All 14 entries tagged Computing

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March 29, 2005

Yahoo 360 is now live!

Charline Li posted a preview here a few days ago and said,

I got a detailed walkthrough of Yahoo! 360 this afternoon, and I have to say, the Yahoo! team has done an excellent job thinking through key details of how to not only integrate blogs and social networking, but also how to pull in elements from the Yahoo! network.

The ability to leverage your network to get something done is what gives Y! 360 the real potential to become something even bigger. At the beta launch, users will have the ability to look narrow local business reviews by their network – a rec’d from someone I know counts for a lot more. Of course, this assumes that people will start creating reviews (a clever way for Y! Local to jumpstart reviews on the service). In the future, I can imagine new modules for job searching, dating, travel planning (“What hotel in Paris would you recommend?”), car buying, the list is extensive. Yahoo!’s (as well as MSN’s and AOL’s) advantage is being a one stop shop in terms of leveraging your network’s knowledge across multiple categories.

Full article here

It doesn’t look too bad on the whole, but as someone who didn't use Yahoo's services before, it doesn’t hold anything to tempt me away from Warwick Blogs. If you fancy an invite to the service, let me know.


March 28, 2005

Home Computer Magazine

Home Computer Magazine is a free, professionally made electronic magazine released monthly. Issue 5 is now available for download.

Issue 5 is our biggest and best issue so far. Our main feature this month is on burning CDs and DVDs. Windows XP's built-in CD burning features are fine to get started with, but are a bit limited. We tell you which free CD/DVD burning software to get, how to burn music and movies to disc and even how to "slipstream" your Windows XP installation CD so that it becomes a Windows XP SP2 installation CD.

We're really pleased with our reviews this month, as Michael, our reviews ed, has got his hands on a notebook from Acer which uses Intel's new Sonoma chipset, the replacement for Centrino. We've also got a new Media Center PC from Hewlett Packard and a Toshiba notebook, plus reviews of Acronis TrueImage and Intuit Quickbooks. See below for a full list of items reviewed this issue.

Our tutorial section grows again this month and is now split into two sections, one for general PC tutorials and one for the popular web building tutorials. We look at customising our web templates in our CMS driven site, creating an RSS feed and the easiest website creation system you've ever seen.

It’s a great source of information, and can be downloaded here.


March 26, 2005

Some love for Warwick Blogs

I came across this post from Tom Coates of plasticbag.org about a conference hosted by a UK representative of SixApart, makers of the blogging software Movable Type. He had this to say about Warwick Blogs:

I think the best speaker of the evening was John Dale who has been putting together Warwick Blogs for Warwick University (which look like a pretty stunning implementation of the weblog concept inside an academic context). I think the part of his talk that surprised me most was that of everyone I've ever seen trying to market and publicise weblogs they seem to have done it best. They had a whole series of pretty stunning stickers and posters and fridge magnets that they distributed all over the campus. I've never understood why weblogging companies don't explicitly target these venues – surely if you get them when they're young, imaginative and have a lot of free time then they're likely to stick with you for years.

It’s always good to see one’s university getting credit for stuff. Well done to the Warwick Blogs team.


March 23, 2005

Yahoo challenges Google, offering 1GB mailboxes

I.T.Vibe reports on the press release from Yahoo! here:

Yahoo! Mail, one of the leading providers of free web based mail, has announced that over the next two weeks it will be increasing the amount of mail storage space available to it's users from 250 megabytes to 1 gigabyte, free of charge. This announcement comes nearly a year after the trial of the Google Gmail service was launched, which came with a 1 GB limit as standard.

A gigabyte of space is clearly far more than 99.9% of users need for day to day use, but it’s great that competition between providers has given us the option anyway. The Yahoo! Mail interface isn’t bad, and looks better than Hotmail’s in my view. Google’s Gmail however beats both alternatives in terms of functionality, ease of use and interface (shown below).

The Gmail service is due to go public any time soon (links have appeared periodically on google.com), but I’ll happily send an invite to anyone yet without an account.


March 12, 2005

Bloglines & RSS aggregators

It appears that the free online RSS feed aggregator Bloglines has been down since yesterday evening. I've heard that this has been happening fairly often, though it’s the first time I've noticed it. With just under 300 feeds under various categories, I'm quite eager for service to resume so that my subscription list may be exported at the very least.

Services such as Bloglines are a godsend for anyone following a large number of writers online. Like other news aggregators it alerts you when a channel (blogger) has a new post, allows you to save interesting posts, display new posts as a newspaper, view posts by week/month, and organise feeds into folders. The service also indicates how many other people have subscribed to a given feed. The principle advantage of a web based solution is that your subscriptions can be viewed regardless of location; data is stored remotely as opposed to locally.

Luckily, the latest version of Feeddemon, created by Nick Bradbury now allows synchronisation with Bloglines or NewsGator (another online service). The benefits of a more powerful software application can now be enjoyed without losing flexibility. The full list of improvements in version 1.5 can be found here. At $29.95, the product is a bargain given the feature set, the product's continuous development and the speed of response in the support forums.

//Update:
Strangely, I can access Bloglines though the Warwick University proxy. The problem be with my ISP (BTYahoo), but no other site has proved problematic. :/


March 05, 2005

MSN Messenger Contact Lists

Writing about web page http://spaces.msn.com/members/overdo/Blog/cns!1pblmMr_hmyvbBjvNahNPCsg!246.entry

Chris Overd is the second Warwick blogger I know of to have received some attention from Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble. Chris, a Microsoft beta tester, has been writing on the issue of forthcoming additions to MSN Messenger.

MSN Messenger contact list to be doubled in size - Yes that's right, the MSN Messenger team DOES listen to criticisms, but we knew that already! After adding personalised status messages, thumbnail view contact list, media player integration, with dynamic display pictures and offline messaging to come, they've revealed to Mess.be that the contact list will be doubled from 150 to 300 contacts. This is likely to happen when MSN Messenger 7.0 has its final release. currently scheduled for April 2005.

His blog can be found here
View Scoble's link here


February 24, 2005

Firefox 1.0.1 beta now available

You can download the new Firefox 1.0.1 beta from here. An unofficial changelog can be found here. I'm still using one of the MOOX optimised builds, so havn't given it a go just yet.

Any Internet Explorer users new to Firefox, might want to stick with the latest stable release which can be downloaded from here.

Why leave Internet Explorer you ask?

Firefox allows amongst other things:

  1. Popup Blocking
  2. Tabbed Browsing
  3. Enhanced Privacy and Security
  4. Easy customisation
  5. Easy setup and migration from other browsers

February 20, 2005

A parent's primer to computer slang

Here is a gem of an article from Microsoft:

Key points for learning leetspeek

  • Numbers are often used as letters. The term "leet" could be written as "1337," with "1" replacing the letter L, "3" posing as a backwards letter E, and "7" resembling the letter T. "0" (zero) will typically replace the letter "O."

  • Characters of similar appearance can be used to replace the letters they resemble. For example, "5" or even "$" can replace the letter S. Applying this style, the word "leetspeek" can be written as "133t5p33k" or even "!337$p34k," with "4" replacing the letter A.

  • Letters can be substituted for other letters that may sound alike. Using "Z" for a final letter S, and "X" for words ending in the letters C or K is common. For example, leetspeekers might refer to their computer "5×1llz" (skills).

  • Rules of grammar are rarely obeyed. Some leetspeekers will capitalize every letter except for vowels (LiKe THiS) and otherwise reject conventional English style and grammar.

  • Mistakes are often uncorrected. Common typing misspellings (or typos) such as "teh" instead of "the" are left uncorrected and may be adopted to replace the correct spelling.

Full text is here.


February 16, 2005

Internet Explorer 7? – Unlikely

Nick Fink of Digital Web Magazine is advising users not to be too optimistic about Bill Gate’s comments at the 2005 RSA Conference about a new version of Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2 users.

Bq. The release has only been identified as a security update, which means the rendering engine could still be identical to that in IE6 ("Internet Explorer 7.0, designed to add new levels of security to Windows XP SP2 while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect."). That said, I think it may be Fall before we see any new IE7 (non-beta) and I am not so convinced that it will be a standalone browser at all much less offer any improved standards support.

Looks like the Firefox developers have little to worry about.

From microsoft.com: Gates Highlights Progress on Security, Outlines Next Steps for Continued Innovation


February 13, 2005

New MSN 7 beta leaked

The latest beta version of MSN 7 has been leaked on the net today.

This updated version (7.0.0604) allows you to:

  • Display profile pictures alongside contact names
  • Leave ‘offline messages’ for contacts
  • Display songs you’re currently playing in Windows Media Player
  • Set a default sign in status

MSN Messenger is looking particularly good nowadays and I’ve been temporarily tempted away from Trillian 3.0 Pro. You can find file mirrors here.


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