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iPhone 2.1 software update

15 Sep

On Friday, the latest iPhone software was released. This updates all iPhones, both the original models and the newer 3G models to the 2.1 version of the software.

Previously, there had been a number of complaints regarding software crashes when using 3rd party applications, and many users had been having problems with 3G reception in some areas. The new software also speeds up access to contacts and is meant to improve battery life.

It’s interesting to think that when you purchase a product like the iPhone, you aren’t really going to end up with the same product you bought. With continuous software updates and improvements, the device keeps evolving as you own it.

Imagine purchasing a TV or car that came with ongoing upgrades. Would you pay extra for such a device knowing that every few months there would be a new “software” patch to fix bugs or improve performance?

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Get the VLC Player

14 Aug

Every big computer company seems to have their own video/audio player. Apple has Quicktime / iTunes and Microsoft has Window’s Media Player. You can round out the video/audio program competition with Winamp, MusicMatch and RealPlayer. All of these players have one thing in common, none of them work well playing each other’s file formats. If you try to view an AVI File on Quicktime, it takes some work to make it happen. If you want to listen to an m4p file on Windows Media Player, I would rather search for a needle in a haystack.

Some friends recently told me about the VLC player because it’s free and it can virtually play any audio/video file format. After downloading and experimenting with it, I suddenly realized the VLC player rocks! VLC (initially VideoLAN Client) is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

Download VLC

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Xobni

30 Jun

Microsoft Outlook users, are you looking for a new way to keep your mail organized? I’ve been using Xobni for Outlook. It helps you organize, search, and navigate your email. Xobni improves your Outlook productivity with ultra fast email search, threaded conversations and contact profiles. If you liked Google Desktop, then you’ll like this product too. It’s all organized in a convenient Outlook sidebar.

Preview Xobni here

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2007 Microsoft Office Compatibility

19 Jun

Have you received a word document that you couldn’t open lately? Most likely you have an older version of Microsoft Office and you can’t read the new 2007 Microsoft Office edition.

As a recipient of the file, you really have two options. Either upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Word or download the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. It’s free! Once you install this patch, you will be able to read the last version.

If you are sending a Word Document from the 2007 Office, you have the option of saving it as a different version. Most people don’t know that you can save it as a prior version.

Download the free upgrade
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/

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Priceline for mp3s?

27 Oct

Radiohead, the popular British alternative rock band, has decided to offer their fans the opportunity to pay what they want for their next album. Beginning on October 10th, you will be able to download Radiohead’s new album in mp3 format directly from their website. This decision comes on the heels of Prince offering an album only on his website and Radiohead not being tied to a record contract with a major label.

Do you think letting fans decide what they want to pay for downloaded music is the future? Will this succeed or flop?

http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/31497950

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Ready for IE 7?

20 Sep

Right now about 80% of the world uses Internet Explorer (IE) as there web browser of choice, however since the last release of IE many surfers have switched over to the Mozilla browser. “What’s Mozilla,” you say? If you haven’t tried the free Firefox family of browsers, we highly recommend that you do. This is not only because it is easy to use, it also has higher security standards than IE. WC3 schools reports that over 11% of internet users are using Mozilla. However Microsoft wants to change all that browser noise with the release of IE7; Bill Gates is playing catch-up hoping to diminish those numbers and bring more surfers back to their brand.

Changes to IE:
1) Tabbed browsing
2) RSS feed browsing
3) Anti-phishing capabilities – identify suspect sites
This SSL security report feature will flag ostensibly secure websites that have suspect security levels.
4) Limited rights mode
5) Changed interface – Stop/Refresh button is now at right of address bar

Open Issues:
1) Lacks ability to save a group of tabs as a favorite
2) Doesn’t comply with many Web Standards

With this new release, which at this time is to be announced, will bring IE use right back up to where it was in the past. You will be using this edition of the infamous Microsoft browser and “lovin it”!

IE7 Beta is now available for download.

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Government Sites Help

16 Sep

When I was a kid, I sent away for a free Government directory that was an incredible list of free services offered by Uncle Sam. I had to write my name neatly on a 5″ x 8″ card, put in the mail and wait 3-5 weeks for my catalog. Today that has all changed with the Internet, now I can just logon to the net and get even more information. Here is a listing of great government sites that I recently found in my local newspaper. The hub of all these sites listed below is the Federal Citizen Information Center website.

Federal Citizen Information Center
Find out information on cars, computers, education, employment, family, federal programs, food, health, housing, money, small business, travel, consumer help, protecting children, recalls, scam and frauds.
pueblo.gsa.gov

Consumer Product Safety Commission
This is where you can find out about product safety and product recalls.
cpsc.gov

Caring For Aging Parents
Federal Trade Commission
Get up-to-date information on how to deter fraud against the elderly and long-term health care.
ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/services/apact/index.html

Protecting Children
Discover how you can control what information your children see.
ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/online/kidsprivacy.htm

Pension and Health Care
Find out tips on how to get the most benefits.
dol.gov/ebsa/publications/protecting_benefits.html

Air Travel
Learn how to travel efficiently.
airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/pubs.htm

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