We often repeat ourselves when working or playing with our computers. Maybe I want to start my media player when I close my BitTorrent client, or maybe I want to shut down my computer once I exit Word. It'd be nice to automate at least some of that repetition, and Windows users have a neat, free option to do just that. When Then is a lightweight, free app that acts kind of like a PC-based IfThisThenThat, letting you direct and automate Windows processes to make life easier going forward. Here's how to use it:Download and install When Then. … Read more
The U.S. Energy Department finalized loan guarantees for two major solar projects today, as the deadline loomed for the government's renewable-energy incentive program.
The government wrapped up deals that would back $737 million in financing for a solar thermal plant sponsored by privately held SolarReserve and $337 million in financing for a Sempra Energy photovoltaic solar project.
With funding for the government's loan program set to expire at the end of the week, investors have been watching to see what deals will be completed before time runs out.
The loan program has faced intense scrutiny after the high-profile collapse of Solyndra, a solar-panel maker that was the first company to receive funding under the program.
Republican lawmakers investigating the Solyndra loan guarantee have raised concerns that the Obama administration may rush to complete loans to meet the program's deadline.
SolarReserve Chief Executive Kevin Smith, however, said the government had conducted an extensive review of its application. … Read more
Mozilla, faced with business users' stiff resistance to its new rapid update schedule for Firefox, has proposed a slower-moving version of the browser.
Under the proposal, Mozilla would issue a new Extended Support Release (ESR) version of Firefox every 30 weeks. That's five times slower than the new rapid-release cycle for regular Firefox, which updates the browser every six weeks. And each version would be supported for 42 weeks under the proposal.
Australian airline Qantas will run a pilot program to test response to the inclusion of iPad 2 units on one of its Boeing 767-300 jets. Qantas has installed a personal iPad 2 for each of the 254 seats on the plane, according to a report from Australian Business Traveler.
The iPad will be able to stream media content over Wi-Fi from a server located on the plane itself.
Qantas has a customized iPad app that will drive the on-demand user experience. Toward the end of the trial run, Qantas plans to allow customers with their own iPads to download the … Read more
Two small, but significant changes are coming to Sprint. And they're not changes that we like.
First off, Sprint has confirmed to PhoneScoop that it is shortening its return policy from 30 days to a mere 14 days. Of course, that means that new customers will have only two weeks to return new phones and leave service plans without incurring an early termination fee (ETF). If customers go past the 14 days, however, they will be locked into their contract and will be subject to the full or prorated ETF if they cancel early. Verizon Wireless made a similar change … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--As the Intel Developer Forum gets under way this week, one hardly unexpected theme of CEO Paul Otellini's keynote address was that Moore's Law continues. Ivy Bridge, Intel's upcoming 22-nanometer processor platform, is slated for 2012. This continuation of Moore's Law means that a given area of silicon will contain more transistors.
Until relatively recently, more transistors more or less mapped directly to faster processor performance. That's because the additional transistors were primarily used to boost processor frequency and increase fast local memory--changes that were largely invisible to software. However, beginning around the middle … Read more
The company piqued Web programmers' interest last weekend with the news that it would offer details about Dart, which it calls "a new programming language for structured Web programming," at a conference in October. But immediately after, a leaked 2010 memo about Dart--at the time called Dash--raised hackles by spotlighting how Google often develops Web technologies … Read more
Google's at it again with a new programming language, this one called Dart.
In 2009, Google launched Go, a language designed for writing server software and handling other chores often handled today by C or C++. Dart, though, is "a new programming language for structured Web programming," according to the schedule for the Goto conference where Googlers plan to describe it next month.
There are two Dart presenters. First is Gilad Bracha, who created the Newspeak programming language that just reached version 3. He also was co-author of the Java Language Specification and worked at SAP Labs, … Read more
Adobe Systems has released its first update to Edge, a tool designed to help the company capitalize on the growing array of Web standards useful for bringing publishing and applications to the Web.
Adobe released a preview version of Edge in July and promised frequent updates on the way to a full-fledged 2012 product release. "This update has been focused on fit and finish--bug fixes and many enhancements to existing features that we think will make the product feel much easier to use," Adobe said in a forum post.
The tool has the potential to bring some of … Read more
Verizon Wireless is offering some incentives to convince basic feature phone owners to upgrade to a smartphone.
Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney told CNET that customers with basic phones who are eligible to upgrade between now and the end of the year can currently upgrade to a smartphone. Such customers have until September 30 to make the switch.
In return for trading in their current feature phone, subscribers will receive a $100 gift card from the carrier via its Wireless Trade-In Program. The gift card can then be used for any type of purchase at Verizon, including paying off a bill. … Read more