MissTechie

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Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate Now Available

Yesterday Microsoft issued the release candidate 1 for its Internet Explorer 8. So, the release is not far off and we can sum up what we’ll have with the new IE 8.

ie8

What’s new:

  • Accelerators. Great thing to get your usual things like e-mailing, translating words or looking for address in a mapping website done faster. Select the text on a web-page, right-click the selection and select the needed item from the Accelerators list. They are:

blogWindows Live;

bookmark and shareFacebook, Stumbleupon, Add to Any;

emailGmail, Windows Live Hotmail;

defineWikipedia, Encarta, Dictionary Reference;

find people Facebook, LinkedIn;

maps Google Maps, LiveMaps, Yahoo! Maps;

translateWindows Live Translator, Google Translate;

find producteBay;

weatherWeather.com;

search videoYouTube.

  • Web Slices. They let you easily and quickly access dynamic Web data like weather, eBay listings, digg’s top ten pages, stock quotes, etc. The full list of Web Slices to add to IE you can find here.
  • Suggested Sites. Click this item on the toolbar to see the list of sites you might like based on your browsing history. The feature can be turned on or off if needed.
  • Compatibility View. Make websites designed for older browsers look better in Internet Explorer 8. Compatibility View button is next to the Refresh button on the Address Bar.
  • InPrivate mode. The feature many people like about Safari and Chrome is Private browsing without saving browsing history. Now it’s also available in the Internet Explorer. Can be turned on from the Tools menu.
  • Security enhancements. SmartScreen Filter for better protection against deceptive and malicious websites is in the new Internet Explorer.

Small yet great changes:

  • Better tabs. They’re not only colored but also logically structured. When the tab is launched from one of already opened tabs, it’ll take the color of its parent tabs. The tabs of the same color are grouped together. New tab opens just near the parent tab, not in the other end of the browser. Also, when you create a new tab, you see not just a blank page, but the question What do you want to do next. And you can reopen closed tab, start Private browsing or use an accelerator directly from here. Also, not new but redesigned Quick Tabs button allows to view all tabs thumbnails in one tab.
  • Better toolbars management. Toolbars can be closed by simply clicking X button in the left side without opening Toolbars menu. To open a toolbar again, right-click toolbars area and check the needed toolbar.
  • Better Address and Search Bar. The new toolbar both predicts what web page you want to open while you’re typing a URL and group predictions by URL, Autocomplete Suggestion, History, Favorites, and Feeds.

What I miss:

  • of course, a download manager, which IE developers still seem to be something unnecessary, while I need it very much.

Resume:

Everyone has its own opinion – that’s natural. Firefox fans can say that almost everything IE 8 offers can be done in Firefox with add-ons. And they’ll be right. Still, I think that the new Internet Explorer is worth trying and even using. At least to know what we’ll have with the new Windows 7. And I’m sure people who’re used to browse with IE 7 will welcome new features and abilities of this web browser.

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January 27, 2009 Posted by | Browsers | , | 1 Comment

My Top 5 Flash Slideshow Creators

When reviewing software, the most difficult is not to pin a label on something and remember that there is no good or bad software, there is software for different needs. So, today I want to list 5 different Flash Slideshow creators. Each of them is the best – for different purpose.

Flash Slideshow Creators

1) Easy inserting into other SWF files or Power Point presentations – FlashSlider

flashsliderFlashSlider lets easy create slideshows in flash format while controlling and customizing every slideshow option. I like FlashSlider for the fact slideshows it makes are clear and perfect for further inserting into another files. Still, FlashSlider has such advanced features as adding preloader, background music, navigation controls, etc., and its library of flash transition effects is very extensive (more than 110 effects).

2) Easy embedding into website, MySpace, blog etc. – Photo Flash Maker + Go2Album

Photo Flash MakerSometimes I use online services to create web slideshows, but I still prefer desktop slideshow creators. Among them, to create flash slideshow for further embedding into a web page, I use Photo Flash Maker. It’s an easy to use tool which allows publishing slideshows to the web hosting Go2Album directly from the program. After slideshow is uploaded to the web, it can be embedded to MySpace or Bebo profile, blog or any other website. Go2Album gives you URL of your SWF slideshow, HTML code to embed it to web page and, of course, free hosting.

3) 3D Flash effects – 3D Flash Slideshow Creator

3D Flash Slideshow CreatorAre you bothered with usual slideshows and their typical transition effects? Yes, sometimes I want something else too and use Aleo 3D Flash Slideshow Creator. 3D Carousels, Rollers, Scrollers – very nice and unusual 3D slideshow templates. The program also lets customize slideshow and publish it easily as an SWF and HTML.

4) Built in photo editing – SWiSH Pix

SWiSH PixAmong other great options of this slideshow creator, the one I like most of all is built in photo editing feature. SWiSH Pix lets rotate and crop photos, adjust brightness and contrast. Edit each photo directly from a slide preview – easy and quick. That’s much easier to get perfect displaying when editing photo in a slideshow maker than when editing it with other editor and then inserting into a slideshow.

5) Cute templates and cliparts – InAlbum Deluxe

InAlbumWhen I need a cute, sweet, funny, yummy, etc. slideshow, I always use InAlbum Deluxe. More than 100 extremely cute templates, each with its preset music theme, animated cliparts, morphing faces, applying sound effects to the recorded voice or using program sounds – InAlbum has everything to have fun creating a flash slideshow.

That’s my top 5 Flash slideshow creators. Now it’s your turn to choose.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Software | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Firefox bets on Yandex

Cooperation of Mozilla and Google is long and beneficial for both sides. So, why did Mozilla decide to prefer Yandex, the leading Russian search engine, as the default search engine and start page for Russian locale builds, starting with Firefox 3.1? For now, there is no official statement of Mozilla-Yandex business agreement at Mozilla official site, but we can learn details at bugzilla.mozilla.org.

What’s the reason of dropping Google, one of the major revenue sources of Mozilla?

The most obvious reason is that Yandex has the largest market share in Russia (≈45%), while Google is #2 with ≈35% (according to reports of liveinternet.ru). Nevertheless, market share is not the one and only parameter to measure the quality of search provided by search engine. Market share is a result of skilful marketing more than of quality search. There is a great resource to analyze search quality of different search engines for both Russian and English language queries – http://analyzethis.ru. Selecting Russian query language, we’ll see that Yandex leads in most parameters of quality search. For English language, Google has better results. Even without analytics, in practice we can see that while being great in Russian, Yandex gives rather poor results in English. Thus, we can assume that most of Yandex users still switch to Google to find something outside the ru domain. So, the difference in Yandex’s and Google’s popularity in Russian market is not so big to terminate a beneficial agreement with Google.

That’s why I incline toward other reason. As it’s known, Google recently changed its software pack – Google Pack and Firefox isn’t a Google Pack default browser any more. The place of Google Pack default browser was given to… let me guess… maybe, Google Chrome?! Of course. Could there be other applicants? 😉 It’s hard to estimate Mozilla’s losses resulted from this change, but it’s easy to understand the prospect and Google’s plans for future. Chrome is and will be Google’s favorite, and this is natural – Google wants to promote its own product first.

So, maybe that’s why Mozilla’s looking for new partners…

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Browsers, Mozilla Firefox, search engines, Yandex | , | Leave a comment

Happy New 2009 Year

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for reading my blog in the previous year, I’ll do my best to give you even more interesting info this year. Stay tuned and don’t miss New Year’s tech news!

Sincerely yours, Miss Techie.

January 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment