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Showing posts from March, 2006

Xbox Live Gold status for Xbox 360 gamers

Courtesy Verizon, all Microsoft Xbox 360 gamers in the United States get free access to Xbox Live Gold for 72 hours from March 31 until April 2.

Owners of both the original Xbox and the Xbox 360 can use Xbox Live.

Verizon is sponsoring the Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend to promote their high-speed broadband connections.

XBox Gold-level users, who usually pay $49.99 a year, get all those features, plus enhanced gamer feedback, better friends list management, access to more sophisticated online game play and more.

Official Home: XBOX Live Gold | Microsoft Announcement

Xbox Live Gold Weekend Event Schedule

Source: A free weekend of Xbox Live Gold

Spam Cube: Gadget that blocks Junk Email

SpamCube is the first affordable hardware based approach to block email spam from reaching your Inbox.

Spam Cube can also identify and quarantine incoming messages that contain viruses. It can even flag phishing email messages.

Unlike other anti-spam software, Spam Cube won't slow down your PC as there's no software to install. Simply plug your broadband modem and router (wired or wireless) into the Spam Cube and watch it protect every computer thats plugged into your router automatically.

SpamCube compares email messages, in fractions of a second, with a vast, constantly evolving database of spam knowledge on the Spam Cube computers.



SpamCube Home | How SpamCube Works

NYTimes SpamCube Review

Banks popular in Dodgy Web Domain Registrations

Anyone can register a phishing webdomain like citibank-creditcards.com and ICANN, the standards body for Internet domain names, won't probably complain.

F-Secure has revealed a surprising number of web domains that mimic common bank names and other finance-related websites like Citibank, HSBC, BankOfAmerica, Chase, Paypal and eBay.

Some of these are probably perfectly legitimate. Others probably are not...like citibank-account-updating.com, registered last Friday to Ms. Evelyn Musa in Arlington, VA (see screenshot)

Some examples of existing, active registrations, using Citibank as an example:

citibank-america.com citibank-credicard.com citibank-credit-card.com citibank-credit-cards.com citibank-account-updating.com citibank-creditcard.com citibank-loans.com citibank-login.com citibank-online-security.com citibank-secure.com citibank-site.com citibank-sucks.com citibank-update.com citibank-updateinfo.com citibank-updating.com citibankaccount.com citibank…

Favorite Web-based RSS Feed Readers at Lifehacker, TechCrunch

What's your favorite way to keep up with the blogs you love ? There is a good discussion happening at Lifehacker and TechCrunch on Web-based RSS readers.

Gina Trapani, Adam Pash and Keith Robinson of LifeHacker prefer to read RSS feeds inside a web-browser using Bloglines. You will find some interesting newsreaders like RSSOwl, Firefox Sage, Vienna and GreatNews mentioned in the comments.

On Michael Arrington's blog, Frank Gruber has a detailed comparison chart of web-based Feed Readers . Arrington prefers a three-pane approach as in Attensa online and FeedLounge.

Frank writes that Google Reader and FeedLounge are the fastest while Bloglines and Rojo are the best choice if you are looking for a feature rich application.

TechCrunch: Feed Reader Comparison Chart

Lifehacker: What feedreader do you use ?

Infected BBC News Stories that install spyware

This BBC News replica website (screenshot above) is dangerous enough to automatically download and install keylogging software on your computer.

E-mail messages contain excerpts from actual BBC news stories offer a link to "Read More". Users who follow this link are taken to a website that is a spoofed copy of the BBC news story from the e-mail.

This BBC replica website exploits the unpatched IE createTextRange vulnerability and is currently being used to download and install a keylogger. This keylogger monitors activity on various financial websites and uploads captured information back to the attacker.

WebSense have identified more than 200 unique URL's that are using the vulnerability to run exploit code.

Source: WebSense | EWeek

Digital Images Captured Worldwide, 2002-2009

Camera phones accounted for virtually none of the digital images captured in 2002 but will account for close to 60 percent of the total in 2009. But Digital Cameras still rule for photo-prints.

Overall, the number of digital images captured worldwide has grown from under 40 billion in 2002 to nearly 200 billion in 2005, and in 2009 close to half a trillion digital images will be captured. Flickr and Riya can continue to expect their customer base to increase.

Camera Phones do make better prints than single-use cameras but many of the camera phone images will never make it to print, while digital cameras will remain the device of choice for consumers to capture images they actually care enough about to print.

Source: What Happens to Photo Prints? | Download PDF

Microsoft Calculator Plus: Currency, units and measurements conversion

Microsoft Calculator Plus is a free replacement of Microsoft Calculator 3.0 that ships with Windows XP. It also includes all the mathematical functions offered in Microsoft Calculator basic and some more features.

Microsoft Calculator Plus lets you convert between different measurement units for area, temperature, volume and currency. Microsoft Calculator Plus contains legacy Euro currencies with predefined rates. Latest exchange rates are downloaded from the European Central Bank.

All mathematical operations in Microsoft Calculator Plus are accurate to at least 32 digits. For example, 1/3 is stored as 1/3, rather than .333.

Microsoft Calculator Plus also performs basic arithmetic, such as addition and subtraction, as well as functions found on a scientific calculator, such as logarithms and factorials.

Download Microsoft Calculator Plus (476 KB)

Can't afford a hotel room ? Try Wal-Mart

If you thought Walmart was just a retailer, read this. Skyler Bartels, a University student, spent three days (and nights) at a Walmart store. Really living there. Eating, sleeping, playing Video games, checking out the DVDs, never leaving the Walmart Hotel.

He bought meals at the in-store Subway sandwich shop, but was able to catch only brief naps in a restroom stall or on lawn chairs in the garden department.

Other shoppers and employees didn't pay much attention until the end of his stay. Wal-Mart said Bartels neither violated store policy nor broke the law.

So the next time you visit New York City and can't afford the expensive hotels, you can head to a nearby Walmart store in New Jersey. They are open 24 hours a day.

Source: News 2 | CNN

Modern Day Egyptian Mummies want Cellphones

Mummies of Ancient Egypt were buried with ornaments, pets, and sometimes even their slaves, as the Egyptians believed those were necessary to guide and serve the deceased in the afterlife and make it more comfortable.

The trend seems to have returned in some countries - People want to be buried like celebrities. Instead of slaves and pets, people are asking to be buried or cremated with their cellphones. One person expressed a desire to be buried with his mobile phone, hist Blackberry, and also with his laptop.

The phone is put in the coffin along with diamonds, jewellery, expensive suits, and gold watches.

This "Limelight funerals" trend, which began in South Africa, has now spread to a number of countries, including Ireland, Australia, Ghana, and the US.

Source: BBC: Handsets get taken to the grave

Rare view of Solar Eclipse from International Space Station

The coolest view of today's total solar eclipse might have been from hundreds of miles above the Earth, as shown in this photograph taken from the International Space Station. It shows a rare view of the moon's shadow passing across the Earth during the Solar Eclipse.

Space station crew members took the picture at 4:30 a.m. EST while orbiting 230 miles (370 kilometers) above the Earth.

The island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea appears in the top center of the photo, flanked on the left by the coast of Turkey.

Down on Earth, people in the center of the shadow, or umbra, experienced deep, nightlike darkness, while those in the shadow's lighter portion, or penumbra, witnessed a partial eclipse.

More solar eclipse pictures and live telecast at Sky Nightly, NASA and Exploratorium's eclipe watching site.

Source: NatGeo News | Steve Bass

Good Sync: Transfer files and Synchronize Folders With Ease

You prepare a draft PowerPoint presentation on your home computer, then take it your work on a Laptop, transfer it to the Office computer, make some changes and again bring it home for further editing. The cycle repeats the next day.

When you have to move files back and forth so many times, how do you make sure that the copy of PowerPoint presentation that you are currently working on is the most recent one ? It will be so tedious if you do it manually. And you are not alone. Most office workers face this daunting task of synchronizing files and folders between the office PC, Laptop and the home computer.

Keeping two computers on the same page can get simpler with Good Sync, a simple file synchronization program from Siber Systems that also develop the popular Roboform password management and form filling software.

Good Sync is a versatile bi-directional directory (folder) synchronization utility that makes it easy sync files between two folders located either on the same computer or acr…

Apple iPod Firmware update: Parents can set their child's iPod volume

In response to the iPod irreversible Hearing Loss Lawsuit, Apple today released an iPod software update that lets you set up your own personal maximum volume limit. Parents can also set a maximum volume limit on their child’s iPod and lock it with a combination code.

The new Volume Limit feature works with any headphone or accessory plugged into the iPod headphone jack as well as the iPod Radio Remote.

Apple is already facing a lawsuit filed by John Kiel Patterson, of Louisiana. It was filed in the US District Court in San Jose, California. His complaint is that his iPod is capable of generating more than 115 decibels. This is considered a dangerous noise level for prolonged use.

Attorneys representing Apple iPod owners in a national class-action lawsuit against Apple iPod remarked that Apple's move to limit iPod volume acknowledges product flaw.

Download Apple iPod Sound Firware update

Source: Apple Press Release

Microsoft ready to assist you on PC Moving Day

Moving personal data, program settings and installed software programs from your old PC to your new one may soon get simpler. Microsoft today acquired Apptimum who develop software for easy migration of software applications to new Windows XP computers.

Microsoft does not plan to continue selling the Alohabob products directly, but these likely will continue to be available for sale in the retail market for some time. Microsoft will release products based on the Apptimum technology in the future, and the first one is planned to be a downloadable product for customers of Windows Vista.

Alohabob eliminates the need for you to manually copy/move your personal data files to your new PC, re-install your old and familiar applications on your new PC. Alohabob also supports cross-version migration with Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Outlook Express, and Netscape. Alohabob also has a color-coding system that helps you determine which applications can and can't be moved.

Update: Alohabo…

Two notepad.exe files in Windows Directory

There's a copy of Notepad in %windir%\notepad.exe and another in %windir%\system32\notepad.exe. Why two?

Notepad is perhaps the most commonly hardcoded program in Windows. many Setup programs use it to view the Readme file, and you can use your imagination to come up with other places where a program or batch file or printed instructions will hard-code the path to Notepad.

In order to be compatible with programs designed for Windows 95, there needs to be a copy of Notepad in the Windows directory. And in order to be compatible with programs designed for Windows NT, there also needs to be a copy in the System32 directory.

And now that Notepad exists in both places, new programs have a choice of Notepads, and since there is no clear winner, half of them will choose the one in the Windows directory and half will choose the one in the System32 directory, thereby ensuring the continued existence of two copies of Notepad for years to come.

Microsoft Blogger Awards: Call for Nominations

As you may recall, Microsoft promised Indic Bloggers Awards some six months back.

Better late than never. The contest is up now and any blog in an Indian language started before February 2006 can be nominated.

Nominations are open until May 2006. Winners receive the Indic Bloggers Awards Trophy.

BhashaIndia users who nominate an Indian language blog that they follow, have to be an Indian resident or have a contact address in India.

Official Website: Indic Bloggers Awards

Millions of visitors, yet no footfalls

Millions of people visit and explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They even buy expensive merchandise from the Musuem store without ever setting foot in the Met building. Instead, they visit the Museum Web site.

Interactive Museum websites may have reduced the entry ticket sales but the authorities aren't complaining. Infact, they have budgeted $1 million a year on maintaing their website.

Online visitors have actually become a robust source of revenue. Last year it earned $6.5 million in total revenue, a figure that includes its memberships, shop and fund-raising efforts.

Related: www.metmuseum.org | Metropolitan Timeline of Art History

Source: NYTimes.com

The Talebans of Blogistan

Iranian authorities dislike weblogs and people who try to promote blogs.

A Canadian blogger was recently detained in Iran and forced to sign a letter of apology because he posted instructions on the Internet in Farsi on how to set up a weblog.

Infact, after China, Iran has the most sophisticated systems to filter internet content. But unlike China where politics is the main issue, Iranian bloggers rarely discuss politics.

The most common issues are cultural, social and sexual. Blogs also are a good place to chat in a society where young men and women cannot openly date. There are blogs that discuss women's issues, and ones that deal with art and photography.

Google a better Torrent search engine: TorrentSpy

Sue Google, not us - TorrentSpy, the popular torrent search engine, today strongly hit back at MPAA and Hollywood seeking dismissal of the lawsuit filed by MPAA.

Torrentspy argued that the MPAA might as well have sued Google, since Google does what Torrentspy does, only better. Torrentspy is a search engine that helps visitors find torrent files, which are often software, music or movie files.

Torrentspy argues it can't be held liable for actions of visitors once they leave its Web site.

How to browse faster with slow dialup internet connections

A lightning fast Broadband internet connection is still a distant dream for many internet users living in rural areas or developing countries. It's frustrating wasting time while you wait for Web pages to appear.

Here are three simple tips to increase the speed of browsing when your internet connection is slow:

1. Turn off Graphics and rich multimedia content in IE (see graphic). Graphics and embedded videos or music files take time to download and you can disable them to speed up browsing.

2. Don't use fancy email signatures with graphics - Email stationery will increase the size of your email message and slow down the time needed to send each message.

3. Increase the size of your web browser cache. When you revisit a webpage, most of the associated web graphics will already be downloaded on your computer, decreasing the amount of time it takes to open a page.

Related: Fastest Internet Speed

Source: Microsoft Stay Connected

Lenovo Laptops: National Security Threat ?

The Chinese government hold about 27% share of Lenovo, which purchased IBM's PC division last year. US lawmakers claim there is an "enormous" opportunity for the Chinese government to use the deal as a way to spy on the U.S.

Therefore, the USCC is calling for an official probe voicing concerns that Lenovo computers may include components that facilitate spying on US.

Lenovo said it had nothing to hide and would welcome the investigation.

Lenovo is to supply more than 15,000 Lenovo ThinkCentre M51 desktops and 1,000 ThinkCentre M51 mini-tower PCs to the US State department over a period of six months.

BBC: US wants China spy probe | Forbes.com | ComputerWorld

Installing software ? Let EULAlyzer read the license agreement for you

You agree to a EULA every time you install new software. But since EULA's contain lengthy and boring text in small fonts, most people skip reading them altogether. That's a risky option because if you aren't reading the license agreements, you have no idea what you could be agreeing to.

Well, there is an easy way to read and analyze license agreements. EULAlyzer helps you understand just what you're agreeing to and flags clauses that deserve special attention.

EULAlyzer Personal analyzes language of end user license agreements (EULAs) and flags "interesting" phrases. You can optionally save analyzed EULAs or submit them to Javacool's security center.

Be sure to use EULAlyzer during the installation process though, as EULAs (especially shady EULAs) aren't generally accessible after install.

When installing software, never just click past the license agreement. Pop it into EULAlyzer, and EULAlyze it!

Official Website: Javacool EULAlyzer [via]

Firefox Ads planned for TV and Movie halls

The Mozilla Foundation has told ZDNet UK that it may screen a Firefox advert on national television or in cinemas. The group is not looking for donations to run the Video Ads, instead it will rely on it's own revenues.

In December 2004, tens of thousands of Firefox fans donated money to buy a full-page advertisement in the New York Times to promote the web browser.

The Firefox Flicks Ad Contest ends on the 14 April and some of the winning entries may be screened as adverts on television or in cinemas.

Source: ZDNet UK

Microsoft replicates Mozilla Bugzilla model

Microsoft continues to draw inspiration from Mozilla. Earlier, it were the Mozilla's Orange Icons that later became the official feed icons for Windows Vista and Office 2007.

Now, close on heals of Mozilla Bugzilla, a public bug-tracking database, Microsoft launched the Internet Explorer Feedback Web site, a public database that enables users to submit bugs and make suggestions IE.

The Microsoft Bugzilla will be used for IE7 and all future releases. A Passport account is required, but a forthcoming update to the site will enable anyone to view existing bugs without logging in.

The effort is a shift in policy for Microsoft, which has long kept bug information restricted from the public eye. Now, anyone will be able to see the number of outstanding problems with Internet Explorer, and even potentially security vulnerabilities.

Internet Explorer Feedback Website

Official IE Blog Announcement

Amused: Windows Vista Delay could boost PC sales

The general feeling in the blogosphere is that Vista Delay will reduce PC sales during the Christmas season as nobody is going to buy a PC when a new OS is just around the corner.

But a recent IDC report has suggested that the delayed launch of Windows Vista will have a limited effect on PC shipments in 2006, and may actually help to boost sales slightly in 2007.

"Some consumers will certainly delay PC purchases until Vista is available, but we expect the delay to shift only moderate volume from the fourth quarter of 2006 into 2007 and will not cause a loss of sales," explained Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "The timing of the release will have some impact on when consumers buy, but not so much on whether or not they buy."

Vista's delay would not have a broad effect due to the fact that most consumers had already replaced their PCs, along with increasing sales of laptop computers.

Read: IDC Windows Vista Report

Password Safe: One password to Rule Them All

All computer users have problems tracking dozens of passwords. Some write passwords in their notebook pages, behind visiting cards to store in their wallet while some people maintain the same password for all accounts.

Bruce Schneier, referred by The Economist as a "security guru", has released a free Windows Utility for storing and managing multiple passwords.

His program, Password Safe, stores user passwords in single file (called "safe") which is encrypted and protected by user's master password (called "Safe Combination") with the Blowfish encryption algorithm.

You can have the program generate a random password for you, and it can copy the password to the clipboard without actually displaying it on your screen.

Download Password Safe (Open Source)

Tips for choosing strong, secure passwords

Computer Mouse: A perfect spy

If you find a mouse that resembles one in the picture, better mind your language.

Endoacustica has released a PC mouse that starts spying on you as soon as you turn on your PC. Once you switch off the PC, mouse stops working.

This spy USB mouse has a built-in sensitive microphone. When connected to the PC, the mouse starts transmitting your voice signals to a nearby receiver.

Source: Spy Mouse [via]

Newsgator switches business model, launch new products

Newsgator today launched new versions of Newsgator Outlook RSS plugin, FeedDemon RSS Desktop reader, NetNewsWire for Mac and FeedStation podcasting client.

The entire Newsgator website, including Newsgator Online, sports a new design that is much simple and less confusing than the previous design. And in a major strategy shift, Newsgator has dropped the subscription model and switched to one-time fee based price model.

Newgator Inbox, formerly known as Newgator Outlook edition v2.6, downloads images and related files for reading feeds offline. Read how Newsgator Inbox compares with Attensa Outlook.

Newsgator Online web based RSS aggregator, like Google Reader or Bloglines (read comparison) has undergone several changes like support for feed icons and better feed management features. The premium version of Newsgator Online offers advanced feed syncronization and feed search features. Supports IE, Firefox, Opera and Safari web browsers.

FeedDemon 2.0 is the next major update after FeedDem…

Fastest 3D Face Recognition software

A ground-breaking Face Recognition software can produce an exact 3D image of a face within 40 milliseconds. Other 3D face recognition systems have proved unworkable because of the time it takes to construct a picture and an inaccurate result.

This latest 3D face recognition technology works by projecting a pattern of light onto the face, creating a 2D image, from which 3D data is generated. Biometric features are extracted by a ‘parameterisation’ process, giving a digital mapping of a face that would form part of a fool-proof security system.

Airport check-in time may be reduced to seconds as it gets easier for Law enforcement agencies to scan crowds for terrorist look-alikes. Public surveillance cameras can instantly identify faces in the crowd and compare them with the national criminal databases.

Watch a Video: How 3D face recognition works

Sheffield Hallam University | 3D Imaging: Fast 3D Scan

Sony MP3 Walkman: USB Thumb Drive look-a-like

The new Sony Network Walkman MP3 player E-series (see picture), inspired by the Apple iPod shuffle, feature an integrated USB connector and a single-line OLED screen that glows through the casing in the now established Network Walkman fashion.

These Sony E-Series music players do not have an FM Tuner and are expected to be available in capacity - 512MB, 1GB and 2GB of Flash storage

They will ship in five colours: green, red, blue, purple and black. The players will be priced at up to $181 and offer up to 28 hours' playback time.

Sources: MKF.se | Reg Hardware

Download Microsoft Video Screensaver

The Picasa screensaver, Google Pack screensaver or the My Pictures Slideshow screensaver that comes bundled with Microsoft Windows XP are limited to playing only image files. If you like to run screensavers with movie videos instead of boring static photographs, download this free Video Screensaver by Microsoft.

Microsoft is offering a free download of Microsoft Video Screensaver to all genuine Windows customers. The video screensaver lets you play a slideshow of sample movie clips or your favorite home videos as your screensaver.

Simply point the Microsoft Video Screensaver in the configuration dialog to a custom video folder and you can play your own video files or links to these video files from that folder - either randomly or in sequential order.

All video content can be run in its original size or stretched to be displayed in full screen, with or without sound.

The Microsoft Video Screensaver includes a sample movie that shows you interesting sights, sounds, and cultures from aroun…

Websites with embedded fonts not always secure

Font embedding has been an important feature of Microsoft applications such as Word and PowerPoint. Web designers also use embedded fonts to guarantee that the text on a page will look the same in every browser.

But recently, hackers are explointing text fonts embedded in Web pages to break into Windows systems. They create a corrupted font on a Web site and wait for unsuspecting visitors.

When you view the affected font in Internet Explorer--or in any application that uses Windows to show the fonts in question--the doctored text triggers a buffer overflow, disabling your PC's security and allowing the thug to then take control of your computer.

Reading or even just previewing an affected HTML e-mail message in Outlook or Outlook Express can launch the attack too.

Download Security Update for Windows XP (KB908519)

Source: Vulnerability in Embedded Web Fonts | PCWorld

Apple Space iPod is a rumor

The Apple iPod Space advertisement news is an April Fool's joke.

The TerraServer database has satellite pictures of that same location taken on January 1, 1999 when iPods never existed. The iPod like structure is even visible in these six year old terraserver images (see screenshot above)

So, what's Apple doing next on their 30th birthday bash.

Apple converts Australian mine into iPod - See Satellite Photograph

On April 1, Apple is all set to display the world's first advertisement that can be seen from space.

Apple has converted an abandone mineral mine in Australia, whose area is equivalent to eighty football pitches, into an iPod that has been captured by satellite cameras and available on Google Local and Google Earth.

Steve Jobs aquired the location during a game of poker with (the late) Australian publishing and gaming tycoon Kerry Packer.

Speculation is currently rife that the grand unveiling will be coordinated with the launch of a touch screen Video iPod.

Source: Apple iPod: One Giant Leap for advertising | MIT Advertising

Jajah web-based VoIP service: Personal Phone assistant

Jajah offers a very simple way to make phone calls using the Internet without headphones, microphones or having to install any software - it connects two phone lines using the internet. And since Jajah webphone client is web based, the VoIP service can work on any platform.

Users go to Jajah's website and enter their own number and the one to be called. The company rings the caller's number, and after the user picks up, it dials the other number. If the call is answered, Jajah connects the two lines.

Jajah breaks voice calls into data packets just like e-mail, sending them over the Internet and reassembling them into sound at the recipient's end.

The call goes from phone to phone, with Jajah's site and the Internet as the intermediary. Domestic U.S. calls cost about 1.7 cents a minute. A U.S.-France call costs 1.9 cents.

Watch Jajah in action (Google Video)

Make a phone call with Jajah

Source: Yahoo News

Lycos Phone vs Skype vs Yahoo Messenger with Voice

Lycos today made a grand entry in the Internet telephony (VoIP) market with the launch of Lycos Phone - a software dialer that also has a Media player for playing streaming video and MP3 music.

Lycos is giving a free US telephone number to all Lycos Phone users. Other competitors like Yahoo and Skype charge upto $36 per year for similar service.

You can use the Lycos Phone if you are not residing in America. So your business card can have a US contact number irrespective of the country where you are located.

Unlike Skype or Yahoo, Lycos Phone provides free voice calls to landline or mobile phones when the user signs up for offers for credit cards or Netflix's DVD service.

Lycos Phone users who don't accept the offers will pay 1 cent a minute for domestic calls when they exhaust their initial 100 free minutes. Lycos Phone will feature banner ads within the phone interface.

Lycos Phone plans to add some new exclusive features like:

1. Free Voice Mail to e mail
2. Use your Lycos …

Google CEO finds MySpace very interesting

Flickr brains, Caterina Fale and her programmer husband, Stewart Butterfield, have made the cover of Newsweek magazine.

Though the Newsweek cover story is about Web 2.0, it carries an interesting remark by Eric Schmidt of Google that clearly outlines the future vision of Google.

Schmidt says that he doesn't understand why people think his company wants to be the next Microsoft. "Everybody thinks we're building operating systems, PCs and browsers. They clearly don't get it," he says. So where does Google want to go? "Look at MySpace," he says cryptically. "Very interesting."

Looks like a big hint - something is cooking at Google.

Read: The new wisdom of the web

Source: Guardian UK

Desperate Housewife Video Game

Buena Vista Games will launch Desperate Housewife, a new video game title in Fall 2006 inspired by the popular ABC TV show Desperate Housewives. Brenda Strong will lend her voice as game's narrator Mary Alice Young.

Desperate Housewives video game is the latest extension of the successful global Desperate Housewives franchise, joining the Desperate Housewives board game, clothing, ringtones for phones, fragrance and a cookbook.

In the Desperate Housewives game, players take on the role of a new housewife who sets up home in Wisteria Lane. As another desperate housewife, players will be able to expose or engage in the domestic scandals that are the show's signature.

Source: Buena Vista | BBC

Adobe Acrobat Reader Enterprise: Lightweight PDF Viewer

Adobe Reader Enterprise is free lightweight edition regular Adobe Reader without the Adobe download manager or the obtrusive Adobe Yahoo! toolbar.

Though the Acrobat Reader Enterprise is meant for corporate customers or PC vendors, regular users can also download it from the Adobe website for personal use.

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Enterprise (Windows, 20MB)

Download Adobe Reader 7.0.7 (27MB - includes Adobe Yahoo! search toolbar and Adobe Photoshop Album)

The Yahoo! Toolbar has a pop-up blocker, search box and links to Adobe tools such as "Create Adobe PDF Online". Future versions may also have "Save Webpage as PDF" features.

Adobe requires to your complete and submit the Adobe Reader Distribution Agreement before distributing Adobe Enterprise reader.

Google likes privacy, pornography and Microsoft

John Soat shares a secret for getting noticed in the blogosphare dominated by Google. According to John, Google consistently favors certain topics in its news search feature and websites take full advantage for ad-click dollars. It's a dirty little secret of online journalism that news organizations try to cater to those likes (and dislikes), emphasizing certain topics, such as PRIVACY, PORNOGRAPHY, and MICROSOFT, in order to get noticed by Google. If your article or blog or column gets picked up by Google in its news search feature, you'll most likely get thousands (and thousands) of hits on your Web page, which represent potential ad revenue. You can also get picked up if you mention Paris Hilton or Johnny Depp or Jessica Simpson.

Read: Hey, Google, Are You Paying Attention?

The simplicity of Google makes people dumb

When graduate students at Tel Aviv University were asked to find on the Web, with no time limit, a picture of the Mona Lisa; the complete text of either "Robinson Crusoe" or "David Copperfield"; and a recipe for apple pie accompanied by a photograph, only 15 percent succeeded at all three assignments.

Edward Tenner of The NYTimes writes that many students seem to lack the skills to structure their searches so they can find useful information quickly on search engines like Google, Yahoo or even MSN.

In the good-old days of AltaVista, a searcher had to learn how to construct a search statement, like, say, "Engelbert Humperdinck and not Las Vegas" for the opera composer rather than the contemporary singer. It took practice to produce usable results. Google has changed the game.

Ed even dislikes the Google PageRank method. His argument: Instead of looking at which papers are cited most often in the most influential journals, it measures how often Web pages…

Firefox Search Bar Hacks

Mozilla's secret cash cow or the Firefox Search Bar in the upper-right corner, sitting next to the address bar, is one of the most frequently used feature inside Firefox.

You can do a lot of tweaking to the Firefox search bar like Add new search engines, delete unused search engines, change the order of search engines, delete autocomplete, change the default search engine or even resize the width of the search bar. We discuss each tip in detail here (also applicable to Flock):

How to add a new search engine to Firefox search bar ?

The Firefox Search bar comes pre-loaded with Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, Answers.com, and Creative Commons search. If you'd like to add more search engines to the search bar, click on a search engine name here or browse the full directory of search engine plug-ins at mycroft. Alternatively, click the down arrow next to the G in the search box, and choose Add Engines.

How do I remove a search engine from Firefox search bar ?

To Uninstall a …

Chinese Warez Websites shut ahead of Premier's US visit

In a major crackdown against software piracy and internet porn, China has shut down dozens of Web sites that carried pornographic material or offered pirated movies or online games.

This move comes just days ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao visit to Washington where he meets George Bush. China is also expected to release data on execution of specific anti-piracy pledges they made at the 2005 U.S. China Joint Commission.

In the past, China has made repeated pledges to crack down on violations of intellectual property rights that major trading partners like the United States and Europe say do not go nearly far enough.

Warez (pirated software) and Cracks are easily available on websites located in China but authorities have done little to combat piracy.

Though China blocks websites with politically sensitive content (Dalai Lama, Falun Gong or Tiananmen Square), it does not follow the same policy when it comes to preventing software piracy.

China has lessons to learn from Kuwait that f…

AltaVista Web search creator dies a young death

Paul Flaherty (42), the brain behind AltaVista, has died from a heart attack.

Paul Flaherty was working as a research engineer at Digital Equipment where he conceived of the idea of indexing the World Wide Web.

Although AltaVista was not the first Internet search engine, at the end of 1995 it became the first Web-page discovery tool to enjoy wide popularity, and helped create the dot-com era.

Visit Paul Flaherty's Home Page

Source: New York Times:

Perform Web Search via Email

IceRocket Email a Search feature lets you search the internet for news, pictures and webpages via email (similar to Google by email services).

Send a blank mail to search@icerocket.com with search keywords in the subject line and you get the top search results from Icerocket within nanoseconds.

You can do the same with pics@icerocket.com for Image search or news@icerocket.com for News search.

Though the IceRocket email search feature is designed primarily for PDA and cellphone users, it is also useful in situations where internet access is blocked while email is allowed.

Search the web from Microsoft Outlook without a web browser.

Apple Chameleon: VMWare for Mac OS

Apple is working with Microsoft and Intel to develop a VMWare like virtualization software for Mac OS X 10.5 called Chameleon.

Apple Chameleon will allow Mac users can run multiple operating systems (like Windows XP, Vista or Linux) simultaneously on a single Intel-based Mac.

While Booting Windows XP on Intel Macs is now possible, Chameleon would prevent the need for rebooting to use a particular application.

Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard is expected to be released early 2007, roughly around the same time Microsoft would release Windows Vista.

Microsoft currently develops Virtual PC for Mac that lets you run Windows Software like Visio or Macromedia Dreamware on a Mac computer. VirtualPC is available for Panther and Tiger (Mac OS X version 10.3 or 10.4).

Once Chaemeleon is public, Microsoft may cease to develop Virtual PC for Intel-based Macs. VMware Workstation virtualization software is another popular virtual machine suite for Intel x86-compatible computers.

Source: Apple Chemeleon VMWare