MissTechie

Everything new and tech gets reviewed here

April’s most interesting and important news

calendar_april2What’s new this April?

1. Winamp 5.552 was released. What’s new:

  • Improved iPod Sync Support
  • New iTunesLibrary Import
  • New Online Services Gallery
  • New OurStage Radio Online Services
  • New Spinner MP3 of the Day Online Service
  • New Turkish, Romanian, and Portuguese Language Packs

2. Firefox 3.0.9 and 3.0.10 stability releases were delivered to fix some security and stability issues.

3. Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 is available for download and testing. New features and changes in this milestone that require feedback include:

* Beta is now available in 70 languages .

* Private Browsing Mode.

* Better performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.

* The ability to provide Location Aware Browsing using web standards for geolocation.

* Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.

* Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.

* Support for new web technologies such as: HTML5 <video> and <audio> elements, downloadable fonts and other new CSS properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 offline data storage for applications, and SVG transforms.

4. Facebook opened up its developer API stream that gave third-party developers an opportuniny to  connect to their users’ streams and let their users read their streams wherever they want. Now with the Open Stream API developers are able to create new applications and services with new user interfaces for the stream. One of the first examples of using the Open Stream API is Xobni – an Outlook plug-in which enables you to keep track of your social network activity immediately from the mail client.

5. Gmail presented two new features in Labs: suggesting new recipients while composing messages and easy inserting images into mails.

6. Hitwise company published stunning data about Twitter growth.

Twitter’s growth in Australia was 1,067 percent since the start of this year. The number of visitors to Twitter has more than tripled in New Zealand since the beginning of the year. Twitter’s share of online visits in the United States and Britain had increased by 570 percent and 621 percent respectively since the start of the year.

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April 28, 2009 Posted by | Browsers, e-mail, internet, Mozilla Firefox, Social Networks, Software | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vista Start Menu – an alternative to usual Start Menu

There are lots of various Windows enhancement softwares. Today we have the new version of one of them which can enhance Windows Start menu – a small yet powerful piece of software – Vista Start Menu 3.15. This program can become an alternative to usual Start menu, especially if you have tons of programs installed and therefore spend a lot of time looking for the needed program in your Start menu list.

The Start menu appeared in Windows 95 for the first time. After that only cosmetic changes were made in it and only in Windows XP there were first worth mentioning changes. The menu was expanded to two columns: the left column for installed applications, and the right one for access to user’s documents and system functionality. In Windows Vista, Start menu was also changed – there was added Search box. Nevertheless, no changes were made concerning the most important purpose of the Start menu – launching programs.

Do you need any changes in the Start menu? No, you don’t if you have only a dozen programs installed. If there are more programs, launching one program requires time directly proportional to the number of installed programs. The problem is partially solved by the Quick Launch Panel, but it also becomes almost useless when the number of programs increases.

Vista Start Menu software was designed exactly to solve this problem. There are some key features of the program:

  • Program in the list always stay in their places and are easy to find because they are exactly where you left them. This reduces time spent finding the needed program.
  • Start menu is resizeable and can be easily moved to any part of the screen.
  • Keyboard shortcuts can be used to launch programs and to control the power. You can simply remember the shortcuts for the most often used programs and launch them in a few seconds.
  • The icons of programs are displayed near their names, that cuts search time significantly. It’s much easier and quicker to find and recognize an icon than read a program name.
  • An amazing feature is quick access to the Internet search directly from the Start menu. Usual Search box serves either for search (Google search or simple PC search) or as a run option. You may begin typing immediately when the Start menu is open and then simply use keyboard shortcuts or mouse to select what to do with the text you typed in – find on your computer, search in the Web or Run.

vista_start_menu

All in all, I seem this program to be a very convenient alternative to the usual Start menu for people who have many programs installed. Besides, the basic version is free (all the features I’ve mentioned above and a few others are included with the basic version), and the price of the Pro version is reasonable for the feature set it offers. So Start working with pleasure! 🙂

*For writing a review, materials from Vista Start Menu website were used

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Software, Windows | , , , , | 1 Comment

Google’s equipment – today and in the past

At Google Data Center Energy Summit on April 1, 2009, Google first time showed off its self-designed and built Web server and its “Container” data center. The videos are impressive of themselves, but they become even more impressive if you know what equipment Google had back in 1998:

  • Two 300 MHz Dual Pentium II servers with 512 MB of RAM;
  • IBM donated F50 IBM RS6000 with 4 processors and 512MB of memory
  • Sun Ultra II with dual 200MHz processors, and 256MB of RAM
  • And a few hard drives  from 4 to 9 GB

google-equipment

The photo and hardware list are taken from http://backrub.c63.be.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Google | 2 Comments

Statistics Charts for WordPress Blogs

Yesterday I read post How to create statistics chart for your blog on Flash’y’mania blog and I was fascinated with the animated Flash chart displaying blog visitors statistics. And of course, I want such a chart for my blog. But, as you probably know, WordPress doesn’t support Flash. I was angry with them about this many times and this chart was one more reason to be disappointed with WordPress limitations. Nevertheless, there is no sense in being angry, so I began to think what can I do to place chart like this on my blog. I’ve found the only solution – to create static chart and save it as image so that it can be published to WordPress.

Of course, I lose some advantages by replacing flash graph with a static image graph. Charts in Flash format are animated, interactive and even can display dynamic data.  But having no alternatives here on WordPress, I still tried to create image chart. I used the same software as the Flash’y’mania author did – Animated Chart. Animated Chart tool can save charts both as Flash and as images. What’s great – Animated Chart lets save template charts, so when I decide to replace chart to display the newer data, I won’t have to create its design from the very beginning, I’ll only need to open a template file and replace chart data with a newer one. Besides, data import from file helps to enter even a large amount of data in minutes. So, image chart is rather handy too.

misstechie_visitors

This is the chart I created, but what I really want is Flash support at WordPress. Still, I know this is much harder to get than a nice blog stats chart 🙂

April 3, 2009 Posted by | blogs, Charts and Graphs, Flash, web design, Wordpress | , , , , , | 1 Comment