13 Mar 2012

Firefox 11 was released despite last minute apparent security issues.  The bug was already fixed internally and they plan on releasing version 11 via manual updates only for today, then widespread automatic updates thereafter. 

The new Mozilla Firefox 11 supports migration of bookmarks, history and cookies from Chrome.  It utilizes Sync and now Add-ons can be synced across computers that are signed in.  If you have a ton of extensions, this will certainly be a great new feature to have.

Users should be able to go to "Help" in the Firefox menu in the upper left then choose "About Firefox" to trigger the update via "Apply Update".

The complete set of changes are listed here.

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13 Mar 2012

This really shouldn't be a big surprise, but a Metro-styled version of Chrome is coming for Windows 8, this comes after previously finding out there would be a Metro version of Firefox.  Google has stated to Mashable that "Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8."  The spokesperson went on to state "To that end we're in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support."  No word on an exact launch date.

EXTRA:  Windows 8 Consumer Preview in depth first look, mouse mode demo (Video)

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12 Mar 2012

Microsoft showed a demo of new software at TechFest 2012 that can basically create an avatar of yourself and speak on the fly, using your own voice.  It does so by only using a few minutes worth of actual spoken text from the user.  These are called real-time multilingual vocal translations.  Monolingual TTS (text to speech) can currently handle 26 languages but isn't instant.

This software demoed by Microsoft can even add foreign language pronunciation of place names with directions using your native speech.  There is a 3D image of your head to go with it, along with animation of your lips to foreign languages that you may not even know how to properly speak in real life.

This video, eh hem, speaks volumes to how the software works:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

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12 Mar 2012

Feeling lost without the Start Button in Windows 8?  Just cant live without it?  I am not a personal fan of hacking Windows 8 to behave like an operating system that originates in 1995, but if you feel inclined, here is how.  Start8 is a utility from StarDock that will restore the Start  Button in the Taskbar.

You install it and then its back where it always was (in the past).  You just click the desktop from the Start Screen to see it.  After clicking it, you see a Metro styled Start Menu (see you can't escape the future completely).

Start8 is a free download and can be found here.

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03 Mar 2012

Enjoy waiting 30 seconds for an ad to complete when you need to get to the juicy content in a YouTube video?  If you don't like waiting there is a way to get around this, at least with Chrome.

Install the extension called "Skip ads on YouTube - No illegal block" from this link and ad waiting days are now over.

Now test it on a video with ads. 

You'll get an ad before the video, but click on the blue play button (above), the ad will end and the main video will play.  This method gives you a choice, so if you feel like being supportive and allowing the ad to play, you still can.

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29 Feb 2012

As I've mentioned before, I am a big Flight Simulator X (FSX) fan and am quite familiar with the hardware dependencies of that platform and have built a beast of a machine to run FSX to the full tilt.  Many are welcoming Microsoft Flight on less stringent hardware requirements alone, which should fly with better frame rates on lesser hardware and use DirectX 11, but will this be enough to enchant flight sim enthusiasts?  Microsoft has decided to make the base platform of Microsoft Flight a free-to-play model.  The profit will come from their premium plane and scenery add-ons.

You can download your very own free copy of the simulator from this link.  The download is just a web installer file.  The web installer file will then download the entire program, around 1.5 GB to your machine.  It installs as a Games for Windows Marketplace game.

At least as of now Microsoft Flight is land locked in Hawaii, which compared to the Microsoft Simulators is extremely limited.  One would hope these scenery add-ons will expand the options into the rest of the world.  The only option you have in the free-to-play initial release is to fly a mission around some balloons in the default Icon A5 aircraft.  If you stray too far or take to long they force you to start the mission over.  This initial version feels too much like an arcade to me because of its mission orientated play and stripped down controls.  No where in any of the options could I find a way to break free of the mission(s).  You are very limited on planes and ATC at this point as well, disappointing.

20 Feb 2012

If you have not already heard, WinZip for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is now available for free.  You can head on over to the iTunes store and download it from here.  The tried and true Windows app has finally infiltrated iOS space, making it possible for you to unzip files that you share with others.  You can open .zip files and .zip attachments directly from within the iOS email application, as well as browse and view the .zip files, open encrypted ones and copy the contents of the files to the iOS clipboard.  You can't however, create new WinZip files at this time.



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16 Feb 2012

Just as Windows 8 is gearing up for a release this year, here comes another upgrade for Mac users.  Mac 10.8 otherwise known as Mountain Lion was made available to developers today.  The upgrade will be available via a download only option from the Mac App Store in late summer.  In the past such upgrades have been in the neighborhood of $29.   10.7 (Leopard) was released in July of 2011.

Perhaps taking queues from Microsoft (as with Windows 8 Phone and Windows 8) or maybe vice versa, the new Mountain Lion will have a look and feel that is similar across various platforms like the iPad and iPhone.  Since Lion originally released, they have shipped 17 million copies, making it Apple's best-selling release.

As part of this unification across systems, the new OS will replace Lion's iChat with a version from the iOS Messages application.  As a result, Mac users will be able to exchange text messages with iOS devices as well as continue conversations moving from device to the next.  You can download a copy of the beta of Messages from the Apple site here.  The iCloud service will be extended to the Mac as well and there will be the ability to share information on Twitter's microblogging service from within Mac apps.  Twitter will be integrated into many programs like Safari, iPhoto and Photo Booth.

One other change is that of the Game Center, a central hub for pairing anonymous players across the internet.  This will now be found on the Mac as well.  Also, if you have an Apple TV you can project what is on your Mac to your TV through the air, wirelessly.  This is exactly what you are thinking, AirPlay has arrived on the Mac.  The possibilities are great, such as YouTube videos, Netflix movies, etc, all within a few clicks and onto your TV at 720p.
Another feature is that there will be more of them for Chinese users.  There is a character recognition program that updates the Mac's Chinese dictionary as new words enter the language.  There are also Chinese equivalents for Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

So, the next 10 months will certainly prove interesting as both Mac and Windows begin to show how their software can be unified across all platforms, a necessary and great sign of things to come.

Source:  Apple

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