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Redmond's Heavy Guns Go After OpenSocial

mikemuch Is it now assumed Microsoft = Facebook? (148 comments)

I haven't seen the comment made anywhere that perhaps the real motivation for the bit OpenSocial announcement could be that Google lost the bidding war for a stake in Facebook. This could explain MS's lack of interest in creating a cross-SN API, though I can't picture them doing that anyway, except maybe as an option in their dev tools.

more than 6 years ago

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10 Questions for the Creator of CSS, Opera Softwar

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "The standard that eventually became CSS was originally submitted to Tim Berners-Lee et al by Haakon Wium Lie, who continues to have new ideas for the web formatting language. The latest proposal from the current CTO of Opera Software is the CSS Generated Content for Paged Media Module. Lie sat down with PCMag to discuss not only this scrollbar-free browsing initiative, but a wider range of Web topics, including thoughts on powers like Apple and Google. A teaser Freom the story: 'At Opera, we sometimes wake up in the morning and see a new Google service that could have been optimized if we could have worked with them in the development phase. It seems they're more eager to put out things and see what sticks.'"
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Hands On with Google Chrome OS on the Cr-48

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "PCMag got an early test "Cr-48" test laptop to give Chrome OS a once over. Thought it's fast and stable, there's a slew of work to be done: Forget plugging in any USB device aside from a mouse or keyboard--no memory or media devices need apply. The OS is even less OS-like and more browser-like than Google's initial glimpse of it a year ago, with the New Tab page taking over the function of the Apps panel. There's also very little prevision for working with any downloaded files, which makes sense given Google's "everything in the cloud" philosophy."
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Internet Explorer 9 Beta Reviewed, Benchmarked

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Later today, Microsoft will release to the public the next version of its Internet Explorer, version 9, at an event in San Francisco called Beauty of the Web (you'll be able download from this link starting around 10:30AM PT). In the meantime, PCMag has a very full review of IE9 Beta, including a slideshow and benchmark results. This is the first look we've gotten at the new browser--earlier pre-release "Platform Previews" have dispensed with any user interface niceties, merely being demos of the new Chakra JavaScript engine, graphics hardware acceleration, and HTML5 support. In this beta, Microsoft has followed Google Chrome's (and other browsers') trend toward minimalization, leaving more space for the webpage at hand. The browser also comes within range of Chrome and Opera's previously much-faster JavaScript performance, though it still lags in supporting many HTML5 features,"
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Google Builds a New Docs Platform

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  about 4 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "In addition to offering faster, desktop-like performance, better imported document fidelity, and more features found in standard Office apps, Google's new infrastructure for its web-based office suite will enable the company to more easily update the apps. A side effect (or benefit, depending on where you sit) is that the new platform will ditch Gears in favor of HTML 5. For a while starting May 5 there will be no offline capability whatsoever. Collaboration is a big focus, with a new chat sidebar and real-time co-editing. The new Docs and spreadsheet apps will be opt-in previews, but a new drawing app launches fully. Both go live later today on the Google Docs site."
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Bing Adds Street View, Apps, and More

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Thought it's still far behind Google in overall search volume, you have to give poor little Microsoft credit for continuing to add capabilities to its search engine. Today's release adds street view--called Streetside--that takes advantage of Microsoft's photo-stitching PhotoSynth technology. Not only is Microsoft itself using Photosynth, but users can also upload their Photosynths so that anyone on the web can, say, duck inside a house for sale, or into the Met to check out a Rembrandt. Beyond street view, Bing now also gets apps that third-party developers can add for map overlays that do things like showing where Twitter tweets were tweeted, webcams, news stories, and even grafitti tags.You can try the new features out for yourself at www.bing.maps/explore. You can also read more about the announcements or view a slideshow of Bing Streetside and Apps at PCMag."
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Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 3.0 RC1

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "On the eve of T-day, T-bird 3 goes RC. The new version adds archiving, tabs, and new search options. It's also gotten a usability overhaul, with a much simpler email account setup. Under the covers, the latest version of the Gecko engine, 1.9.1.5 speeds up rendering, as does background IMAP folder synchronization. Search has been enhanced, too, with a timeline and refinement filters. PCMag.com has a full review andslideshow of the new Thunderbird 3."
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Microsoft Debuts Bing Search, Watch Out Google!

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Though many have written off web search as a done deal, it's amazing how many players try to get in on Google's considerable action. This player is a big player, and Microsoft, after nearly a year of testing a new search site under the codename Kumo, today unveiled the product under its real name, Bing. The site will go live to the world next Wednesday, but meanwhile, PCMag.com has a full hands-on of Bing including pictures."
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Flickr Adds Video Uploading for All, HD Video

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Yahoo's Flickr photo-sharing service has been offering a taste of video for nearly a year, but only to paid Pro members. Now free member can upload videos, and Pro members get HD. The allowances are still quite limited compared with what you get on YouTube or Vimeo: Just two 90 second videos up to 150MB each per month for free users. Worst of all, free users can't view the uploaded video in HD, only Pro users."
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HP Discontinues Upline Online Backup Service

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Today, users of HP's slick but troubled online backup service got an e-mail notifying them that HP Upline would be discontinued at the end of March, just less than a year after the service launched. Paid subscribers would be reimbursed their full outlay, according to the email. The company hasn't yet issued a statement, and the site still looks like everything's dandy in Upline Land."
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Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8 RC1

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "IE8 has left beta, as of noon Pacific time today. The development team now considers the browser platform- and feature-complete, but won't say how long till it goes gold. PCMag.com got an early look and has posted a full review of Internet Explorer 8 RC1. The release candidate differs only slightly from Beta 2, most notably in tweaks to its InPrivate Browsing feature, aka porn mode. That feature has been decoupled with InPrivate Filtering, which blocks third-party content providers from creating profile of your browsing habits. RC1 also improves on performance, especially in startup time, but still trails Firefox and Chrome in JavaScript speed. Protection against the relatively new threat of "clickjacking," where a site tries to get you to press buttons underneath a sham frame page, has also been added--the first browser to include such protections. Versions for 32-bit and 64-bit Vista, as well as for 32-bit XP are available, but Windows 7, which will ship with IE8, is stuck with an older beta for now."
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Free Photo Editing Software and Site Roundup

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Face recognition, dog eye correction, geo-tagging--photo editing has come a long way--and much of it is free. PCMag.com has a roundup of free photo editors, both online and off. Products include the recently updated Picasa, which can actually find all your pictures of the same person--or at least attempt to and get impressively close. While Picasa and the new Windows Live Photo Gallery include easy and impressive red-eye correction, the web-based Picnik goes them one better by automatically fixing dogs' blue pupils distorted from the camera flash."
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WIndows LIve Apps and Services Get a Makeover

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Windows Live will play a bigger role for Microsoft's OS once Windows 7 ships, without benefit of mail, photo, and video editing programs. So today Microsoft announced a re-thought batch of apps and services, Windows Live, Wave 3. The new home page adds social networking-style "what's new" feeds from a user's chosen network of acquaintances, and ties in with third-party services like Flickr and Yelp. The whole suite gets a UI refresh, with more customizability, though some Hotmail users have complained about the recent slipstream towards the new design."
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Microsoft Delivers Windows 7 Pre-Beta at PDC

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Today at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft's Steve Sinofksy introduced the first widely available version of Windows 7, a prebeta Milestone 3 build 6801, to several thousand developers in attendance. Attendees are being issued external hard drives containing installers for the new OS. PC Magazine has a hands-on walkthrough of all the major new features in Windows 7, along with a slideshow of screenshots. Notable among the new stuff are a retooled Taskbar, Device Stage pages that act as entry points to all a connected piece of hardware's capabilities, HomeGroup easy home file and printer sharing setup, and pervasive support for touch input."
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Windows XP SP3 Releases One Week Early

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Microsoft today announced that Windows XP Service Pack 3 has been released to manufacturing, right in line with the company's timeline. PC Magazine got a download with some pictures of the installation. There's not much that wasn't in the beta already, it's just a rollup of the past three years' worth of security, stability, and performance updates. The only actual feature adds include Network Access Protection (NAP) to help organizations that use Windows XP to take advantage of new features in the Windows Server 2008. The update will be available at the Microsoft Download Center next Monday, and pushed to Windows Automatic updates in June."
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Windows Vista XP1 Now Available

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  about 6 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "After leaks from Amazon that the first major Windows Vista update is available, today Microsoft itself acknowledged that Vista SP1 has been released. The update is available via Windows Update, and will be pushed out as an automatic update in April. SP1 adds security, compatibility, and performance enhancements. It's available in five languages — English, French, Spanish, German, and Japanese — with 31 more to come."
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Adobe Releases AIR and Flex 3

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Today Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) emerged from beta. AIR is the company's technology for taking rich Internet applications (RIAs) offline and presenting them as desktop programs. The runtime lets developers port web apps they've built using HTML, JavaScript, and Flash to the desktop with full access to system resources. The company also released version 3 of the open-source Flex framework, and version 3 of the Flex Builder IDE. The first AIR applications have trickled out as well, including AOL's Xdrive Desktop Lite, for accessing its online storage service, and eBay desktop, for tracking auctions outside the browser."
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Adobe Launches Director 11 with Game Physics

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "The first new version of Director in four years, and the first since Adobe aquired Macromedia, today's launch of Director 11 includes Ageia's Physx engine along with a revamped, simplified interface. The new version is suited for developing "casual" and "serious" games, which have turnaround times in months rather than the years big-name games take to build."
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Microsoft Revamps Office Live Small Business

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Today Microsoft updated Office Live Small Business. They've moved to an a la carte format, where everybody starts fromt the free version, which includes domain registration, 100 email accounts with management, and a bit of email marketing and search ads. Lots of other free web-based business apps like basic project management, expenses, estimates, support, hiring, and training. And now it runs in Firefox. But if you add a web storefront and more than minimal marketing, the price can quickly add up, sort of like dim sum."
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Invitations 2.0 Roundup

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "Evite's been doing its own kind of social networking work for about 10 years, and it's getting some stiff competition these days. The latest entry in online invitations, PurpleTrail, adds Adobe AIR desktop software and lots of mobile options, MyPunchbowl has a VIP feature, and Microsoft gets into the act with Windows Live Events. These have forced Evite to improve as well, by adding mobile options and the ability for guests to suggest alternate dates, for example. Sure you could use Facebook's invitations if you just want RSVP tracking, but these full-featured invitation sites give an event a dedicated, custom-designed page with goodies like discussion boards and potluck item tracking."
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5 Remote Support Services Compared

mikemuch mikemuch writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikemuch (870535) writes "PC Magazine loads up a Windows XP machine with junkware and asks five remote support services to clean it out. Well-known player Geek Squad was pitted against Circuit City's new firedog, YourTechonline, support.com, and Florida-based FixFlash. The testing is of necessity anecdotal, but gives some insight into the remote support process of each service, and results vary widely among them in how much junk was cleaned out."
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