When Microsoft removed POP3 access from it’s Hotmail email service, everyone expected it would reappear with a fee attached. Enter Microsoft Office Outlook Live - Microsoft’s new subscription service which provides a marriage of sorts between MSN Hotmail and Microsoft Outlook. It provides 2 GB of online storage space, and allows attachments up to 20 MB in size.
“Outlook Live is the most advanced email service available from Microsoft and is perfect for individuals who really want to get the most out of their email,” said Blake Irving, Corporate Veep of MSN Communication Services. Through April 19, a one year subscription can be purchased for $44.95 - after that, it gets bumped up to $59.95. It is currently only available in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Read More | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
If you use Apple iTunes you need to upgrade immediately. There is a security threat that affects iTunes 4.7 and earlier on both OS. Hackers can build malicious playlist files that crash the system then take over the computer by inserting a Trojan code. If you have not upgraded to iTunes 4.7.1 you may do so by opening the “look for updates” window in the program. Users are advised to avoid clicking on or accessing playlist files that have come from unknown sources. This probably one of the fist of many security threats to come this year as iTunes continues to rise in popularity.
Read More | BBC News
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.
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