When March Madness rolls around for college basketball fans, you can be the first person with a pool bracket ready to use thanks to this nicely designed app.
Turbo Tourney launches a colorful but functional window with a complete tournament ready to fill in. Adding schools to the pairings is a snap, although the method isn't initially intuitive--instead of entering names directly into the main display, you must first click an icon on the toolbar to pop up a box with all the pairings. The box includes drop-down lists with all the regions and school names, so entering is … Read more
Teachers can test their reading and writing students' skills with Edit Prep. The program creates worksheets that students can proofread for correct punctuation and grammar usage, or read for contextual clues to test their reading comprehension skills.
We tried each of Edit Prep's three sections: Proofreading, Comprehension, and CLOZE Worksheet, which deals with finding contextual clues in passages of text. The program has a selection of sample text from well-known works of literature from which you can generate worksheets, or users can import passages from sources outside the program. We think teachers will enjoy this option, because they can … Read more
Learn Spanish with this simple program aimed at helping users develop speaking skills from the ground up. With easy controls and a few surprises, this is a great tutor for those getting into this beautiful language.
The program's interface will be a blessing to computer users of all skill levels. With simple icons that do a good job of describing their function, users need only hold the cursor over each for a more in-depth description to pop up. A Help file is also available, which focuses on program functions and not Spanish language. Users begin by choosing what level … Read more
Correction: This story originally misstated the status of PersonalRIA. PersonalRIA is still alive, but in hibernation mode until the market recovers.
Last year, 124 products were unveiled during the TechCrunch50 and DemoFall conferences. A week later, we went through and sorted out which ones you could actually use. As anticipated, most were closed off from public use. Was this a surprise? No, but it showed which companies were ready for business versus those that had a snazzy PowerPoint presentation.
It's been a little more than seven months since then, and I've gone through the list a second time to see what's changed. So what has? The number of products and services that are open for use has increased from 71 to 94. And impressively, only one of the companies that launched out of the 124 total are no longer in existence.
Here are a couple of charts that help put a face on the numbers, including the ones from our first go-around:
Note: We considered sites that were listed as having "private" or "invite only" betas as closed. This is because there is no guarantee that you could get immediate access once you signed up to use them. For physical products, like the Fitbit or software, we counted whether or not you could purchase or download them. We've also given both charts an equal number of products in the X axis to show scale.
To put things in perspective, a week after TechCrunch50 concluded, 42 percent of the products were open, with the remaining 58 percent still in private beta, in production, or attempting to get funding. Demo fared slightly better, with 67 percent of the launched products open, with the remaining 33 percent behind closed doors. You can see the makeup of this in the chart above.
One thing to note with these numbers is that the Demo conference had a slightly higher number of launching services at 72, compared with TechCrunch's 52, however the apples to apples comparison degrades when you begin to break down Web- and software-based services verses physical product launches--something we should have noted the last time around. TechCrunch50 only had one real hardware launch with the Fitbit, a Wi-Fi and Web-enabled pedometer and sleep tracker, while the rest were all software or Webware. Demo on the other hand, had 7 products that were hardware-based, including UbiSafe, a GPS beacon you could use to track people or objects, and ioDrive, which is a NAND flash-based storage solution for servers.The casualty… Read more
The Defraggler helps computer users who feel their system is running too slow. This simple program performs a complicated task that streamlines your PC's thought processes, but be prepared for a wait.
This free unlimited download attempts to bring order to your scattered RAM. When a file is created, portions of the item are spread into free spaces throughout the hard drive. As more files accumulate the computer has to work harder to piece together the puzzle that has become your specific file. This results in a slow computer. Defragmenting seeks out all these matching pieces and lines them … Read more
Several antivirus vendors are reporting on Monday a new round of exploitation of Microsoft's out-of-cycle security bulletin last month. The flaw in MS08-067, which affects how remote procedure calls (RPC) are handled in the Windows Server Service, has the potential to become a fast-spreading worm, according to Microsoft. But experts predict any exploitation will be bundled within an existing Trojan horse or botnet package because that's where criminals can make the most money from the malware code.
Ken Dunham of iSIGHT Partners said his company was looking at three samples of interest.
One is what F-Secure is calling … Read more
While Microsoft has labeled Thursday's emergency patch MS08-067 as "critical" and provided a rareout-of-cycle fix because its exploit could easily be used as worm on a compromised network, one security researcher doesn't think it will happen that way.
"It's likely we're going to see this packaged with some other attack." said Ben Greenbaum, senior research manager at Symantec. "A Web-based attack, for example. We're looking out for are exploits of this being bundled with client-side exploits or Trojans so that the worm can get past corporate firewalls and get … Read more
On Thursday, Microsoft issued a rare out-of-cycle patch for a vulnerability in the Windows Server service that handles remote procedure calls (RPC) that allows programmers to run code either locally or remotely. In issuing MS08-067, Microsoft warns "it is possible that this vulnerability could be used in the crafting of a wormable exploit." Entitled "Vulnerability in Server Service Could Allow Remote Code Execution (958644)" the specific vulnerability has been assigned a National Vulnerability Database designation of CVE-2008-4250.
Microsoft rates this patch as critical for Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and important for Windows … Read more
If you're unsure where you should be casting your ballet come November 4, Google's got you covered with a new maps layer that lets you search for local polling locations. Users simply plug in their home address and it figures out both what county they're in and where their poll location is.
I didn't have much luck getting this to work from a few business addresses in San Francisco, but it picked up two of my former residential addresses just fine. One of the things that makes the tool useful is the special set of instructions … Read more