KEEPING UP WITH SMARTPHONES

nexusone

Back in the old days – say, six months ago – buying a smartphone meant signing up with AT&T for an iPhone (and sighing at AT&T’s shortcomings), or settling for something less capable from another carrier. Things are changing fast – here are a few random highlights.

Google’s Nexus One phone is only available online, sight unseen, for the unsubsidized price of $529, or a subsidized price of $179 through T-Mobile. […] continued

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WINDOWS PHONE 7 SERIES

windowsphone7

If you read gadget sites like Engadget or Gizmodo, then you already know that the world changed today when Microsoft unveiled the “Windows Phone 7 Series,” the next generation of its software for cell phones and a serious attempt to break up the iPhone monopoly on cool handheld devices. Readers of those sites found out that western civilization has finally reached its fruition and mankind is likely to evolve into a higher form of life. […] continued

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MICROSOFT FLOUNDERS

microsoftfloundersWindows 7 is a staggering achievement. Microsoft delivered exactly the right product at the right time and will completely dominate desktop computing for the foreseeable future.

Microsoft shows no signs of being able to do anything similar in any of the other areas that will be important to consumers and small businesses in the next ten years. […] continued

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Firefox 3.6

firefoxMozilla has released Firefox version 3.6, with increased security, faster display of web pages and Javascript, and some new features for add-ins and themes. Here’s a description of the new release and a video demonstrating some of the new features.

If you are running Firefox, you can get the new version by clicking on Help / Check for updates. […] continued

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UPDATES

update I’ve prepared a list of computer safety tips for years. Over time, the advice to keep critical programs up to date has moved to the top spot on the list. You don’t have to spend all your time reading technology news but you do have to be able to identify which reminders are legitimate when they pop up from the system tray. […] continued

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GOOGLE AND CHINA

googlechina The technical side of Google’s blowup in China is shaping up as an explosive story about technology and hacking. Keep an eye on this one!

On Tuesday Google announced that it would no longer comply with Chinese censorship demands and might cease operating in China altogether. As I understand it, Google has set up a separate search page that operates within China and censors some search results as requested by the Chinese government. […] continued

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Access Online Files With Google Docs

googledocs2 Google announced today that you will soon be able to store any kind of file online in Google Docs, which until now has been basically limited to text and spreadsheets. Anyone with a Google Account will be able to store 1Gb of files online and access them from any computer. […] continued

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Passwords: Google Accounts And Windows Live ID

googleaccounts1 windowslive1

Previously:
Passwords: computer login
Passwords: e-mail

Google and Microsoft have created single sign-on systems where a master password provides access to a broad range of free services. When you sign in to your Google account and Windows Live ID, the companies’ online services will act like an extension of your computer, giving you seamless access to your online files, your pictures, social networks, messaging, games, file sharing and syncing, and many more ways to interact with your friends and colleagues. […] continued

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UPDATES TO NEW YORK TIMES, GOOGLE

Two recent announcements.

newyorktimesskimmer

The New York Times officially added “Times Skimmer” to its family of web sites, with an attractive interface for browsing through news stories without scrolling. Here’s the announcement, and here’s more information about Times Skimmer. Make sure you’re also familiar with the standalone New York Times Reader, an even better way to read the news on a computer. […] continued

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GOOGLE TESTS SEARCH OPTIONS

Google built its reputation on its streamlined, minimalist home page and search results, but it may change that design to add more information soon. A small number of people will randomly begin to see “Google Search Options” displayed on the left of the search results as Google runs tests to expose useful features and make results more predictable. […] continued

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GOOGLE’S ABANDONED LIBRARY

googlebooksearch The Google Book initiative is a huge undertaking. Google is digitizing tens of millions of books and promising to make them available to the world forever. Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, wrote an impassioned editorial for the New York Times a few days ago, citing the destruction of the library at Alexandria as evidence of how important it is to preserve books for the ages, which Google promises to do. […] continued

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VIEW PDFS IN GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS

googlepdfview

Google has been introducing new features and services at a rapid pace for the last couple of months, presumably to stave off any defections to Microsoft’s search site Bing. There’s a new link in some Google search results that might save you some time!

If your search results include PDF files, look for a “Quick View” link that will open the PDF in a viewing pane, courtesy of Google Docs, with a full page view, thumbnails, and links for downloading and printing. […] continued

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DANGEROUS SEARCHES

mcafeedangeroussearchterms McAfee released a study a few months ago that illustrates the importance of being careful online.

Most malware is installed now when you visit a rigged web site that takes advantage of a weakness in your system. Perhaps it is able to install a virus or root kit because your computer does not have the latest updates for Windows or Flash. […] continued

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EMBEDDING GOOGLE READER IN OUTLOOK

If the idea of following blogs in an RSS feed reader is tempting and your life is spent in Outlook, you might want to consider combining the two.

Outlook has an RSS reader built into it. Take a look – you’ve never noticed “RSS Feeds” down below “Outbox,” have you? In fact, the first thing you saw when Outlook 2007 was started for the first time was a dialog box asking if you’d like to “combine and synchronize the lists of RSS feeds in Outlook and Internet Explorer.” For most people, of course, this is gibberish. […] continued

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PHONE EXPLOSION

htchd2 This week it’s all phones, all the time.

On Tuesday, Microsoft formally presented Windows Mobile 6.5 to the world. It’s a lightly modified version of the Windows Mobile software that’s been usable but uninteresting for years.

It’s still fairly uninteresting. Oh, the screens are more attractive, it’s more responsive, and there’s an apps store that Microsoft promises will be full of fascinating programs, any day now, but the new version of Windows Mobile by itself is not a big step forward. […] continued

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