Google has added a new option to Google Docs and Spreadsheets to make files open for others to look at without the need to register or sign in with a Google account. To make any doc or spreadsheet open, users can click option for "invitations may be used by anyone" in the "Share" tab. Once enabled, any invite to view the spreadsheet will take users right to it, bypassing any annoying log-in screens. Users will still need to log in and be on the collaborators list to make any editing changes, but this should open things … Read more
Of the 62 million PCs shipped in the first quarter of 2007, the biggest story is a company that shipped a little over 4 million units. Taiwan-based Acer has taken hold of 6.8 percent of the global PC market, good enough for third place, according to market research firm iSuppli.
After taking the No. 3 slot in worldwide notebook sales from Toshiba in the fourth quarter of 2006, Acer has taken even more ground, this time from Lenovo. The Chinese computer maker is now 0.4 percent points behind Acer in worldwide computer market share.
Acer also turned in … Read more
One of the biggest concerns for current and potential GPS device owners is the currency of maps. Do I have the latest information? When should I update my maps, and how? While most portable nav manufacturers have their own scheduled releases, TomTom is going one step further to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information possible. Today, the company introduced its latest portable navigation system, the TomTom GO 720, with a new feature called TomTom Map Share that allows you to make adjustments to your maps (such as noting blocked roads, updating points of interest, adding new streets, and … Read more
There's a database of books I can browse or search through and rate on a scale of one to five stars. So far I've made it through 229 of all the books I've ever read. How did I have time? Rafe Needleman asked me to write this blog posting, and therefore it became "work."But it didn't take that long to rate a bunch of books. I perused the overall … Read more
Box.net is beta testing a new plug-in for Microsoft Office that lets users save Office files to their Box.net storage folders. The plug-in works for both Office 2003 and 2007 on Windows XP and Vista, provides users a new "Save to Box.net" button, and gives visual notification when the file is uploading and then successfully sent. Users can then access that file anytime on their Box.net Web storage folder.
The Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent file tracking site based in Sweden, hinted in a blog post on Friday that it has begun navigating the high seas of streaming video. The site had been hyping up a "surprise" in recent weeks, and still won't give much detail, but it has confirmed that it is indeed a video project. "As a treat I can tell you--YES--we're going to do a video streaming site," the blog post wrote. "It's true. It's in the works being done right now and as usual we put a … Read more
DPhoto is a photo-hosting and sharing service that uses a Flash interface for both organizing and sharing photos. It's no Flickr-killer in terms of price or community features, but it's got a really easy to use uploader, and the slide shows look great. Give it a look if you want to make a cool-looking slide show or gallery with a few of your photos.
Adding your shots to DPhoto is very user friendly. The uploader tool lets you pick out your photos one at a time or select entire folders on your hard drive. There's also a custom e-mail address that lets you send pictures from your phone.
The free version of DPhoto is limited to 100 photos, and also limits individual file size to 3MB, which is about the size of most people's photos, assuming they're shooting in something around the 5-megapixel range. DPhoto charges $2 a month to upgrade to their Lite account (and $7 for Pro), which is on the steep side. Both premium-level accounts net you the option to upload more shots. The Pro level account increases the cap on individual photo-file uploads from 3MB to 20MB, and lets users download entire photo albums as .ZIP files, which is handy if you intend on using DPhoto as a business tool.
I can't wholly recommend using DPhoto over some of the more established photo-hosting services, especially since at $84 a year, the Pro subscription is a hard sell over typical mainstream photo services (Flickr, Fotki, SmugMug) that come in at about $25 to $50 a year. I'd like to see them build on the looks with a little more backing on the community and support. The service is a still a little rough around the edges and certainly is capable of improving its offerings in both departments. Either way, the site navigation and photo browsing are very well designed, making it a joy to use.
Microsoft's Tahiti project (not to be confused with the forthcoming Fiji update for Vista), has been given a new name this morning. Now known as SharedView, the 3MB download is available to anyone who wants it, assuming they've got a Windows Live ID, a Windows PC, and collaborators willing to install it.
It's a little early for a hands-on with SharedView, but it feels polished for a work in progress. Here are my impressions so far:
Sending invites to join SharedView is fairly simple, although Microsoft assumes you're using their services, including Windows Live Hotmail and … Read more
Tomorrow, ThinkFree will announce a new way to publish documents: ThinkFree Docs. The feature looks a lot like Scribd: It's a publicly accessible, YouTube-like document directory. And like YouTube, documents stored on it can be embedded in blogs and Web sites.
Docs rounds out the publishing options for the online suite ThinkFree, which already had a method for sharing documents that's much like Google Docs and Spreadsheets, and other online productivity suites: from within the suite, you can e-mail an invitation to other people so they can view or edit your documents on the ThinkFree site. That's what you want for collaboration. But when you want to publish a document to the world at large, you might want the much simpler ThinkFree Docs instead--it will spare viewers unfamiliar with ThinkFree the confusion of using a new service.
You can use Docs independently of the ThinkFree suite. The service does a decent job of displaying standard Microsoft Office (2003 format) files, as well as other formats like PDF and RTF.
As on media sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr, shared files all get their own comment threads. Docs' commenting system is rudimentary, though, and the comments are not visible or accessible when a document is embedded on another site. For that matter, very little else is available from an embedded document. There's no way to download a file, nor is there a link to the file's dedicated URL, where the download link, embed codes, and comment board reside. Scribd, by contrast, offers links back to the sharing page on the Scribd site, as well as download and other useful links.
ThinkFree Docs is a useful feature for ThinkFree suite users who want to publish their documents to the Web, but as a standalone document sharing site it comes up a bit short.
Below: An embedded ThinkFree Docs viewer.