If you are running Firefox, you can get the new version by clicking on Help / Check for updates. Presumably it will soon be offered automatically when you launch Firefox.
Switching from IE is easy: start at this page and you’ll be given lots of information about what to expect. Firefox imports favorites and passwords from IE automatically. If you’re using LastPass, you can separately install the Firefox add-in and all of your passwords will begin working immediately. […] continued
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.
There’s a weird news story to illustrate why updates are important: the entire network of computers at the University of Exeter has been locked down and taken offline for days because a virus has been raging through it. The virus was able to spread because the computers had not been updated with critical updates for Windows that were published four months ago. […] continued
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.
I believe Google also cooperates with the government in blocking access to Google.com. Update: Apparently Google.com can be reached from Chinese computers but search results are censored. […] continued
LastPass will help you manage all of your online passwords. You should learn about it, install it, and use it every day. This is seriously good stuff.
LastPass is a free program that memorizes each password typed into a web site and automatically fills it in when you return to the same site. Once it’s up and running, the master password for LastPass is the only password you have to remember.
The feature that makes this genuinely exciting: your passwords are stored online (safely). You can use LastPass on more than one computer – an office computer, a home computer, a notebook, a netbook – and your passwords will be automatically filled in on all of them. […] continued
Two recent announcements.
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.
Google rolled out a minor change to its home page, adding an effect that initially displays an almost bare page with a search box. The other menus and links will fade in when you move the mouse. […] continued
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. Here’s an article with details about the tests and comments by Google’s design diva Marissa Mayer.
If you do a search today on Google, the search results are laid out this way.
Across the top are links that narrow the search to different categories – images, videos, maps, and more. […] continued
Two weeks ago my son clicked OK on a message about some security problem. He called out and asked me about it after he clicked. By the time I walked in and unplugged the network cable, there were seven malware startup programs and services installed and over 700 files in C:, C:Windows, C:WindowsSystem32, and a few other places. He got lucky; I know some tricks and cleaned them out successfully.
Last week a Windows XP computer was discovered by a client in a closet where it had been sitting for three years. He brought it to the office and plugged it into an Internet connection. […] continued
There is no shortage of how-to guides online, but loyal reader Stan Beck pointed out a particularly nice collection of free manuals – each one short enough to be appealing but long enough to have useful details. If any of these titles sounds appealing, you might want to take a look.
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.
Google gives away enough of its services that it takes an effort to remember that Google makes fourteen kajillion dollars every day and there are real issues in its book project about advertising, fairness to competitors, the prices charged to institutions, the conditions set on access by the public, the rights of authors and copyright holders, and much more. […] continued
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. It’s faster than downloading the document for Acrobat or Adobe Reader to display.
You won’t see Quick View on all PDFs – Google apparently has to do some behind-the-scenes work for its viewer to work, so last week it claimed that “more than 50%” of indexed PDFs had a Quick View link. […] continued