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The Download Blog

Social browsing app Me.dium ready for IE 8

Social Web surfing tool Me.dium is one of the first apps ready for Internet Explorer 8 beta, which Microsoft unveiled at Mix '08 in Las Vegas Wednesday.

The browser add-on enables users to chat with each other and see which Web pages they're visiting. This release takes advantage of new WebSlices and Activities features within IE 8.

With WebSlices, users can subscribe to dynamic updates of specific parts of Web pages they visit, with new content displaying within the Me.dium sidebar.

Activities capabilities enable users to bring up maps or Web searches of highlighted text on a … Read more

Microsoft shows IE 8 at Mix

LAS VEGAS--Microsoft offered its first public demonstration of Internet Explorer 8 on Wednesday, a prospect that had general manager Dean Hachamovitch struggling to figure out what to cover.

"I'm so excited that I had to figure out how to focus," he told the crowd. The marketing folks naturally suggested he point to three major advances, but Hatchamovitch disagreed.

"These are developers," he said he told the marketers. "They can count higher than three."

So, instead he said he would talk about eight features: CSS 2.1 support, CSS Certification, performance, start of HTML … Read more

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, '100 Days, 100 Nights': Free MP3 of the Day

She shares a hometown (Augusta, Georgia) with no less than the Godfather of Soul, and there's a whole bucket of James Brown-style soul sauce in this Brooklyn songstress's bold numbers. A dynamic backing outfit drops deeply funky horns 'n' bass, and Jones's belting growl takes it all to town.

Google Gears heads for Windows Mobile phones

Google is bringing Google Gears to mobile phones so that people on the go can access Web-based applications even when they're not connected to the mobile Net.

Smartphones and 3G data services are changing the way some people work, allowing them to access documents and applications from anywhere. But when their wireless connection is interrupted or not available at all, they're cut off.

Google Gears for mobile helps solve this problem so mobile workaholics can even get stuff done on airplanes or when they're supposed to be on vacation in some far-off destination with no wireless access. (… Read more

Muscles, 'Ice Cream': Free MP3 of the Day

Water running down the drain backwards isn't necessarily a satanic omen, you could just be in the land of Muscles--the wacky Southern hemisphere where strange animals abound and gospel meets techno. Melbourne artist Muscles delights in fusing neo-soul-inspired techno with an eccentric taste for dance music.

Power up Skype with live remote access

Gogrok is a companion program that runs with Skype (download for Windows and Mac) to give people remote-access capabilities. More than a typical plug-in but not able to stand on its own, the Skype-Gogrok combo makes for a good voice- and remote-access tech-support duo that's not quite dynamic.

Read more

Widespread Panic, "Boom Boom Boom": Free MP3 of the Day

No one knew what would become of Panic after the tragic loss of guitarist Michael Houser in 2002, but the seminal Georgia jam act continues to offer excellent new material. "Free Somehow" showcases their classic mix of grizzled vocals, Southern rock grit, and jammy extrapolations.

bPhone gives BlackBerry the iPhone feel

Want an iPhone, but have a BlackBerry? You ought to look at bPhone for BlackBerry, a theme whipped up by 25-year-old computer programmer Matthew Rogers one afternoon last September.

You'll most appreciate the iPhone-like essence of one of Rogers' three theme layouts in the start screen, though the theme does also extend into the style of the context menu. "Icon" is the most typical theme, and the one that Rogers most prefers. "Zen" drops icons into a side bar, and "Today" makes a day planner of the home screen. You can install any … Read more