Monday, February 28, 2011

Google's 2-Step Verification

"Google's offering a new way to protect your data stored on its servers (e.g. the Google Cloud). The new service is called '2-step Verification'. It’s not radically new, but it does make it harder for a criminal to steal your account. Google has been offering this service for several months to its business customers and now it’s rolling it out to its regular users."

Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Microsoft IE9 Release Candidate: Why You Need to Try It

eWeek reports: "Microsoft shipped its Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate Feb. 10 as a near-final version of the browser that features significant performance enhancements, user experience improvements and standards compatibility advancements. The release candidate, known as IE9 RC, is available at in 40 languages, Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president for Internet Explorer at Microsoft, said in a Feb. 10 blog post. Hachamovitch said with IE9 RC, Microsoft has incorporated more than 17,000 pieces of feedback about IE9, and moved the browser forward in terms of performance and standards, user experience, and safety and privacy. Microsoft culled insights from more than 25 million beta testers to update the IE9 technology, including making the browser's 'Chakra' JavaScript engine at least 30 percent faster than it was in the beta version. As for hardware acceleration and interoperability in the latest release, according to the SunSpider benchmark, IE9 RC is 35 percent faster than Internet Explorer 9 Beta—322 ms in the beta versus 209 ms in RC. Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to implement standards as they become stable, and IE9 RC supports geolocation, playback of H.264-encoded video using the HTML5 video tag, and now WebM video, when a VP8 code is installed on Windows."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Software: Snackr: A Cross-Platform RSS Ticker

Snackr is an RSS ticker that pulls random items from your feeds and scrolls them across your desktop.

This is the first program that I have installed that uses Adobe AIR, which is a cross platform runtime environment. This mean that Snackr can run on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.

All you have to do click the 'Install Now' button. If you don't have Adobe AIR installed, it will be downloaded and installed for you (if you want).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Web Site: Creating Craigslist Alerts

Craigslist has single-handedly destroyed newspaper classified ads.  To be honest I don't miss them.  Although, with the popularity of this site there are great deal of scams so you have to be careful.

If you're trying to find a great deal, its hard to beat Craigslist. Although, I find it annoying that you can't setup e-mail alerts on the site for my favorite searches.

What I recently discover is that you can get RSS feeds from the site for any search. To subscribe to a Craigslist's RSS feeds:
  • Go to your city's Craigslist site.
  • Enter your search terms (keywords for what you're looking for), then press the search button 
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page, there's an orange button with the letters RSS, click on the button.
  • Copy that page's URL and paste it into your favorite RSS feed reader.
Using your RSS feed reader, you can be notified every time an item is posted on Craigslist that matches your search criteria.

If you don't like the suggestion above, search for "Craigslist email Alerts" to find companies that offer this type of service.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Microsoft WebMatrix Shortens Path to Running Open-Source Web Apps on Windows

eWeek reports: "Microsoft's WebMatrix is a freely available development tool that lowers the barriers to creating Websites atop the company's Windows operating system and IIS Web server tandem, both in terms of locating and installing needed components, and coding data-driven Websites. While running Websites on the Windows stack is the central purpose of the product, one of the most impressive aspects of WebMatrix turns on its support of these and other open-source projects, which the product exposes in the form of a Web Gallery feature that offers one of the simplest paths I've seen to minting new Websites based on popular open-source projects such as Wordpress or Drupal. Despite the handful of snags I experienced during my tests of WebMatrix with MySQL, I can recommend WebMatrix without hesitation to Windows users interested in exploring the wealth of open-source Web-application projects available and in getting started with Microsoft-centric Web development. To see WebMatrix in action, check out the slide gallery below, and be sure to read my full review."

Monday, February 07, 2011

LibreOffice 3.3 Suite Advances While Staying True to OpenOffice Roots

eWeek reports: "In September 2010, a third of developers (about 20) objected to the open-source office suite falling under the custodianship of Oracle after the company completed its buyout of Sun Microsystems. They feared that Oracle wouldn't provide whole-hearted support to an open-source application project that didn't significantly contribute to its bottom line. They created the Document Foundation and forked the office suite code to create another open-source suite they dubbed LibreOffice. A little more than four months later, the developers unveiled on Jan. 25 a stable release of their first product, LibreOffice 3.3 (the numbering sequence conforms to the OpenOffice product chronology)." (see the slide show)

If you're an OpenOffice fan like I am, then I thought this was worth noting here.

PC Makers Dealing with Intel Chipset Fallout

eWeek reports: "Intel executives announced Jan. 31 that a design flaw in a supporting chipset tied to the company’s “Sandy Bridge” Core-i processors is forcing a recall of the chipset. The recall could cost Intel $1 billion in lost revenue and related expenses and delay the release of a fixed chipset until late February, with full production coming in April at the latest."

The problem is a design flaw in the chipset that could cause performance problems in the SATA (Serial ATA) ports over time with SATA hard disk drives or optical drives.