Quick Hits – Google Talk, Facebook

14 03 2007

Google has made available a new widget for its personalized homepage: The Google Talk Gadget. You also can embed the widget into your webpage or blog.

Facebook had added some new fuctionality into its photo section. You can now organize your photos within albums using drag and drop.

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Time To Spring Forward

10 03 2007

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that the start of daylight savings time has changed this year. In what might go down as the most futile attempt to curb energy consumption, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed both the starting and ending dates of DST. The new dates this year are March 11 to November 4.

Some people are predicting this year to be another Y2K but there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from imminent doom and disaster.

To make sure your system clock and Outlook appointments are correct, Microsoft offers a Time Zone Update Tool as a free download. Check the list of products affected by DST to see if you need to crawl back under that rock and wait it out.

If you are an OSX or Vista user you should be fine. Also make sure if you use XP that you set your computer to update automatically.

Related Links:
Lifehacker 1
Lifehacker 2
History Of DST





Netvibes Announces Universal API For Widgets

9 03 2007

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Netvibes just announced the release of their universal API that will allow widget builders to use the API for Netvibes, Google IG, Apple Dashboard and many more…

The Universal Widget API (UWA for short) is the name of the 1.0 release of the Netvibes API. With it come major changes and possibilities.

While previous version of the API only let you build modules for Netvibes, UWA makes it possible for you to see your widget be used not only on Netvibes or on personnal websites, but also on many other platforms, both online or on the desktop. For instance, it is already possible to install a UWA widget on Google IG, in Apple Dashboard, soon the Opera browser, and many more to come…

Thanks to its open-source JavaScript runtime, the Netvibes UWA can be easily ported to other platforms. As a developer, you can leverage your existing code on a large number of platforms. As a user, you can use all your favorite UWA widget on your favorite platform – it doesn’t have to be on Netvibes only.

The reliance on open content pushes for the availability of more and more web services, leading to a “Wall of APIs”. Netvibes UWA promotes the use of legal or personnal web APIs, thus leading to a blossoming of web services, all available to UWA widgets users and developers.

Related Links:

Google operating System blog

Netvibes Blog





Picasa Undergoes Major Update

8 03 2007

Picassa Logo

Picasa Web Albums, Google’s online photo sharing tool, underwent a major update today.

The free version of Pacasa Web increased its storage from 250mb to 1 gig (and counting) mirroring its Gmail plan to increase with time. 1 Gig is enough to hold about 4000 standard resolution photos.

Picasa Web also allows users to search for photo’s withing the community. Previously you could only search within your contacts.

Another new feature is better integration with Blogger. You automatically get new albums for your Blogger pics and a refined linking system.

For information check:

Official Google Blog

Google Operating System





Google Desktop Matures

6 03 2007

Today Google released Google Desktop 5.0 beta (it’s Google, isn’t it always beta?) and they seem to be elbowing for room on the Vista desktop.  Without adding any real functionality they did greatly improve the visual.  Google says their sidebar will “ fade in” the color of you wallpaper so that it will blend in more seamlessly.  It actually looks to me like they just made their transparency smarter.  They also added some phishing detection in your search and it also displays a thumbnail of the site.  I’m still waiting for the sidebar to be able to double as a dock for shortcuts but that’s just me.

From Google Desktop Blog:

The sidebar has a completely new look and feel. It samples the color of your wallpaper and fades in the sampled color so that it fits seamlessly onto your desktop. Some of our gadgets have been redesigned so that they are easy to tell apart, easy to read, and easy on the eyes. More differentiated gadgets allow for faster scanning of information through the sidebar. And we’ve created a new dialog for adding gadgets so it’s easier and faster than ever to find the right gadgets for you.

In addition, we have improved two other key features of Google Desktop:

  • Desktop Search – Ever searched your computer and seen a row of results that looked almost identical – so you had to open file after file until you found the right one? Now there is a better way: preview search results from within Google Desktop. Don’t wait for an entire application to load, just click “Preview” and find the information you want right away. Finding the right file has never been easier!
  • Security – We take your security extremely seriously and have added new features to help make your search experience safer. Whether you’re clicking on links from documents, IMs and email or browsing the web, if we have information that the site you’re visiting might be trying to steal your personal information or install malicious software on your computer, we’ll give you a warning first so you can decide if you want to use the site.

Google desktop 5.0 beta is available for Vista, XP, and 2000+sp3





iTunes Updated to Support AppleTV

5 03 2007

Today Apple released updates for both iTunes an Quicktime today.

iTunes 7.1

Now supports Apple TV, full screen cover flow and improved sorting options.

Quicktime 7.1.5

Various bug fixes and critical security updates.

Still no Vista support for either one however.

http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/