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New RockMelt socializes Chrome's Omnibox, new tabs

While the big browser conflagration between Chrome and, oh, just about everybody else tends to suck the oxygen from a room, the Chromium-based RockMelt continues to keep its users warm and toasty with new features focusing on where social intersects the Web.

RockMelt beta 5 for Windows and Mac will be available around 8:30 a.m. PT Wednesday. Beta 4 is currently available for people who want to get a head start.

Facebook is already an integral part of the RockMelt experience, since an account is required to log in to the browser. RockMelt co-founder and CEO Eric Vishria … Read more

Apple gets cute with rumor sites, references dozens of future products

In the latest build of iOS 5.1, now beta 2, Apple has finally decided to take steps against the popular rumor site tactic of rifling through iOS code to find references to new hardware models.

These references, typically something like iPhone3,1, were a great way for rumor sites to predict forthcoming hardware devices, accurately assuming that their inclusion in the iOS code meant they were being tested.

With Apple's release of iOS 5.1 beta 2, things have changed. Apple has now included device references for dozens of new devices including AppleTV10,3 and iPhone11,3. By … Read more

iOS 5.1 beta 2 is out, but no word yet on battery drain fix

Apple's second beta of iOS 5.1 launched yesterday with several new fixes and features, but no clue yet as to whether it's squashed the battery drain bug.

Available for registered developers, iOS 5.1 beta 2 addresses a variety of issues, according to Boy Genius Report. Included in the mix are a fix for app icons that had trouble using Game Center and a remedy to address freezes when using the shake-to-shuffle feature to bounce around different songs.

One new feature now lets you delete individual photos from Photo Stream from any of your iOS devices. Otherwise, … Read more

Windows 8 beta could debut as early as February

A public beta of Windows 8 will launch in late February of next year, says tech news site The Next Web.

Citing "sources close to Microsoft," TNW pointed to February for the beta's debut but said the release date for the final version of Windows 8 remains a mystery, though it's expected to ship next year.

Mary Jo Foley of CNET sister site ZDNet said she's heard that the beta would appear after next month's Consumer Electronics Show, which runs from January 10 to 13, but Foley said she isn't aware of any … Read more

Microsoft rolls out public beta for latest Security Essentials

Microsoft has launched a public beta for the new version of its Security Essentials software for anyone to download and test drive.

The software is available free through a "download now" link for the beta on the Security Essentials Web site. But getting to the file itself requires a bit of a trek. Clicking on the link brings you to a Microsoft Connect page where you need to log in with a Windows Live ID and password.

You'll then see a page describing the features in the new beta along with the system requirements and installation instructions. … Read more

Microsoft recruiting users to beta test new Security Essentials

Microsoft is unveiling a beta of the next version of its Security Essentials anti-malware program and is hunting for people who can give it a test drive.

Users interested in trying out the beta can officially register at the sign-up page. A Microsoft Live account is required, and the company promises to send out e-mails when the beta is available to download.

The number of initial beta testers required will be limited, according to a recent Microsoft blog. But the company expects to release the beta to the general public by year's end.

Microsoft is touting several new features … Read more

Identity, remote management light up Norton 360 beta

The first beta for Norton 360 version 6 arrived today, and it's notable for elevating the latest Norton Internet Security features to the 360 product line. Norton 360 v6 beta (download) is free to use, although the beta license is set to expire two weeks after installation.

The Norton Management feature connects your local installation of Norton to a Web-based account interface. You can use it to remotely install Norton programs, such as the Online.Family tool for child protection, purchase or renew licenses, tweak security settings, and affect repairs without having to be physically in front of the … Read more

15 iOS 5 tips and tricks

The time has finally come, and iOS 5 will be available to the general public October 12. During the last four months, we have been covering some of the key features of iOS 5 to ensure we were prepared to help you on the first day of iOS 5's release. Below you will find 15 tips and tricks to help you master iOS 5, and maybe even allow you to show off a bit to your friends. … Read more

How to get started with iOS 5's Notification Center

Notification Center is one of the most anticipated (not to mention long overdue) features in the upcoming release of iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Apple has completely redone the alert system in iOS 5, taking away those annoying and intrusive alerts we all had grown accustomed to on iOS. In this post we are going to show you exactly what to expect from Notification Center once iOS 5 is released.… Read more

Battlefield 3 open beta lands next week

An open beta for Battlefield 3 arrives on September 29 for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.

The beta of the highly anticipated FPS will be available to play until October 10, giving gamers more than a week of intense multiplayer combat that utilizes all-new maps, weapons, jets, and an updated graphics engine. Those who preordered the PC digital download of Battlefield 3 (through Origin), or purchased the limited/Tier 1 edition of Medal of Honor will enjoy even earlier access to the BF3 beta on September 27.

Downloading the free beta will be simple. You'll just need to access the PlayStation Network store, Xbox 360 marketplace, or Origin on PC. You must use Origin to download the beta on PC.

To keep things fair, stats accumulated during the beta will not transition over when the game goes live, but you will be able to keep the name you used when registering. EA/DICE noted that the open beta is limited to residents of North America, South America, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Are you going to play the BF3 open beta? Here's a cool scene from the BF3 single-player mission Operation Guillotine, a joint operation to capture key members of the PLR leadership:… Read more