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Tricks & Tips

Archive for June, 2009

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The latest version of Firefox, 3.5, was released today.  Tons of new features and bug fixes: location awareness (if allowed), faster browsing, a privacy mode, and new video, audio, and HTML support, to name a few.

How to get Firefox 3.5
Download via Softpedia or Filehippo
At the time of writing, the release is official, but Firefox’s main download page hasn’t been updated just yet.

What is Firefox?
Well first, what is a browser?  A browser is an application that loads web pages.  You probably know Internet Explorer (IE), well that is a browser by Microsoft that comes with Windows.  Just because it came included, doesn’t mean it is the best option.  There are others… Netscape (gone), Safari, Chrome, and more.

Watch the video to see a short walk through of the new features.

Something extra…
Take better photos this 4th of July:
Fireworks Photography Tips. Or see also How to Be a Better Photographer When on Vacation

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Contributed by Kevin Collins

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Microsoft has developed and now testing a free anti-virus application for Windows.  The name of this generous piece of software is “Microsoft Security Essentials”. Microsoft claims that this program was developed as a replacement for their subscription based anti-virus program known as “Live One Care” which was 49.95 per year.  If they can offer the protection, we may soon be free of annual subscription fees.

Screenshot:
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Security Essentials is currently in beta and full.  We’ll let you know as soon as its open again for download.

For more information on Microsoft Security Essentials check out Microsoft’s Blog Site or the Security Essentials site.

*UPDATE: Microsoft’s link is closed at the present but Security Essentials can be downloaded via Softpedia.

In the news…
The Air Force will train more unmanned aircraft pilots this year than fighter and bomber pilots combined.  Wow… technology to the the extreme.   Continue reading…

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How to Buy a Netbook

June 16th, 2009
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The world seems crazy over these small/mini laptops, AKA “netbooks”.  Before you jump, read PC World’s How to Buy a Netbook.

Then have a look at Battle of the Netbooks for a good round up of the top options.

Remember, a netbook is an inexpensive, ultra-portable laptop.  Not to be confused with a laptop replacement.  They’re low-performing and for me, often too small to get anything done besides browsing the web and checking email.  However, this is all you need while on the go sometimes.

In the news…
Have you seen Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing?  I’m still a Google fan, but it’s pretty interesting.  Try it here.

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The latest version of Windows is just around the corner. Windows 7 will be available for purchase on October 22nd.

Microsoft offers a guarantee on new computers purchased near the release date of their latest operating system.  Probably around the end of June, new computers will include a free, or discounted upgrade to Windows 7.   If I were in the market, I’d wait until then to buy.

Have Windows Vista now and interested in upgrading to 7?  Rumors suggest upgrades may be as little as $50 – $100, depending on your version of Vista.

Why Windows 7?
Most reviews share high opinions of Microsoft’s latest operating system.  Faster, smaller, ready for touch screen and multi-touch interfaces, and tons of additional visual features, to name a few.


In the news…

Wow! This XBOX preview looks amazing!  Watch video… (keep watching for home use, not just games)

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Contributed by Bo Layer

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Some exciting things were announced yesterday at Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference.   Here’s some highlights for you:

  • iPhone OS 3.0 should be available June 17th. It includes copy and paste, MMS, landscape keyboard in more apps, rent/purchase movies from your iPhone, tethering for Internet on your computer, and much more.  Conference notes… (tons of photos)  or see some new apps.
  • New iPhone 3GS: 3MP video camera, 20% better battery life, 2-3x faster processor, voice control, and much more!  Most likely available for purchase June 19th.  Conference notes… photo
  • Significantly reduced pricing for some iPhone models
  • MacBook Pros received upgrades and reduced pricing
  • Safari 4 out of beta. Available today for all platforms (Tiger, Leopard, Vista, XP)
  • OS X Snow Leopard, $29, received new features and improvements. Read more…

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Sometimes we forget to attach a document or file before sending an email.  The following tools look for keywords in your email to determine if anything is attached.  When you hit send, a popup reminds you if you didn’t attach anything (if you didn’t intend to attach a file, no popup will appear).   Pretty smart.

Choose one of the following to install that best fits your needs:

In the news…
$40 computer?
Wow… I can see some awesome potential.  News Clip or Photos and Learn More

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