Mac Software

Mozilla tries to build the ultimate in-box: Raindrop

Mozilla's Thunderbird team has been working on software called Raindrop that aims to unify communications channels such as e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter into a single interface with enough built-in smarts to separate the important messages from the routine.

"E-mail used to house the bulk of the conversations that took place on the internet, but that's no longer the case today. In today's world people use a combination of Twitter, IM, Skype, Facebook, Google Docs, e-mail, etc., to communicate. For many of us this means that we have to keep an eye on an ever-growing number of … Read more

SmarterFox updates to 3.0, changes name

SmarterFox, one of my favorite Firefox productivity add-ons, recently updated to version 3.0. In the process, it added a new feature, fixed some miscellaneous bugs, and changed its name to FastestFox.

For a major version upgrade, changes are slim. The most notable new feature is the ability for FastestFox to automatically surface related search results from Amazon and OneRiot at the top of a Google results page. The related search results show up in addition to an original SmarterFox bar that lets you repeat a search on OneRiot, Amazon, Yahoo, Twitter, and Delicious. The FastestFox release notes are quick … Read more

Online places to find public-domain multimedia

If you're a blogger, you know that finding images, videos, and audio for your blog without worry of copyright issues can be difficult. Either the content is copyrighted, or you need to pay for it. In either case, it's not as tempting as freely available, copyright-free media.

Luckily, there are resources across the Web that allow you to use multimedia content for free with some simple attribution. It's a great way to add interesting flavor to your blog without worry of copyright issues.

Let's take a look:

Go public

Creative Commons A search for public-domain multimedia content usually starts with Creative Commons. The site is one of the best places to go, if you're looking for content to add to your blog.

When you get to Creative Commons, you'll find a search box where you can input a query. From there, a handy tabbed-browsing interface is shown, allowing you to send your query to Google search, Google Images, Flickr, and more.

Creative Commons' site is quick to point out that all the searches bring you to third-party sites, and there's no guarantee that the content is free to use, but you'll notice under the search box that the page automatically searches for content that's "free to use, share, or modify, even commercially."

I've used the search engine on numerous occasions and had some success using it. Try out Creative Commons, if you want to search several sites for some photos.

EveryStockPhoto EveryStockPhoto is a search engine for those who want free, public-domain photos to use on their site.

Overall, I was really impressed by EveryStockPhoto. When you get to the site, you have the option of viewing photos in popular categories or using the page's prominent search box to find photos. When you search the site, it finds images from several resources, including many of those mentioned in this roundup. Flickr is one of its most used sources.

When you click on an image in EveryStockPhoto, you can see who owns it, the licensing rights associated with it, and more. I really liked EveryStockPhoto. Check it out.… Read more

Prizefight: Snow Leopard vs. Windows 7

You like high-profile cage matches? It doesn't get more intense than the operating system that encompasses Microsoft's hopes and dreams, Windows 7, going processor-to-processor against a refreshed and re-invigorated Snow Leopard from Apple. Can Windows 7 move past the failures of its predecessor Vista, or will Snow Leopard turn this into a one-cat fight? See what three CNET editors think of Windows 7 versus Snow Leopard in our latest Prizefight. You better believe it's subjective.

Mozilla pushes for fast move to Firefox 3.6

Mozilla hopes to classify the upcoming Firefox 3.6 as a minor update, a move that may sound inconsequential but that in fact might have significant repercussions with Firefox users and the speed the open-source browser is developed.

Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox, in a mailing list discussion that he'd like to call the new version a minor release "to quickly migrate our user base to Firefox 3.6." Minor releases in the past typically have been steps from, for example, 3.5.3 to 3.5.4, but Mozilla is trying to speed up … Read more

Firefox's future features: 3.6, 3.7, and 4.0

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Some new fruits of Mozilla's effort to speed Firefox development are about to arrive.

Mozilla plans to release the first beta version of 3.6 this weekend or early next week. But what exactly is coming in the new version and its successors?

Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of product development, and John Lilly, Mozilla's chief executive, detailed some of the browser's future in an interview at the corporation's headquarters here. And the company has an aggressive schedule, with three releases due within about a year.

The present version of Firefox was … Read more

Firefox's crossroads: Cutting-edge or mainstream?

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--John Lilly wants it both ways.

Working at Mozilla Corporation since 2005 and as chief executive since early 2008, he helped oversee a remarkable achievement. Mozilla has built the Firefox browser from a largely unsuccessful remnant of the Netscape era of the 1990s into the browser that nearly a quarter of people on the Web use. Now the challenges are different.

First, for new growth, Mozilla must make its open-source browser appeal to an even more mainstream crowd, one that's more interested in working and playing online than in sticking it to Microsoft or being part … Read more

DoubleTwist: Like iTunes for your cell phone

Yesterday, I blogged about how the forthcoming Droid won't be an iPhone killer because it lacks the simple sync interface provided by the iTunes desktop application. I neglected to mention an excellent application called DoubleTwist, which offers the easy sync experience of iTunes for a much wider variety of devices, including all the Android phones currently on the market, most BlackBerrys, Sony's PlayStation Portable, and a huge range of other non-Apple products--as well as the iPod and iPhone, if you're so inclined.

Created in part by Jon Lech Johansen (aka DVD Jon), who's best known for … Read more

Finding the catch in 'free' software

Browsing the Web has become like walking down a carnival sideshow. Everywhere you turn, you're bombarded with come-ons. You know there's a catch to each and every pitch because these barkers are pros at separating you from your money.

The people offering free software and Web services appear to be taking lessons from retired carnies. Their offers are too good to be true—literally. Most of these folks are in business, after all, so they have to make money somehow.

And as they say, the most successful cons are the ones where the victim doesn't even know … Read more

Firefox blocks insecure .Net add-on--awkwardly

Mozilla on Friday disabled a Microsoft plug-in for Firefox called the .Net Framework Assistant because of a security problem--then scrambled to give people with patched systems an override option.

Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, announced the first step late Friday night on his blog. "It's recently surfaced that it has a serious security vulnerability, and Microsoft is recommending that all users disable the add-on," Shaver said. "Because of the difficulties some users have had entirely removing the add-on, and because of the severity of the risk it represents if not disabled, we contacted … Read more