Windows Safari

Apple have just recently released Safari 3 beta and with this release they have included an XP and Vista version, for the previously Mac only browser. Steve Jobs announced the release of Safari 3 during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (see video here) and showcased some of its features and benefits. Aside from the claims of being “the best browser ever”, Jobs also claims that Safari is 2x faster than IE7 and 1.6x faster than FireFox 2.

Personally I’m not a fan the Mac look and feel, especially that big grey toolbar, however there are a few features which are useful, if not at least intriguing. For example, while tabbed browser, you can drag a tab off the tab toolbar and a new window will be opened with that tabs contents displayed. Another useful feature is the ability to resize text areas, without the need for this to be implemented by the website (of course this is available in FireFox through the use of a Resizeable Form Fields extension by Justin Watt).

Aside the aforementioned features of Safari, it does appear to render HTML quicker than IE7 and FireFox. However, there are a few bugs or unimplemented features which should be included. One notable downfall is the lack of support for the scroll wheel click feature (I’m not sure if this is lack of support for my Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000 or if it’s not included at all), which is presumably a direct side effect of the mac mouse having a 360 scroll ball instead of a wheel. Another downfall I noted was that the tab toolbar does not always close once you close all of the tabs (excluding one), but granted it is only a beta I’m sure that bug will be fixed before the final release.

All-in-all I think Safari is just another standard browser really, and I’ll be sticking to FireFox for now. However, if you would like to try out the new Safari you can head to http://www.apple.com/safari/ and download your free beta copy. Or alternatively you can download the real “best browser” from http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/. :-p

Update June 13th: Apparently there have already been several vulnerabilities found in Safari.

News.com.au Maps

Although it appears to be about 7 months old, I recently stumbled across a useful Google Maps mash-up from News.com.au. The ‘News Map‘ places 10 articles (they say 10 on their site, but it appears to be a lot more than that) from the news.com.au World and National sections on to the Google Map interface, allowing users to see where particular stories are taking place. In order to determine the geographical coordinates, Metacarta is used to extract place names from the articles and convert them into longitudinal and latitudinal references.

Of course this isn’t the only mashup of its kind, with others providing such Google Maps displays with articles from the Associate Press, and news.bbc.co.uk. You also have your alternative implementations, such as a map by multi.co.za, which allows users to click on a country and be presented with a list articles, from an array of aggregated news sources, which reference that selected country.

Ridiculous Tech Obsessions

A recent article – Ten Signs You’re Tech Obsessed – on the Sydney Morning Herald website lists ten signs which may indicate that you are “too close to your technology”. The ten signs include:

  1. You forget basic bodily functions
  2. You collect ridiculous accessories
  3. You check your email on Sunday … at 3am
  4. You know your mates by their online ‘handles’ rather than their real names
  5. Your favourite song goes “beep”
  6. Instead of laughing, you say ‘LOL’
  7. You answer your mobile phone when you’re on a date
  8. You change their ‘outfits’ depending on their ‘mood’
  9. You own a BlackBerry
  10. You speak in a secret language

Now i don’t own a BlackBerry, but i’m pretty sure i can relate to more than one of those signs. Ok, so maybe i might be highly “involved” with my technology but i just can’t understand what the people in their real-life example were thinking to go as far as losing their life, or taking the life of another. Some of the more ludicrous examples included:

  • A 24-year-old South Korean man dies after an 86-hour gaming session.
  • An Alabama man who killed a policeman blames his addiction to Grand Theft Auto for the crime. A jury later dismisses the excuse and finds him guilty.
  • Conscripts in Finland use internet addiction to avoid military service.
  • A South Korean man dies after 50 hours of non-stop computer gaming.
  • China opens its first internet addiction clinic; and
  • An English bus driver is sacked for playing games on his handheld device while driving.

Wireless

I don’t think that you actually appreciate the benefits of having a wireless connection until you actually get one. Having always been on a wired network connection, first with a Coaxial cable and then with a more modern cat-5 cable, I have always been privileged of having extra storage space, shared internet connection, etc, etc, etc. However, it wasn’t until recently when I received my Sony Vaio VGN-S460 with built in wireless that I have actually come to appreciate the wireless technologies.

I have always been intrigued by the benefits of having a wireless connection, but was never really keen to change to a wireless connection because of the slower transfer rate (11/54Mbps as opposed to the 10/100/1000Mbps of wired network) and the actual expense that is involved in changing from the wired network to the wireless network. Although I still use the existing wired network for my desktop computer (simply because the transfer rate is much faster and it is already there) when I’m at uni, and hopefully when I’m at home soon, I use the wireless abilities of the laptop.

The great thing about having the laptop is that i no longer have to wait around for a computer, if I’m not near a free lab room. General if i want to use a computer at the university I will just head over to the Information Technology Library and wait in line for a spare computer, leaving me with only a few minutes to actually use the machine. Now with the laptop all I have to do is simply go near a wireless hotspot, connect to the network and I’m away. No more waiting, no more being restricted to using the software of the university machines and no more being restricted to the library or finding free computer labs.

Link: Web2Messenger

Web2Messenger.com is a brand-new service that allows people to send you messages from the web to MSN Messenger. You can redirect people to your personal Send Message page, or create your own Send Message page on your blog or personal website. You can even send a member a message when he or she is offline – your message will be delivered as soon as the recipient gets online!

Currently in its beta stage, web2messenger, is only available by invite. I managed to get my hands on an invite and have been checking the new service out, soon there will be a page where you can send me msn messenger from this site, without having to be logged in to msn, or even having an account. What’s also great about this service is that it allows messages to be sent even when you are offline, it just stores them in their database and sends them when you come back online, you can also check your messages on their website, with details such as the sender, time and the actual message.

Optimus Keyboard

I never thought i could be amazed over a keyboard, but i am. Designer Artemy Lebedev has been creating – along with Timur Burbayev, Alexey Zalata, Nikolai Vershinin and Anna Ponomaryova – a new keyboard, called Optimus. The Optimus keyboard does not only look nice and smooth, but “every key of the Optimus keyboard is a stand-alone display showing exactly what it is controlling at this very moment”!

Link: Digg

Digg.com. Lots of links to the latest technology based news articles around the web. Also supplies RSS feeds for each category, or all.

Gmail

For those that have been living under a rock and haven’t heard about gmail.com yet than here is your chance to experience the latest in webmail.

Gmail is a new way of looking at the now standard webmail, which has been made widely available by large providers such as hotmail and yahoo. Gmail (google mail), has added a whole lot of extra features their services, including: conversational view, Labels, 1000 Megabytes of storage, and not to mention the added functionality of google’s popular and powerful search capabilities.

As gmail is still in its beta stages, to become a member you need to be invite into gmail by an existing member. I have come accross 12 invites and as i already have an account they are of no use to me. If you are not already a member and are interested in the new features available by gmail than simple leave a comment or email me with your email address and i will send you an invite. *first twelve people

Update October 9th 2005: Lots of gmail invites, if for some reason you still don’t have a gmail invite contact me and i will send you one.

Tips For XP Users

Here are some useful tips for people using Windows XP (from Tweak UI)

Press Win+L to lock your workstation.
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You can rename multiple files all at once: Select a group of files, right-click the first file, and select “Rename”. Type in a name for the first file, and the rest will follow.
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Hold down the shift key when switching to thumbnail view to hide the file names. Do it again to bring them back.
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When dragging a file in Explorer, you can control the operation that will be performed when you release the mouse button:

Hold the Control key to force a Copy.

Hold the Shift key to force a Move.

Hold the Alt key to force a Create Shortcut.
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If you create a file called Folder.jpg, that image will be used as the thumbnail for the folder. What’s more, that image will also be used as the album art in Windows Media Player for all media files in that folder.
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Hold down the shift key when deleting a file to delete it immediately instead of placing it in the Recycle Bin. Files deleted in this way cannot be restored.
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If you hold down the shift key while clicking “No” in a Confirm File Operation dialog, the response will be interpreted as “No to All”.

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