Sunday, 31 December 2006

Quickly translate your web pages!

Translator is a tiny Firefox extension that allows you to translate any web page into nearly all the most used web languages at the click of a button.

Currently it supports the following online translation services:
It presently supports the following languages:
  • English - United States (en-US),
  • French - France (fr-FR),
  • German - Germany (de-DE),
  • Italian - (it-IT),
  • Dutch (nl-NL),
  • Portuguese - Brazil (pt-BR),
  • Croatian - Croatia (hr-HR),
  • Chinese - Taiwan (zh-TW)
  • Russian (ru-RU)
  • Spanish - Spain (es-ES)
  • Spanish - Argentina (es-AR)
  • Spanish - Chile (es-CL)
After installation you can set up the translation service and the language you wish to translate to/from and then just click and you will get the page translated either in the very same tab/page or into a different one. Translator gives you also the ability to add the translator menu to the main toolbar as requested by many users. To enable the toolbar menu just right-click the top of the toolbar then go to Customize, find the translator icon and then drag it wherever you want.
Translator has been tested by the Softpedia labs and found to be completely clean of adware/spyware components.

Naturally you must pay attention to the quality and reliability of these on line automated translations... however if consciously used I think it is a very handy tool for any web navigator.

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Saturday, 30 December 2006

ExpressPDF great online PDF conversions

ExpressPDF is an great online free service provided by a French Software company that allows you to convert Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets to PDF. You can also customise your PDF file settings by choosing its output quality among Screen Optimised, eBook Optimised and Print Optimised.

Its use is easy and quick. You just upload the document wish to convert by simply browsing and selecting it in your PC, you give ExpressPDF your email address and you will be notified once the conversion has been completed so that you can collect your PDF file. Your email address can be used only to send you an email with instructions to download your converted document and to send you a message with any error messages concerning the document you submitted to the service.
Another very interesting feature of ExpressPDF is the possibility of converting entire web pages! In this case you write down the URL of the page you wish to print (for now you can convert them one by one, but they promise to allow in the future also batch conversions). You can opt here for different Paper Sizes among A4 (the European standard page corresponding more or less to a Letter page), Letter, A3 (which is double size of an A4) and legal. Moreover you can choose your page layout between portrait and landscape, and again you can select the output quality among Screen Optimised, eBook Optimised and Print Optimised.
Privacy is considered a major issue by ExpressPDF: they declare to respect the privacy of their users and will not monitor, edit, or disclose any personal information about them and/or their documents submitted for conversion to PDF format, unless such action is necessary to comply with legal process and protect the legal rights of the provider or protect the interests of users for the service or others.
A great service, no doubt! Well actually - for the sake of completion - I must add that there is a limitation, since each file size cannot exceed 20MB, but I challenge you to write such a large .DOC or .XLS file...!!

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Friday, 29 December 2006

"Super safe" passwords with PassPack

PassPack is a free, secure online password manager developed (it is presently in Beta) by an Italian company. PassPack means anytime/anywhere storage for the hundreds of passwords life assigns you... PassPack runs an Ajax interface and uses a Secure SSL Connection.
Just think of how many forums, chats, emails and personal pages you visit. Remembering the login and passwords for all of them is not easy at all; besides keeping copies on your computer may not be as safe as you suppose as they could be targeted by viruses and spyware; plus always using the same password might be even worse idea since if anyone gets one, well he will get them all... Consider instead if you had a safe place to store them all, that you could access from anywhere in the world, anytime you want, well this is the solution proposed by PassPack.

There are actually a few other good companies that already give some sort of service. For instance Agatra, nonetheless this does not use client-side encryption, which is a capital element in securing data before it gets sent over the Internet.
PassPack uses a double access technique. The "Pack" in PassPack comes from that bundle of locked up passwords inside your Account.
Obviously security is the main issue. People at PassPack have taken various measures to ensure the integrity and secrecy of their users' Passwords. PassPack uses: AES, approved by the US government for classified information. With AES encryption the very same used by the US Government, and an SSL Secure Connection, your data travels safely over the Internet. However in case somebody breaks into PassPack servers all he could find would be numerous illegible data that he should have to guess the Password and Packing Key in order to reverse the packing process and as of today this type of brute force attack on AES is considered impossible. This makes PassPack a true unattractive target.
However your Password, Packing Key and even your User ID can all be updated anytime you want, and as many times you want, and in fact PassPack recommends to do this from time to time; just always remember to make note of the new account information and store it in a safe place. Should you need any assistance you can rely on PassPack Emergency Support.
In addition every PassPack entry has space for notes and links as well as the usual User ID and Password. Thus this means that you can use PassPack also to store private notes to yourself, or a series of links that you wish like to keep safe from prying eyes.
Sign up is completely free: your account is yours to keep and it will remain free. So you can sign up and browse around and test the service which is very intuitive and easy. Naturally you must remember to write down all the codes and keys that you are given as if you forget them, you will not be able to get back into your account! No personal information, not even an email, is required at sign up. This implies that even if someone were to break into a PassPack server he would not be able to read the encrypted data stored there, plus he would not even be able to trace the account back to you. Additionally, you will never receive an email from PassPack because they have not your email. This will help users to identify phishing attempts or other types of email fraud.
I strongly recommend you to check the development of this application on their blog, and for now, being still in Beta, to avoid storing critical or financial passwords for now...

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Thursday, 28 December 2006

GB-PVR Personal Video Recorder

GB-PVR is a fully featured PVR (Personal Video Recorder), that allows you to schedule TV recordings and view/pause live TV. Furthermore GB-PVR can also be used as a real media center, which means yo will be able to watch movies, listen to music, view pictures and listen to FM radio. GB-PVR supports specialist hardware decoders such as Sigma Designs XCard, Hauppauge PVR350 and Hauppauge MediaMVP. GB-PVR supports multiple tuners, thus you will be able to record more multiple channels at the same time.

GB-PVR needs Windows 2000/XP with Microsoft .NET v2.0 runtime and MDAC2.6 installed.
The currently supported TV Tuner cards, are:
  • Hauppauge PVR250, PVR250MCE, PVR350, PVR USB2, PVR150, PVR150MCE and the dual-tuner PVR500MCE;
  • ATI Theatre 550 Pro;
  • Emuzed Maui-I, Emuzed Maui-II, Emuzed Maui-III;
  • DVB-T and DVB-S devices with BDA drivers like Hauppauge Nova-S,Hauppauge Nova-T, Hauppauge Nova-T USB2, Pinnacle MediaCenter 300i, Twinhan DVB-S, DVB-T, DVB-C, FireDTV DVB-S, DVB-T, DVB-C, Dvico Fusion DVB-T, V-Box DTT-150, Blockgold GDI DVB-T, Lifeview FlyDVB-T and others;
  • GO7007SB based capture devices, such as Plextor PX-M402U, Plextor PX-TV402U and Lifeview TV Walker
GB-PVR is free to download (but not open source: the core engine code is not publicly available) nonetheless plug-ins can be developed in C#, VB.NET or C++; you can visit the developers forum; plus you can browse through extra skins and plugins that can be found on the wikiPlugins. This user supported and documented wiki, where everyone is encouraged to participate in making this collection of documents complete, clear and concise. No password are needed to access this site.

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Wednesday, 27 December 2006

PXN8 online image editing

PXN8 is an online image editor with a user interface developed by an Irish company with standard web technologies (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) which are available by default on all modern web browsers. Actually every Photo web service is different, but they all need integrated seamless editing applications that does not require users to download and install software.
So PXN8 (you read it Pix-an-ate...) users can edit photos without downloading and installing any additional software; thus Uploading, Editing and Sharing photos becomes a seamless user experience that sets PXN8 website apart and becomes a sort of an interactive environment.
Once you get to its home page you can choose to edit an image stored on your computer or camera - as well enter its web address - just browsing and uploading the picture you want to edit.

You can edit any image on the web using a bookmarklet to Import to PXN8. You just have to Drag and drop the bookmarklet onto your browser's Links toolbar then when you are viewing a web page with photos, you can edit any photo by clicking the 'Import to PXN8' button in your 'Links' toolbar.
Once you select and upload your image you can edit it using several tools. Apart from select one and all, you can zoom in and out, you can "
Enhance" the photo by fixing noisy and/or flat colourless photos and smoothing facial lines. With "Fill Light" you can fix underexposed pictures by adding light. Before printing you can Crop your picture by choosing the printing area and thus avoid disappointing size/print problems. You can "Resize" your picture in accordance with your needs. The "Rotate" tool allows you to turn and flip your vertical or horizontal pictures. When your pictures are not perfectly aligned you can re-align them using the "Spirit Level" tool. Finally you can eliminate the famous "red-eye" effect, whiten some areas (your smile for instance...) and change a picture in black and white or add/reduce colours.
In addition to these traditional tools, PXN8 gives you another toolbar called "
Fun Effects". Its tools allow you to "Blur", make a "Snow" effect or "Lomo", or even an "Interlace" (the picture will look like a TV screen). You can also add colour "Filters" to give to the picture a different atmosphere.
PXN8 is very intuitive, you will find interesting to browse and experiment it and immediately you will also be able to use it in a few minutes.

By the way, for those who might be interested, PXN8 is also designed to be integrated and customized in web sites and portals (naturally this is not freeware..). Using HTML and CSS you can change the editor's user interface to suit your own website's identity. Two sample themes are provided to get you started.
PXN8 can be customized using any web programming language (PHP, JSP and many others). Sample themed editors are provided as both PHP and JSP pages. The Pixenate Toolbar is the simplest and most convenient way to integrate Pixenate into your photo website. Once you've installed Pixenate (PXN8) on your webserver, just copy and paste a snippet of javascript code into any photo page and your users can edit the photo in place. The Pixenate Toolbar makes adding photo-editing to your site as easy as adding Google Adsense and other Web Widgets. If you want to take customization beyond simple appearance changes, the User interface behaviour can be customized using javascript hooks/callbacks into PXN8's javascript API. The sample themes provide examples of how to do just that.
PXN8 was developed and tested on both Linux (Slackware 10.0 and RedHat EL 3) and Windows (Windows 2000 and Windows XP professional). PXN8 requires that Perl is installed on your server. A commercial version of Perl for Windows is available from ActiveState. PXN8 server software runs on platforms Linux, Windows (Apache & IIS), FreeBSD and supports Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 6.0 with Javascript enabled. To make sure that PXN8 will run on your web server download its Server Compatibility Kit, unzip and upload to your webserver

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Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Season's Greetings

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Be video-updated with, is a Spanish based company who has developed a new way of making and spreading news. With its daily magazine, celebrity interviews, cyber news, and a variety of other features, strives to keep you informed and entertained. wants to raise of the current type of vlog. does not simply re-adapt conventional TV programming and place it on a mobile channel. Its creative process starts with the mobile phone as a TV device, not with a simply fix TV set. The idea is that with conventional TV both the spectator and media are stationary, while with the spectator and the media are mobile, and above all interactive.
As to content Mobuzz aims at producing a frequent highly structured set of daily informative clips. As to format since is accessible online, it is specifically formatted for use on a mobile phone. While changing the concept of the vlog in these ways, it is still important for Mobuzz to maintain the interactive aspect of the vlog, allowing its registered users' comments on programs and so adapt them to their tastes.
However a 30' show on a mobile phone from a regular news provider will use all your batteries and the quality of the images would be leaving a lot to be desired. is instead specially customized for your mobile phone, with bite size 3' minute programs, and content specially filmed for a small screen. Daily content is set up for the new generation of mobile users: with the format you can download episodes either as they’re released daily or from our archives, so that you can watch what you want, when you want, where you want.

So makes mobile V.O.D. a reality: you can watch Internet to network news, or check on the latest trends and information; even blogs and updates on current events, can be viewed away from your computer. gives on a daily basis new stories of interest to a globally-minded generation and just on the palm of their hands. files are compatible with WMV Windows, Quicktime, iPod, PSP, Mobile and soon High Def. Finally the Daily Buzz feed is updated daily (Monday through Friday)and can be delivered via RSS and iTunes and or via email.

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Sunday, 24 December 2006

Host your images with Thumbq

I know there are so many similar services, but I wish point out to you Thumbq, a quick unlimited image hosting application that makes uploading and sharing images very easy.

Thumbq makes available very pretty galleries, fine slide shows but above all has probably the simplest interface to upload and manage your images. With Thumbq you can host and link images, and freely run nice galleries and slide shows on your own web page. Thumbq generates a unique URL for all your images and collections, and as to safety and privacy policies Thumbq does not make this public and cannot be accessed by anyone unless you share your the links. Thumbq supports the the most common image file: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, bmp, tif, tiff.
As a registered user, you can keep track of your uploads, view statistics of each image, Add/Edit captions to your uploaded images, create your own image collections or sets and share them. When you upload, you just go to Thumbq homepage, you can select up to ten different images to upload. So once you have selected your images, by simply clicking the "Upload" button you will start the upload process. However there are some restrictions: you are allowed to upload no more that ten image files at once and each of them cannot exceed 5 MB.
You can also link your images hosted on Thumbq. Thumbq generates thumbnails of various sizes for you to use, then on the 'links' pages, you'll be presented with a number of thumbnails and linking codes for each of them. You only have to insert the code into your web page, that will display the chosen thumbnail and when clicked, will be taken to the original image. Beware Thumbq creates 'thumbnails' or smaller versions of your images of various sizes for you to use at your convenience, nonetheless the original image is retained and the thumbnails link to the original image. Standard thumbnails link directly to the the original image hosted on Thumbq, while the transitional thumbnail loads the image on your web page itself, with some transition effects. Transitional thumbnails make use of Javascript and will not work on forum, message boards that do not accept HTML and tag.
Thumbq enables you to create collections or sets, to which you can add chosen images and display/share together (no more than 25 images per collection). Once you log-in the "Create collection" link on your account page will take you directly to the collection creator. It is very easy: the left pane will list all your images, and you have to "Drag and Drop" images from the left pane to your new collection pane on the right.
The gallery function provides a finer and nicer view of your pictures; actually the viewer is automatically presented with a 'Slide show' when you have more than one pic.
I believe that almost every function on Thumbq is pretty intuitive, after using it for a little while you will master it...

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Saturday, 23 December 2006

Two interesting Firefox extensions

PermaTabs creates a set of tabs that open up every time you start your Firefox (this plug-in is for version 2.0). So you do not have to open and upload manually the web sites you usually open at your start up (news, blogs, quotations etc..) and revisit throughout your working day, since PermaTabs allows them to be open automatically. To create a PermaTabs is very easy: simply just right-click an open tab and select Permanent Tab. The tab will become yellow as default) and you will not be able to see its close "X" on the top right. To remove the PermaTab just right-click again.

It is useful for keeping URLs you use often, always one tab away. Also, useful for picking up articles where you left off during a previous session. However some users complain about its graphics, and namely because the distinction between permatabs and tabs is not so evident.
The main feature - at least for me - is that you will not risk to close your tabs unwillingly; something that, well I don't know about you, but happens to me very often...

Tiny Menu is another good extension for Firefox that enables you to reduce the size of your browser's menu bar by shrinking all menu items into just a single button and simply using a drop down to access to all the menu item. You can also choose to keep selected menu items directly on the toolbar and only compress the items you prefer to get rid of.

After installation, in order to set up Tiny Menu, go to Toolbars Customization (menu View) and drag one by one all the items from your Navigation Toolbar until this becomes empty. Once you are back to Firefox window, go again on Toolbars (menu View) and uncheck the Navigation Toolbar. Now you have gained much room on you screen!

Let me know if you found these two extensions useful!

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Friday, 22 December 2006

Xolo.TV: is this the future of Blogs?

Xolo.TV is an online platform where people can create their very own TV channel and enabling users to instantly receive and watch other shows. Xolo people think that the irreversible breakthrough of broadband internet and fast multimedia computers enables the internet to serve as it was meant to: a global media publishing platform without boundries.
According to Xolo.TV that the reach of traditional media like newspapers, radio and tv, has been declining significantly for the last two years and that audiences are looking for more and different media in tune with their personal needs, regardless of time and place.
The basic concept for Xolo.TV is that consumers are more and more in control of their media consumption, a development that exposes the constraints of the mainstream media publishing and advertising.
Xolo.TV has chosen to be in the middle of this media shift and services both consumer and business markets with comprehensive and engaging media solutions.
To see the platform in action you can watch some results of Xolo Media Agency, which is the advertising department of Xolo Holding BV. The Xolo Media Agency, conceptualises and produces interactive formats for businesses and services medium sized to large (internationally operating) corporations that consider truely empowering their mediamix. Xolo.TV was hired by BMW to cover the AMI Autoshow in Leipzig, Germany, producing its daily video podcasts. The reporting included MINI specific features, web video collaborations, an international 'MINI Moment' vlog contest and impressions of other products at the AMI Autoshow.
Again Xolo.TV also vlogged the last weekend of the MINI Challenge in Salzburg, Austria. Reporting was done by Gabe Bauer and affiliate German vlogger Alex Koellner of
I suggest to keep an eye on this platform, since it seems rich of future developments...

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Thursday, 21 December 2006

Professional Virtual Office

Contact Office S.A. is an European software publisher specialized in virtual office solutions in ASP that has developed a very neat, fast and secure Professional Virtual Office, a set of interconnected tools that centralize organizational, communication and collaboration data, accessible through different channels at any time. A truly online application, Virtual Office can always be accessed by the end user via the Application Service Provider (ASP) model. The application can be used through a simple Web browser, without any other specific software installed (plug-ins, etc.).

With this web application you can easily manage your emails, contacts, meetings, documents, tasks, calendar in your Virtual Office from any computer. In addition you can also share your data and access shared data efficiently in the context of work or leisure groups.Your data are safe and available anytime on the Web, on a PDA (online or offline) or on a WAP capable cell phone. Virtual office uses temporary 256-bit cookies to control and manage access; they are automatically deleted when session ends. You can connect to the virtual office with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption: all data exchanged between our servers and your compuer will be encrypted. When idle for some time, the virtual office automatically closes. You can set the number of minutes (between 1 and 120) of idle time .
You can sign-up and follow one of these plans:
  • Individual version, 1 user, No data sharing, Standard interface, Standard subscriptions. (free)
  • Group version, from 2 users, Data sharing, Standard interface, Standard subscriptions. (5/month)
  • Customized version, from 20 users, Data sharing, Customized interface, Customized subscriptions. (10/month)
  • Education version, from 1000 users, Data sharing, Customized interface, Customized subscriptions. (50/month)
Web interface is the most friendly and complete. Intuitive interface in English, French and Dutch and online help. All the typical office tools are present and you can set all access rights and settings.
With Messages you automatically benefit from reliable antivirus and antispam filters. You can send the same message by email, fax and/or SMS, plus gather all your email addresses (POP3, Hotmail, MSN and Lycos) in a single interface that you can access everywhere. If you wish, you can use your own domain name for your primary email address.
Calendar allows you to invite people to meetings, forum, chat and do the follow-up online.You can get your daily agenda by SMS, at the selected time and be reminded by email and/or SMS for specific events (appointments, deadlines, etc.).
Address book can be full of contact data, IM addresses, picture, personal comments and access map plus can send automated data review requests to your contacts and create mailing lists (email, fax, SMS).
In Documents you can store all types of documents online, access your online documents easily from a special folder on your operating system desktop (Windows, Macintosh, Linux): drag and drop, opening and saving from the folder, etc.
Tasks allows you to manage your personal tasks by priority.
With Notes you can reate notes and find them back quickly. Use notes to store information too simple to be stored in Documents.
Bookmarks stores your bookmarks online to access them from any computer - Import and export features work with all Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, etc.).
A specific lighter interface was designed for Web browsers on PDA or smartphones (Pocket Explorer, Blazer, etc.). WAP interface offers the most essential features for access from a WAP capable phone. The service offers the possibility of Private data in main tools synchronisation with Outlook, Palm, PDA, etc.

Virtual Office means no investment, no hardware, no software to buy, no installation, no configuration, no updates. Perhaps it is worth trying it...

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Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Opera 9.1

A new version of Opera has been issued: 9.1. This neat and fast Norwegian browser available in Windows, Linux and Mac OSX includes very interesting features.
Main feature is security. First of all the new antiphishing system. This browser has a real-time (this means no black list to be preloaded at start up) fraud protection toolbar. Opera supports Secure Socket Layer (SSL) versions 2 and 3, and TLS and it offers automatic 256-bit encryption, the highest available security of any web browser. Opera displays security information inside the address bar. By clicking on the yellow security bar you get access to more information about the validity of the certificate.

Moreover Opera gives you detailed control of what cookies to accept and reject, such as allowing for different set-ups for different servers. Opera can be configured to clear the history and cache when exiting, to protect your privacy. Any kind of private data can easily be erased. You can also remove ads or images if you feel like, simply right-click (or CTRL-click on the Mac) on the Web page and choose "Block content".
Another feature is the client BitTorrent, you will not need a separate BitTorrent application to download large files a new customizable system allows you to select the content and you just click a torrent link and start the download.
You can also easily add your favorite search engines, just right-click on the site's search field and select "Create search" from the menu.
You can also use thumbnail preview by hovering your mouse on any tab and see a thumbnail preview; this makes it easy to have many tabs open at once in Opera.
Opera comes also rich with widgets: small Web applications like multimedia, newsfeeds, games that make your desktop experience more fun. You can use the Widgets menu to discover new widgets and access your favourites.

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Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Mozy 2Gb Online Free Storage

Mozy Backup is a secure, automatic, remote backup service. You can upload and store online safely and quickly your files and documents, and this is for free. You will have to install a simple little plug-in on your PC and then you will be able to store up to 2 Gigabytes for free and exploit its feature:
  • Open/locked file support
  • Bandwidth throttling because you may want to have Mozy use less of your upload bandwidth so other higher priority services can use it.
  • File versioning
  • New and changed file detection
  • Block-level differential backup.
  • Block level incremental backups
  • Public or private key encryption
  • 128-bit SSL support (to secure your data during transport)
  • 448-bit Blowfish encryption (to secure your data on our server) You have a choice of using Mozy Backup own 448-bit key or managing your own private key to encrypt your data.
  • Continuous or scheduled backup options

If you need, you can also get Mozy Unlimited (for personal use) for $4,95/month which allows you to upload whatever, whenever you want – no Gigabyte ceiling.

Or you can get Mozy Pro (for business use). In this case you will be charged 50 cents/Gigabyte) plus a license cost of $3,95/month; accounts are billed monthly or annually. Mozy Backup supports Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 and next year also Vista.

Mozy Backup has a very clear tutorial that guides you through the installation as well as gives you all the necessary instructions for its configuration and customisation.

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Monday, 18 December 2006

Cooliris Preview: efficient browsing

I have been using this, among the other Firefox extension, for quite a while and I find it very useful: Cooliris Previews, which has reached its version 2.1, lets you view links without having to click or leave the page you are on, thus making it easy to navigate through multiple links quickly and easily, without wasting time opening and closing unwanted or unsuitable pages.

To install and customise it is very easy and quick, with specific tutorials for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Flock and Safari . Within Firefox you have to go to Tools -> Add-ons -> Cooliris Previews -> Preferences. Here you can customize how you want to initiate Previews (with four different options). Mouseover Icon which is selected by default inserts a Cooliris icon to the right of previewable links. Once you mouse-over the icon, you can see the preview. With Mouseover in order o preview a link, you simply rest your mouse over the link. You can also customize the time it takes for the preview to appear by specifying the 'Preview Open Delay' in milliseconds. Mouseover + Ctrl in this option to preview a link just press control and then rest your mouse over the link. If yo set on Click, then in order to preview a link just click it once: instead to navigate to the page you will need to double-click the link.
If you enable Previews for a site, it will stay enabled for that domain, so the next time you visit, Previews is automatically on. Similarly, if you disable Previews for a site, it will remain disabled. To enable Previews for all sites, you must choose 'Default Enable' from the Preferences menu. To disable Previews for all sites, you need to choose 'Global Disable' from the Preferences menu.

But other features make Cooliris Previews also ideal for extending your search capabilities: select a word in the web page you are browsing/reading and simply right click, Cooliris shortcut menu opens and takes you directtly one to these four different searches:
I suggest you to start using Cooliris Previews, you will not regret: your web browsing will become more efficient.

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Sunday, 17 December 2006

Yugma unified online collaboration

Online meetings are demonstrated to enhance efficiency, reduce overheads, and create sales. Yugma is a word from Sanskrit meaning the state of being in unified collaboration. But Yugma is also a steadfast and secure free web conferencing service that enables individuals to immediately connect over the internet and to work in partnership using any application or software, using both Windows and Mac (and soon Linux). Even newcomers to online meetings can begin or be present at an online meeting in a few seconds. Even unplanned meetings can now take place with your laptop and browser. This means improved prospects for collaborative and group-work computing. Both professionals and companies can connect immediately with customers, prospects or workers anywhere. For instance you will be able to perform tenders, product demos, teaching and training, lead projects, remote support and troubleshooting,

Yugma can be thus considered as an online conference and teamwork virtual venue that provides total encryption; it also allows you to host meetings on your own internal servers and choose/manage shared or read-only document controls, this is the reason why Yugma sounds perfect for both public and private chatting.

Yugma offers universal, cross-platform application sharing with complete security protection (adapting to organizational security models like AD or LDAP) making possible and easy efficient collaborative online meetings. Yugma offers shared server-based environments based on project groups and shared project space so you can share data online/offline.

I think we should give Yugma a chance within our research and working groups and see how is its performance and safety; if they keep what they promise we all ought to see increased our productivity and cost savings due to our very frequent online meetings. Do you use any similar application, if so I am sure that our readers, as well as myself, would like to know more about it.

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Saturday, 16 December 2006

Photoshop CS3 Beta

A public beta version of Adobe Photoshop CS3 (aka known as Red Pill) has been released by Adobe Labs. Adobe Photoshop CS3 is the newest version of the renown Adobe PhotoShop Professional software of digital image manipulation.
But attention! Photoshop CS3 cannot be considered a replacement of Photoshop CS2, since it is still not completed, besides you must be already a Photoshop CS2 licensed user to use it: in fact the beta version of Photoshop CS3 (only in English) can be downloaded and installed by anyone who signs up for an Adobe user ID, although to use it for more that two days you must enter a CS3 beta S/N. This may be your serial from Photoshop CS2, Adobe Creative Suite 2.x Standard or Premium, Adobe Production Studio Standard and Premium, Adobe Video Bundle or Adobe Web Bundle.
Apparently the main reason for releasing this beta version is to allow Macintosh users/customers to use Photoshop natively on the latest Intel based systems. This was also the occasion to enrich the CS2 with some new interesting features like non-destructive Smart Filters, enhancements of "Camera Raw", Quick Selection Tool, Curves Panel, Refine Edge, Auto Align and Auto Blend (useful for panoramas), Vanishing Point with multiple, adjustable angle perspective planes Black and White conversion; and a panel "Clone Source".

Photoshop CS3 beta includes also a pre-release version of a major upgrade to Adobe Bridge (a powerful, easy-to-use media manager for visual people) and a preview release of Adobe Device Central (an integrated tool in Photoshop CS3 software, enabling you to design, preview, and test compelling mobile content).
Photoshop CS3 requires for Windows 700mb to 1,5Gb on your HD, 512MB RAM (and 64MB VIdeo) and a resolution of 1024×768; and for Mac Mac OSX 10.4.8 or 10.5, 1 GHz PowerPC G4 or G5 processor, Intel based Macintosh. The interface has been restyled, with a single toolbar and a relocated palette in order to leave as much room as possible to the images you want to work on.
Photoshop CS3 is still an on going project, testers are welcomed to send ideas and suggestions to Adobe Labs; its forum is already full of interesting remarks. Another interesting initiative, that I strongly recommend you to browse through, is the Photoshop CS3 Learning Centre, containing several videos and tutorials explaining how the new features work.
The final product is expected to be issued in the second quarter of 2007, if you are testing it, I would like our readers to know about your experiences.

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Friday, 15 December 2006

Yoono Community

Yoono, is a new generation search engine. Most search engines return ton of pages whose only the first dozen is read. How can we be sure that they are the best results? How can we quickly find what we’re looking for without consulting too many web sites? How can we find who is referencing the pages? As we all know, nowadays the search engines index keywords in web pages. To produce the results, they automatically classify the pages by a clever calculation known as the page ranking. This comes from weighing a number of links pointing to and pointed from a page. The real popularity of a web site its audience could not necessarily be taken into account.

Yoono's founders claim they wish to get back to the initial spirit of the web, and allow individuals to exchange important information quickly and freely. Yoono is a new idea of social or collaborative software, it frees the user from constraints of language and synonyms, by reusing existing data and maintaining users' habits. The bookmarks of your browser are automatically added to the application and vice versa.
Yoono is "instant people-rated web", that while you surf displays a list of other web pages. These are "people-rated" since others have classified them in their favourites. So if you are viewing a web page Yoono returns the other web pages i.e. bookmarks that users have classified next to that page in their favorites. You can try them they could probably be of interest to you too!
Plus you get a list of users "yoosers" who have bookmarked the page in a “Shared” favourites folder. This is a folder with web sites you particularly like: your main centres of interest and it allows you to share these favourites with other users (they can also subscribe to them); as well as you will appear automatically in the search results related to what you shared thus you can see their folder which will have many related sites. You can also see the user’s profile by clicking on the underlined username and finally you get resources like blogs and other resources which talk about the site you are visiting.
You can also find other users who have a particular web page in their favourites either via suggestions or via a user you already know.
Yoono let your browser add-on send the URL of the current page to Yoono's server. This is to display suggestions. However Yoono does not store this information. The URL of the current page is sent to Yoono if you have the “Ticker” displayed in the toolbar or the sidebar. Otherwise no information is sent. So when the ticker or sidebar is on “Locked”, the URL is not sent.
There are three versions of Yoono:
  • Yoono Companion this already worked with Internet Explorer and Firefox. It had many features bookmark synchronization, suggestions for URLs or bookmark folders, sharing/subscribing to other users bookmarks, feed reader and lots more. It will continue to work but it is superseded by on of the two following add-ons.
  • Firefox Extension: a simplified version of Yoono Companion with a toolbar giving instant suggestions as you browse the web, and a sidebar displaying the suggestions in a tree form.
  • Yoono Explorer Bar, soon to be released, which is the Yoono Companion integrated into Internet Explorer.
Yoono is for everybody, it is friendly and simple to use. You can find sites and users and it also manage your bookmarks and lets you share information. The basic functions are easy to understand, and you will discover more and more functions as you go along. Yoono is complementary to the classical search engine by bringing a human and community dimension to searching. It can be compared to social bookmarking tagging services. These are mostly based on the idea of tags or labels to allow bookmarks to found and exchanged between users.

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