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July’s Most Interesting and Important News

calendar_julyI realize that you’ve already read that many times, but this July’s news can’t be imagined without mentioning the announcement of Google’s new project – Google Chrome OS. Chrome operating system is intended to be lightweight and web-oriented. For now  no one  cares whether web apps only would be enough for users or not and how fast software manufacturers would release Chrome compatible programs. Everyone’s just wondering whether Google can compete Microsoft. Still, Google now position Chrome as operating system for netbooks and nettops, so the only prospective rival of Chrome OS is Windows 7 and particularly its version for netbooks and nettops.

Microsoft keeps up with Google in giving occasion to buzz about. Less then in a week after Google’s announcement of Chrome OS, Microsoft has announced that the new version of Office – MS Office 2010 – will include Web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can see Office 2010 preview at the preview site.

The less buzzy but not less interesting July’s news are:

1. On July 14th, 2009 Bit.ly celebrated its first birthday. One year old URL shortening service is already a serious competitor of tinyurl.com which held the first place in this field for years. And the main achievement is that Bit.ly became Twitter’s default URL shortener instead of tinyurl.com. 4 characters shorter – this means a lot when you have only 140 chars for a tweet.

2. Google already removed Beta label off its popular services – Gmail,  Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk. It’s a little surprising, even though successfully works for 5 years, because users got used to Beta label. If you still can’t imagine Gmail out of Beta, go to Settings > Labs in your Gmail account and enable “Back to Beta” option.

3. Firefox 3.5 released. In the first 24 hour after release it was downloaded by more than 5 mln people. Of course it’s less than 7.7 mln for Firefox 3.0, but the number is still overwhelming. Read more about Firefox 3.5 new features and find useful tips in my review.

4. Bing launched BingTweets search tool to combine Bing Web search and Twitter search. This is not actually what I consider to be real-time search, but it’s probably a step towards this. Bing and Twitter search results are displayed in two different boxes now. What I don’t like is that Twitter results emerge one by one and the oldest goes down. When the search is finished, you can see 4-5 latest tweets only and can’t scroll down to read even the tweets you saw while they emerged in the window. Other features work pretty well, including the option to share or tweet your search results.

Keep up with the latest news! Stay tuned.

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July 21, 2009 Posted by | Google, internet, Social Networks, twitter, Web 2-0, Windows | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

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

Gmail Offline – Google released the beta offline version of its popular e-mail service

offline gmailAt last, one of the most popular Google services – Gmail (which stands for Google mail) – goes offline. Offline Gmail is beta (of course ;)), but users already can work with Gmail without being connected to the Internet. To do that, one should install Google Gears, an open source browser extension for Internet Explorer and Firefox, which is already used for offline access to such web apps as Google Docs, RSS Reader, etc. Google Gears cashes data and stores them in a database. If there is too much mail, it’s sorted by some criteria and the most important e-mails are cashed in the first place. That makes possible using Gmail on computers with slow or unstable Internet connection. While you’re connected to the Internet, Google Gears automatically synchronizes data with server, but even if the network connection is lost, you can read, edit and write letters.

To enable offline Gmail, go to the Settings in your Gmail account, then to the Labs tab, and the first you’ll see will be Gmail Offline option. Click Enable and Save changes. You’ll see Offline0.1 link near your Settings link. Click it to start setup process.

Of course, as Gmail supports POP and IMAP protocols, Google mail can be read and sent with any e-mail client. And it’s the matter of your taste only – to use your usual desktop e-mail client, read mail online or start using offline Gmail. In any case, it’s great to have a choice, isn’t it?

Please, answer this poll – how do you manage or will manage your Gmail?

February 4, 2009 Posted by | e-mail, Google, Online tools | , , , | 2 Comments