editor's notebook The future just keeps getting closer and closer these days. Not only do we have iPhones with FaceTime--which, when combined with the iPod Nano (as I'm sure they will be before too long) will come pretty close to creating a mass-market version of Dick Tracy's two-way wrist TV--we've also got robot cars and, ahem, robot journalists (which I'm trying to keep at bay by way of this terribly sophisticated and never-ending sentence--apparently the roboscribes have trouble with such Proustian gymnastics: Quick! They're coming for our jobs! Hand me another semicolon and an … Read more
I've been following the evolution of client-side computing off and on for over 20 years. Remember ASCII terminals? Green screens? Beehives? X terminals? If you do, they're most likely dimming memories.
The history of client side computing is filled with efforts to shift the balance of power between the server (ne host) and the client device. Which side is responsible for what, and how the sides communicate with each other, determine the cost, control, security, flexibility, and richness of the result. Some years it's "do everything meaningful on the server." Others, "do most work … Read more
Imagine if you could pray to your computer to stop the beach ball of doom from spinning, the blue screen of death from staring you in the face.
Perhaps someday sooner than we think, such a simple, palm-to-palm gesture might actually serve to trigger a series of operations that would lead to an appropriate fix.
For about as long as there's been a Windows, developers have been targeting the disk defragmentation utility for improvement. JkDefrag is a free, open-source defragmentation utility; JkDefrag GUI is a graphical user interface version that makes the powerful tool as easy to use as the built-in Windows feature and its many competitors.
JkDefrag GUI opens with a compact properties dialog that serves as a primary control interface. We selected what Actions we wanted JkDefrag to perform and which of our drives to check from drop-down menus and started the program. A compact view opened, displaying the program's progress … Read more
The browser wars have extended to mobile devices, and that's good news for consumers.
Last week, Mozilla released a second Firefox beta for Android. Yesterday, Opera released its first Opera Mobile beta for Android. Neither is ready for prime time, much less used on more than a tiny fraction of phones, but already I see them as a step forward.
Why? Because now there's an important new front in the browser wars.
And while that means more stress for browser makers and more testing for Web developers, it holds the potential to dramatically improve browsing for the rest … Read more
Facebook has revealed that a data broker has been buying identifying Facebook user information from app developers, and as a result the social-networking powerhouse has placed some developers on a six-month suspension.
The announcement, which Facebook made Friday afternoon on its developer blog, comes on the heels of the revelation that many popular Facebook apps were transmitting user IDs--which can be used to look up a users' names and, in some cases, the names of the app user's friends--to at least 25 advertising and data firms.
According to Facebook's developer blog:
As we examined the circumstances of … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Generally, OEM software isn't of particular interest to consumer product reviewers, but I couldn't help but be drawn in by the sweet-looking user interface (UI) development being shown off by SPB Software at the CTIA Fall 2010 show. This multiplatform solution, called Mobile Shell, is currently up to version 5.0, which is compatible with Windows Mobile, Android, and Symbian operating systems.
The software is aimed at providing carriers with a way to offer a standardized UI across mobile devices, but the truly compelling part is the front-end user experience, which is pretty fantastic from what I'… Read more
The bottom line: A new name heralds some big changes for Trend Micro's Titanium suites. The overhaul to Titanium Antivirus+ 2011 brings users a faster suite with a smaller system impact. However, Trend Micro's new security engine is too untested to be able to recommend it.
Review: Trend Micro's updates for 2011 bring a substantially overhauled suite, from the name down to its detection engine. The new version brings a new interface, new cloud-based detection engine, and new features that, on whole, are changes as impressive as those that Norton has gone through the past few years. … Read more
A virtual machine can be a very handy tool to have, as it lets users run multiple operating systems on one computer. Do you have to run Windows for work but prefer Linux for pleasure? Not a problem! A virtual machine can give you the best of both worlds, and VMware Player is one very easy way to set it up.
The program is plain and intuitive, with a wizard design that walks you through each step of the virtual machine creation process. The opening menu lets you select whether you want to create a new virtual machine, open an … Read more
Losing the password to your Internet service provider account can be frustrating, especially since the only way to contact many ISPs is online. Nirsoft's Dialupass is a free tool that enumerates all the dial-up and VPN entries on your PC and displays their details, including User Name, Password, and Domain. With it, you can recover a lost password or logon ID. You can run the tool when things are swell and save the list as text, HTML, CSV, or XML files for when you need it. You can also copy the results to the clipboard.
Like most of Nirsoft'… Read more