Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Firefox 3.0


Firefox 3.0 Improves Memory Management

If you use Firefox, you know that your browser has problems with memory leaks and will eat even 200 MB of RAM at times. I hoped that Firefox 2.0 (Bon Echo) will fix this issue, but unfortunately it's not the case, as this version focuses more on cosmetic issues. So I've decided to try the alpha version of Firefox 3 (Minefield), that is developed in parallel with Firefox 2.0. And the results are incredible: the browser has never consumed more than 70 MB of RAM even with 10 tabs opened.
This version of Firefox, due to be released next year, has more rendering problems than Firefox 2.0 and doesn't have too many new features (the most notable are Places - a unified interface for bookmarks, history, feeds, and a new data storage layer for bookmarks and history that uses SQL), but the memory management is clearly superior.
If you want to read more about the new features of Firefox 2.0 and how to make your extensions compatible, read this small review. Most of the things are still available for Firefox 3.0.
You can install the latest build of Firefox 3.0 from this page. For example, the Windows version can be downloaded from here [5.8 MB].
Remember it's an alpha version, so if you have problems, uninstall it and continue to use your current version of Firefox.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Windows Live Space goes mobile


Kopinath Exclusive: Windows Live Spaces goes mobile

Published by Zack Whittaker on August 13th, 2006 under Windows Live, Windows Mobile.

This seems to have been unseen everywhere else on the web, but believe it or not, Windows Live Spaces has been upgraded for mobile users. I use my mobile device a lot (running Windows Mobile 2003 Phone Edition, Second Edition) using wireless capabilities, and I regularly check out the mobile version of the Live pages. Although there’s a lot to be changed, and it’s still along the lines of “MSN” and not “Windows Live” (see this screenshot)

There’s a new logo, and thats about it. That’s pretty much the only change within the entire interface from a few days ago when it was still MSN Spaces. Nevertheless, it’s still cool and I like some of the changes they’ve done… well I like the new logo anyway, seeing as that’s all that’s changed.

Access Windows Live Spaces for mobiles:
1) Go to http://mobile.live.com/ in your mobile web browser
2) Sign in using your Windows Live ID credentials
3) Click on “MSN Spaces - updated”

Alternatively, check out any Space by using the address in your mobile browser:
eg: http://zacks.mobile.spaces.live.com

Google Operating System: Why Is YouTube More Popular Than Google Video?



YouTube, a video site created by three former PayPal employees in 2005, accounts for more than 60% of all videos watched online in the US. Google Video has a such a small share that it's not worth mentioning (things will change a little now that Google Video is linked on Google.com). Why is that?
1. YouTube is perceived as a video site. Google is a search engine that also has a video section. In addition, Google Video has disappointed twice: it was first a TV shows search but without videos and then a site that required a software to play videos (a version of VideoLAN).
2. YouTube is more open: it shows the number of views, links to a video, so you can have a better perspective about a video. Google shows the number of views only to the upoaders.
3. YouTube is more focused on the community: you could post comments from the beginning, you can post video responses and replies.
4. YouTube lets you have favorite videos, so it's easy to view the same videos again. Google lets you find the videos in the search history and bookmark it, but it's more difficult to do it.
5. You can create playlists in YouTube, and share them. There are also channels you can subscribe to. Google Video's playlists are only derived from search results.
6. In YouTube you can become a member of a group and discuss all sorts of topics related to videos. The videos an excuse for discussion.
7. YouTube lets people create an online identity, so it's closer to a social network. You can send messages to users, add to friends, subscribe to his/her favorite videos.
8. Popular doesn't always mean great. YouTube has a list of top rated videos and controversial videos. It's reassuring to know that a video has 500 excellent ratings from 3000 views.
9. YouTube has a better search. You can sort the results by number of views, rating, search in playlists and channels.
10. YouTube has a lot of free music videos and TV shows without having the legal right. Google is more inclined to remove copyrighted content and to sell premium videos. So YouTube has a more rebellious image.
To conclude, I'll say that Google Video should not try to copy YouTube's design, and let people do more with the videos, find out more about the videos and connect them in a meaningful way.

Windows live writer


Windows Live Writer is a new tool from Microsoft that allows you to publish to your blog using a desktop client. While the software is integrated with Windows Live Spaces, you can also use it with Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress.

What's nice about Windows Live Writer is that it reads your blog's template and it lets you preview your content while creating it. It's like seeing your blog post growing.

The rich-text editor is not impressing, as it contains the usual elements and doesn't produce clean code (you'll notice many unneeded tags). When you insert pictures, you've got more options: you can resize the picture, add a nice shadow, adjust brightness and even use some simple effects like sepia. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't allow you to publish images for the hosted blogs.

Windows Live Writer also lets you insert maps using Windows Live Local and the maps can be customized to show the aerial view or bird's eye detail.

When you select the preview mode, you'll see how your blog would look if you published the post, so it takes the idea of preview one step further.

Windows Live Writer is available to download here [4.74 MB, Windows] and it's still beta. The simple interface and the innovative additions make this tool a good replacement for the standard blogging interfaces and it's a good alternative to Performancing for Firefox, Qumana, but it's still far from a commercial application like ecto.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Windows Live Mail Desktop beta refresh

The newest build of Windows Live Mail desktop beta, version 8.0.0932, released tonight. This is a major cleanup and upgrade to Live Mail desktop, and it looks and feels very much improved. You can sign up and try it out at ideas.live.com

Live.com Update Rolls Out

In an update to Live.com today, Microsoft made some UI changes as well as added an option to set Windows Live Search as your default search engine in IE7. There is no official word on this release from the Live.com blog, but it appears to just contain the UI changes. As you can see, the new version of Live.com uses the Windows Live Orb and the Orb Menu. I would also assume that there have been some bug fixes in this release as well, but we do not know for sure. As soon as we get an official word on what the exact changes are, we will update this post with more.

The Live.com Blog has posted the official statement on what has been changed. The changes include the following.

- Header Improvements
- Improved directory with 4 new gadgets (Today Show Recipes, MSNBC photo stream, Local News and New Media releases)
- Consistent Settings Model
- 3 New Markets (Korea, Norway and Mexico)