Windows 7 knows where you are

LOS ANGELES--Windows 7 has a new programming interface designed to make it a whole lot easier for software to figure out where in the world a PC and its user are located.

That should make it easier for a whole new range of location-based services from finding nearby friends to LoJack-like PC tracking programs. Even search could be a whole lot better if the search engine knew where you were. Indeed, searchers often enter their city with their location to try and get just that benefit.

"There's so many times you have to enter in where you … Read more

Magically partition your thumb drive

USB drives are simple to carry, but easy to misplace and that can be risky with sensitive information. Rohos Mini Drive is a freeware app that safeguards personal documents by creating a password-protected partition on your flash drive. The download actually installs two programs. One, Rohos Mini Drive, is the partition manager that self-installs as a portable app on the drive when you create the partition. The second, Rohos Disk Browser, is a portable file manager, which can be useful when the encrypted partition can't be read by the host computer.

Operating Rohos Mini Drive is fairly straightforward. Plug … Read more

Microsoft aims Windows 7 for 2009 holiday season

LOS ANGELES--In a technical session on Thursday afternoon, Microsoft provided the clearest public indication that it is planning on getting Windows 7 completed in time to run on PCs that ship for next year's holiday buying season.

In a presentation on its somewhat secretive Velocity program to improve PC quality, Microsoft director Doug Howe showed a slide saying that the Vista Velocity program would continue through next spring as Microsoft worked to improve Vista machines that ship in next year's back-to-school time frame. He went on to say that Microsoft would continue the Velocity effort with Windows 7. … Read more

CNET Live - Episode 79

A nice mix of questions today, including SATA drives that can't be formatted properly, how to run DVD backups on Apple TV, and more.

Watch the show on CNET TV.

First Look

Windows & Ultimate Build 6801

Best of the Web


Insider Secrets

Create a multiroom iTunes music system


Is Theora the video codec that will save us from the tyranny of video incompatibility? Your video calls

Rob's question: You can watch converted DVDs on Apple TV in several ways. Brian explained a way to use iTunes. You could also put them on an external drive, … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 847: Don't stand behind the hologram

The U.S. Army prepares to test and deploy ghost soldiers in MMORPGS and possibly also the real world. They may be decoys, folks, but remember: they're still light-based projections that won't stop a bullet. Also, it appears Apple will finally activate over-the-air podcast downloads for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Which, yeah. Ya think? Geez. Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 847

Hey Microsoft, Yahoo’s for sale--for real this time

Obama, McCain campaigns both hacked, files compromised (thanks rpcaldiera) more

Rumors about AT&T HTC Fuze spreading like wildfire

While Sprint customers are just pleased as punch now that they finally have their HTC Touch Pro, AT&T subscribers are wondering when they'll get the same privilege. Well, if the rumors are to believed, it could be as early as November 11.

The Boy Genius Report got its hands on some internal AT&T documents stating that the carrier's version of the Touch Pro, dubbed the AT&T HTC Fuze, would go on sale November 11 for $299.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate. BGR also posted some photosRead more

Windows exec tackles CNET readers' questions

LOS ANGELES--Over the past few days, readers have been diligently sending me their Windows 7 questions and on Wednesday I had a chance to put some of them to Jon DeVaan, the head of the Windows core operating system division.

Microsoft has talked about the ability of Windows 7 to run on a Netbook, adding today that it can fit on a solid-state drive as small as 16GB. But just how much space does that leave? Devaan said Microsoft has done a lot of work to ensure that Windows 7 occupies a smaller amount of both memory and storage, allowing … Read more

Fixes for five more Windows annoyances

Recently, a server upgrade caused my office XP system to reset to its defaults. I knew as soon as I heard the Windows startup chime that something was wrong. The first change I make on any new or renewed PC is to set the Windows sound scheme to No Sounds.

As I reset Windows' default sound settings for the umpteenth time, I got to thinking about the many Windows customizations I make on any machine I use on a regular basis. Here are my five favorite Windows interface tweaks. (Note that the last two default-beaters apply only to Vista.)

Tell … Read more

Microsoft discontinues Windows 3.x out Vista

Microsoft is no longer selling Windows 3.x licenses as of November 1st. This means that Windows 3.x has been sold for 18 years, whereas Windows 98 barely made it for 8 years and Vista looks like it will be lucky to make it for more than 3 years as Microsoft is already pushing Windows 7.

It's clear that Microsoft has finally recognized that Vista hasn't lived up to Microsoft's own hype. As CNET's Ina Fried wrote earlier today, Microsoft needs to re-establish trust with its customers and vendors

It was all of the things … Read more

Married with iPods, Part 2: One library to rule them all

Last week, I showed you a technique for keeping your music collections separate from one another in a communal iTunes library. This week, I'll try and help out those of you with the opposite problem--people with fractured iTunes libraries across multiple user profiles who want to pool their family's media together.

The root of the problem is that unlike Windows Media Player, Winamp, or nearly any other multimedia jukebox application, there's no way to get iTunes to actively monitor multiple folders on your computer and add new content automatically. In a perfect world, you could tell iTunes … Read more