Mac Software

E-mail Service Guide breaks down e-mail plans

If you're contemplating switching to another e-mail provider, but have been too lazy to do a feature comparison of the competition, there's a new tool that might be of assistance. Aptly named E-mail Service Guide takes more than 100 hosted e-mail providers, and lets you comparison shop by feature.

This is handled gracefully with a search tool that lets you plug in which options you want, like whether the service has POP3 and IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol) support, or customer service by phone or e-mail so you can talk to an actual human if something goes wrong. … Read more

Opera 10 nears final stages

Opera Software has completed its first release candidate of Opera 10, a browser that the company says has better performance, a Turbo mode for slow Internet connections, support for a variety of Web standards such as Web fonts, and improvements to the Opera Mail feature.

"Now, we are very close to releasing the best browser in Opera's long history," Jan Standal, Opera's vice president of desktop products, said in a statement. "We hope everyone who has helped us test our browser thus far will put the release candidate through its paces."

The new Carakan JavaScript engine, … Read more

Go social with these Wordpress plug-ins

With the help of plug-ins, you can extend the functionality of your Wordpress blog far beyond what's available to you when you add it to your server.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your blogs is through social plug-ins. These simple plug-ins can be added to your blog to help you connect socially with both your readers and their friends. They offer a fine way to build traffic to your site.

Go social with your blog

Add to Facebook If you want to make it easy for readers to syndicate your content to Facebook, Add to Facebook is the plug-in for you.

The plug-in provides a simple option at the bottom of each post, called "Share on Facebook." When the reader clicks on that link, they're immediately delivered to their Facebook page, showing a thumbnail of the image in your blog post, as well as the beginning of your post. If Facebook followers click on that link, they'll be delivered to your page. It's a neat utility. And it's a great way to share content through social channels.

Digg Digg Although its name might suggest that Digg Digg is a way to get readers to share your content with the popular social news site, it's much more than that.

Digg Digg allows you to add voting buttons to your blog. You can add a TweetMeme retweet button, a Yahoo Buzz button, and a "Submit to Reddit" option, along with your Digg button. The plug-in also allows you to decide where to place those buttons. You can choose the top, bottom, left, or right of your post.… Read more

NPR's news app and a game where you play as a spider: iPhone apps of the week

In my business, I deal with all kinds of software from different categories and platforms every day. There's a lot of great software out there for every platform (and certainly some bad ones, too), but once in a while you find something so unique it truly shines. I wouldn't say the app I'm talking about today is the best game I've ever played, but the design, music, and interface are not really found in any other game and are truly something to behold on the iPhone. Let's just say, I've played plenty of iPhone … Read more

Use tabs as your home page in Firefox

K-ski writes,

"Is there a way that when you open Firefox you can have multiple pages open upon start-up of the program? In other words having multiple home pages?"

Why yes there is. And you can go about it a few ways. First, you can have it always show the tabs you had open last time that you exited Firefox.

Go to Tools, Options in Windows--or Preferences in Mac OS X.

In the main section, go to the drop-down menu "When Firefox Starts" and choose "Show my windows and tabs from last time."

Now … Read more

Xmarks extension alpha for Chrome arrives

Some selected Chrome users who want to synchronize browser bookmarks with their other browsers now can get a start.

Xmarks, whose browser addition can keep bookmarks synced across Firefox, Internet Explorer, and the Mac OS X version of Safari, has released an alpha version of a Chrome extension to selected testers.

"We've been swamped with requests to create a version of Xmarks for the Google Chrome browser. We're hard at work on that and, thanks to some new APIs (application programming interfaces) from Google, are pleased to report that we have Xmarks synchronization working in the Windows … Read more

New Postbox tidies up for final release

As the social-networking e-mail client Postbox approaches its announced general release date at the beginning of September, the cross-platform program updates with what looks to be more a "tidying-up" release. Available for Windows and Mac, Postbox 1.0 beta 15 introduces a new version of the Thunderbird calendar plug-in Lightning, improved contact searching, and other performance tweaks--but not much else.

Derived from Mozilla Thunderbird, Postbox beta 15 will also let you drag and drop e-mails from one account to another and introduces a crash reporter that had been strangely missing until now. Search queries that return no results … Read more

Mozilla nudges Firefox users to latest version

A month and a half after Mozilla issued a significant update to its open-source Web browser, the organization has begun encouraging users of Firefox 3 to install version 3.5.

Firefox 3.0.13 users will see an offer to download the latest iteration of the newer version, 3.5.2, according to a blog post. Firefox 3.5.2 is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Users can go ahead with the update, postpone the reminder, or shut it off altogether, but don't expect this latter option to permanently mute the reminder. Firefox 3.0.x will stop receiving stability and security patches in January, … Read more

Preview of Jolicloud: The social Netbook OS

One of the things that has been most-surprising about the advent of Netbooks is that it has become less about the hardware as much as how mainstream operating systems and applications have had to adapt to fit within their confines. In the earlier generations of these machines, operating systems like Windows Vista just didn't cut the mustard, which is why most Netbooks you can buy right now are either running Windows XP or a variant of Linux.

While that is certain to change with the release of Windows 7 in late October, which runs leaner and meaner than Vista ever did (and could even come on a thumb drive), Microsoft's stumble opened things up for other operating systems to come in and fill the gap. Many consumers have more of a choice than ever with alternate operating systems that are becoming easier to install and use on these smaller machines.

One of those, called Jolicloud is launching in beta in the next few months. Created by Tariq Krim, who founded and later left widget-based start page Netvibes, the alternate OS has been designed for Web workers, or people who do most of their work (or play) on Web applications and services.

I've been giving it a thorough run-though over the past few days and have come away impressed at what it's trying to do. Some bits and pieces are definitely still beta, but the underlying approach of making Web sites and software applications feel the same, as well as introducing users to new ones to use is really innovative.

How it works

Jolicloud centers on a directory of applications that can be sorted by genre, release date, and popularity. To download or remove them from your computer, you just click on their icon and it does the rest. Jolicloud groups both Web apps and software programs under the same name umbrella, and both are added and removed from your system in the same manner. There's also a normal add and remove programs tool just like you get in Windows, but it's easier to do it from Jolicloud's rounded and simplistic interface.

Jolicloud is designed to let users hop back and forth between apps that all use the entire screen. Apps you have open stay in a top menu bar and can be switched back and forth just by clicking on them. Alt+tab works too.

Interestingly enough, you don't actually launch any downloaded app from the directory screen. Instead… Read more

Barbecue companion and a NFL football game: iPhone apps of the week

Before I get to the iPhone apps of the week, I want to share with you an interesting tidbit I read over at AppleInsider regarding the long-awaited Mac tablet. It's one of those cloak-and-dagger-type stories, where an unnamed, (possibly) credible source made a mysterious phone call to an editor about new hardware from Apple. It all sounds kind of fishy to me, but the source apparently described how he had been at a meeting with Apple and had handled what looked like an iPhone (touch screen, black back panel, home button, and all), except it had a 10-inch screen. … Read more