Of the two big browsing features of 2008, one seems to run counter to where developers are driving their browsers. The melding of the location bar to the search bar was expected in Firefox and Opera, thanks to beta versions. Chrome has it, too, calling it the Omnibar. What seems to have caught developers off-guard has been the clamor for a universal switch to stop the cache and browsing history from recording anything at all.
The ongoing problems with Flash freezing in Firefox 3 after two seconds of playback resemble nothing less than a game of hot potato. Or perhaps watching two parents have a screaming match, with us regular ol' users playing the part of the sobbing kid that cries, "Why can't you two just get along?"
Open-source and currently in use by planetarium projectors, cross-platform Stellarium brings astronomer-level features to stargazers of all levels of interest. It's not quite as robust as its competitors, but it's also a much faster program. It doesn't suck away your RAM into a black hole when loading or running. Be aware that it only runs in full-screen mode, making any other programs you're running inaccessible except for the ALT-Tab switcher.
The default catalog includes 600,000 stars, with upgrade modules... Read More »
There are many online sites for creating blogs with ready-made templates, hosting services, and even opportunities to display ads to make a little money. Blogger, Wordpress, and LiveJournal all offer easy ways to get set up and writing your thoughts right away. If you're a first-time blogger, these sites are a great option.
There comes a time in a lot of bloggers' lives, however, when the limitations of blogging sites make them believe it's time to move on.... Read More »
UPDATED: Trial not limited to 30 days, clarified YouTube video embedding.
I'm not a big fan of iTunes for Windows. Even though I have an iPod, I haven't used its software sibling in nine months. (That'd be enough time for Apple to gestate a better version, you'd think.) However, iTunes addicts who just can't break away might want to take a look at TuneUp Companion, a neat little plug-in recently out of beta. It does a much better job of... Read More »
Earlier today, Rafe and I hosted a lively Ask the Editors chat about Google Chrome. As is often the case, we both learned a bit while we were answering your questions. Here's a round-up of some of the more interesting answers.
Once you've imported bookmarks, it turns out there is a way to manage them. It's not readily apparent, though. Hit CTRL+B to show and hide the Bookmarks bar. When the bar is showing, at the right end there's... Read More »
Current users of Google's Mobile App for BlackBerry will receive an unexpected benefit when upgrading to the latest update to the mobile app: a cleaner home screen.
Announced on Wednesday, the new Google Mobile App for BlackBerry replaces the Mobile Updater package before it, a hub for downloading and updating Google's native BlackBerry apps for news, search, e-mail, and photos that permanently lived on the home screen, along with the separate applications it downloaded and quietly managed.
The new application... Read More »
If you're looking for a fast, reliable, and free way to convert many images at once, look no further than FastStone Photo Resizer. From the same folks who publish the excellent Image Viewer, Photo Resizer outputs files in the most popular formats, including TIFF, GIF, JPEG, and BMP. Besides its batch-conversion skills, the application also can rename pictures in bulk. This program lacks any sort of fancy image effects, but you can make basic tweaks, including cropping, rotating,... Read More »
For right now, the future of Opera--the browsing alternative to the browsing alternative--doesn't look a whole lot different from the present. Keeping in mind that this isn't a stable release, Opera 9.60 beta 1 for Windows and Mac looks to add a few feature tweaks and claims to be faster.
The most intriguing improvement looks to be a "low bandwidth mode" for Opera Mail. In a not-so-subtle attempt to attract users who are concerned about bandwidth restrictions, especially those... Read More »
Although it's ancient in Internet years, WinZip is still up and kicking. Among the various improvements and tweaks, the latest upgrade to Version 12 includes one massive reinvigorating feature: the WinZip folks have figured out how to compress JPEGs without sacrificing image quality.
The details on exactly how this is done remain a secret for now, although WinZip has promised to open up its compression algorithms as they've done in the past. On the user end of things, this means... Read More »