- - http://www.techinfoserve.blogspot.com/ 0.5 2006-08-31T14:19:52+00:00 daily InfoServe

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New! Google Desktop 4

All your information in one place

What does Google Desktop do?
Will Google Desktop affect my computer's performance?

Google Desktop gives you easy access to information on your computer and from the web. It is a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, files, music, photos, chats, Google Mail, web pages that you have viewed and more.

By making your computer searchable, Google Desktop puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails and bookmarks. It makes searching your computer as easy as searching the web with Google.

Google Desktop does not just help you search your computer; it also helps you gather new information from the web with sidebar, a desktop feature that shows you your new email, weather, stock information, personalized news, RSS/Atom feeds and more. Sidebar is personalized automatically, no manual configuration is required (though you can certainly make your own customizations if you want to or turn off automatic personalization).

Do you want a clock on your computer desktop?

How about a calendar, a Wi-Fi indicator, a TV or anything else that you can think of? Say hello to Google Gadgets.

These interactive mini-applications can be anything from games to search tools to media players, they can be of any shape and size and use a weather globe to show you the latest forecast. Google got a lot of ready-made gadgets to get you started, but they are so easy to create that you can probably figure out how to build your own.

You can also save your gadget content and settings online to protect your info from computer crashes and be able to access it from your other computers by logging into your Google Account with Google Desktop. For instance, you can now synchronize the To Do list on both your laptop and your desktop.

Google Desktop will recommend new gadgets and can also automatically create a personalized Google homepage for you, based on the subjects that most interest you. For instance, if you are constantly doing searches on new movies, Google Desktop can automatically recommend a movies gadget to add to your desktop.

Google have also integrated Google Desktop more fully with the rest of Google. For instance, you can now add Google Gadgets from your personalized homepage into your Sidebar or anywhere else on your desktop.

You can also view upcoming birthdays with the orkut gadget, see what is popular on Google Videos or access your Google Calendar right from your desktop.

What does Google Desktop do?

With Google Desktop, you can easily find personalized info from the web with Sidebar and search the full text of your email, files, chats and web history with Quick Find. You can search:
Email from Google Mail, Outlook 2000+, Outlook Express 5+, Netscape Mail 7.1+, Mozilla Mail 1.4+ and Thunderbird.

Files on your computer, including text, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, MP3, Zip files, image, audio and video files. You can even search your media files by meta-tag: for instance, by artist name and song title, not just the file name.

Web pages you have viewed using Internet Explorer 5+, Netscape 7.1+, Mozilla 1.4+ and Firefox.

Chats from Google Talk, AOL Instant Messenger 5+ and MSN Messenger

With Sidebar, you can see the following types of information, all arrayed in convenient gadgets that you can minimize, rearrange and even drag onto your desktop:

Email inbox
Personalized News
Web clips (RSS/Atom feeds)
A scratch pad for jotting down notes
Commonly used web pages and documents
To do list
System monitor of your computer's resources

Will Google Desktop affect my computer's performance?

Google Desktop should not slow down your computer's performance at all, because it only builds its index when you are not using your machine.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Microsoft Brand Going Live

We've gotten used to MSN being the name used by Microsoft to promote many products and services such as an MSN search engine, MSN Messenger, MSN Video, and MSN Spaces (a blogging and photo-sharing website). There is even an MSN TV, which was formerly called Web TV.

Soon, however, most of Microsoft's MSN assets will be renamed to Live, resulting in MSN Search becoming Live Search, MSN Spaces being called Windows Live Spaces, and Version 8 of MSN Messenger will be named Windows Live Messenger. Microsoft's all-in-one protection and maintenance service for Windows XP PCs is already being marketed under Windows Live OneCare. And, it is speculated that Microsoft's small-business services, once known as bCentral, will also become a part of the new Windows Live brand.

In some cases, the new name will be introduced with new versions of the old products. For instance, current Microsoft Hotmail users will be offered an upgrade to Windows Live Mail which will have new functionality. The MSN search engine is still in use, but the Live search engine that will replace it is available in a beta testing mode at live.com.

The new Live brand and new versions are in the works. They may be mundane or spectacular. We will just have to wait and see what the old Microsoft has up their sleeve for the new Live brand.

Google Writely

Google quietly opens up Writely

Google opened up public sign-ups to Writely, its online word-processing application, late last week with little fanfare.

Google snagged Wriltely last March, and until last Thursday, only a limited number of beta users had a crack at playing with it. Now anyone with an e-mail address can have a go.

Google and the Writely team weren't particularly forthright as to why the application, still in beta, is opening up to the public now. Well, in fact, now Writely is truly ready to open its doors to everyone, so let's just do it!

For the time being, users won't be able to log in to Writely using their Gmail accounts (as they can with other Google applications, like Google Calendar), but according to the Writely blog, that will soon change.

Of course, the question still on many a pundit's mind is, what is Google's aim with its collection of Web-based productivity apps, including Gmail, Calendar, and Google Spreadsheets? Microsoft Office's market share seems to be a likely target, though as InfoWorld Contributing Editor Oliver Rist notes in his Enterprise Windows column this week, for the time being, the brows in Redmond need not sweat too much: Web applications just dont have what it takes to replace productivity applications on the desktop.

What exactly can We do with Writely?

. Upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text (or create documents from scratch).

· Use our simple WYSIWYG editor to format your documents, spell-check them, etc.

· Invite others to share your documents (by e-mail address).

· Edit documents online with whomever you choose.

· View your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.

· Publish documents online to the world, or to just who you choose.

· Download documents to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF*, HTML or zip.

· Post your documents to your blog.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Internet Security

Surf Without a Trace

Feel like people are watching you? On the Web, they probably are. Protect your privacy by using proxy servers.

Whenever you surf the Web, you leave yourself open to being snooped upon by web sites. They can track your online travels, know what operating system and browser you’re running, find out your machine name, peer into your clipboard, uncover the last sites you’ve visited, examine your history list, delve into your cache, examine your IP address and use that to learn basic information about you such as your geographic location, and more. To a great extent, your Internet life is an open book when you visit.

Much of the reason why web sites can find out this information about you is due to the trusting nature of the Internet’s infrastructure and is inherent in the open client/server relationship between your web browser and the servers on the sites you visit. But a lot of it also has to do with the ability to match up information from your PC to information in publicly available databases—for example, databases that have information about IP addresses.

The best way to make sure web sites can’t gather personal information about you and your computer is to use a proxy server to sit between you and the web sites you visit. When you use proxy server, your browser doesn’t contact a web site directly. Instead, it tells a proxy server which web site you want to visit. The proxy server then contacts the web site, and when you get the web site’s page you don’t get it directly from the site. Instead, it’s delivered to you by the proxy server. In that way, your browser never directly contacts the web server whose site you want to view. The web site sees the IP address of the proxy server, not your PC’s IP address. It can’t read your cookies, see your history list, or examine your clipboard and cache because your PC is never in direct contact with it. This way you could enable Internet security.

How To Use Proxy Server.

There are two primary ways to use proxy servers. You can run client software on your PC, which does the work of contacting the server for you, or you can visit a web site, which does the work of contacting the server.

If you don’t want to go to the hassle of installing a client—and if you don’t want to pay for software—to surf, go to Anonymizer.com (In the box near the top of the page, type the name of the site to which you want to surf, and you’ll head there anonymously. The proxy server will grab the page for you, and you’ll get the page from the proxy server. You can also download a free version that runs as a toolbar in Internet Explorer. Surf as you would normally, and you’ll visit those web sites directly. When you want to visit a site, click a button and the proxy server will do the work for you.

How To Configure Internet Explorer for Secured Surfing

If you want to surf secured, you don’t have to pay a service. With a bit of hackery, you can use Internet Explorer, or any other browser. To do it, you use an internet security proxy server to sit between you and the web sites you visit.

To use an internet security proxy server in concert with your browser, first find
an internet security proxy server. Hundreds of free, public proxy servers are

The web site lists information about each server, including its uptime percentage and the last time the server was checked to see if it was online.

Find the server with the highest percentage of uptime. Write down the server’s IP address and the port it uses. For example, in the listing 24.236.

148.15:80, the IP address is, and the port number is 80.

In Internet Explorer,

Select Tools ->Internet Options, click the Connections tab, and click the LAN Settings button.

Check the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” box.

In the Address field, type in the IP address of the proxy server. In the Port field, type in its port number.

Check the “Bypass proxy server for local addresses” box.

Click OK and then OK again to close the dialog boxes. Now when you surf the Web, the proxy server will protect your privacy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Internet Explorer 7 : New Public Beta Now Available.

We're one step closer to a final Internet Explorer 7 with Microsoft's Monday night twin release of a new, more polished Internet Explorer 7 beta and accompanying add-ons Web site.

This release feels a fair bit more usable than the previous public beta in January. To be fair, that release was a preview release meant for "developers and IT pros." Whereas this one is ready for "technology enthusiasts" (read: early adopters) using Windows XP Service pack 2, XP 64-bit, or Server 2003 Service Pack 1.

The new add-ons site at ieaddons.com was scheduled to go live at the same time as the new beta release. However, the IE 7 "Find More Add-ons" menu option still takes you to a different site.

The interface is much the same as in the previous release: Depending on your tastes and browsing habits, you'll find it either streamlined or squished. Tabs and a customizable search box sit together up top with the Back, Favorites, and other buttons on only two (default) toolbars.

Conspiracy theory types might be disappointed to learn that Slashdot, which was a mess in the last beta, displays properly in this update. The same goes for Yahoo! news pages, and Web site rendering is noticeably better overall.

You'll also find a new Opera-like option to keep track of all your open tabs when you close the browser, and to then open all those same pages when you restart IE 7. It's a small feature that can be a big help if you do a lot of research online; a number of Firefox plug-ins add similar functionality.

The new IE7 beta handles favorites more smoothly as well. You can now pin the left-pane sidebar that displays Favorites, Feeds (RSS) or History so that it remains accessible while you're browsing. In the previous beta, it only came up as an overlay which disappeard once you selected a link or feed.

Other major new upgrades over the now-venerable IE 6 include some welcome security features.

For example, an anti-phishing filter will warn you if you happen across a known phishing site. Also, many Active X controls (the source of a number of IE security holes) are disabled by default.

If you're ready to be a beta tester, you can download the latest version and get more information on new features from Microsoft's IE site. The company also says it will provide free, unlimited phone support for testers in North America, Germany and Japan.

Keep in mind that while this beta is more polished than the previous release, it's still beta software. You'll no doubt discover glitches, and it might not play nice with all your currently installed software. The previous beta preview release scrambled the Norton Internet Security 2006 suite display somewhat, for example.

Microsoft says it is on track for a final version in the second half of 2006. (The Windows Vista version has been delayed along with the operating system.)

The Dell Models That Needs a Battery Replace

The lithium-ion batteries being recalled are installed in 4.1 million laptops sold between April 2004 and July 18 of this year.

According to Dell, the laptops with which the batteries were sold were the Latitude D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800 and D810; the Inspiron 6000, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 500m, 510m, 600m, 6400, E1505, 700m, 710m, 9400 and E1705.

The Precision M20, M60, M70 and M90 mobile workstations.

The XPSTM , XPS Gen2, XPS M170 and XPS M1710.

Dell To Recall 4m Notebook Batteries.

The Power Cells Made By Sony Caused Laptops To Overheat

Dell said on Monday
it will recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries because they could overheat and catch fire, in the biggest recall in its 22-year history.

The personal computer maker blamed the voluntary recall on lithium-ion batteries made by Sony Corp which Dell said could in rare cases produce smoke and catch fire. Dell, which expected no financial impact from the recall, said it would keep Sony as a supplier of notebook batteries.

“We have confidence that they have taken the right counter measures and the process is now secure.We expect that Sony will continue to be a good supplier of batteries for us,” chairman Michael Dell told reporters in Singapore.

The batteries are also used by other computer makers, including Apple Computer, which said it was looking into the issue. Hewlett-Packard said its notebooks were not affected by the Dell recall, which was issued with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. No injuries have been tied to the defect involving the Dell-branded batteries, Dell said. The company has received six reports of batteries overheating, causing damage to furniture and personal belongings, the safety commission said.

A battery of the type involved the recall was in a Dell laptop that erupted in flames in Osaka, Japan, recently. The incident was captured in photographs sent across the internet. About 2.7 million of the recalled notebooks are in the United States.

The recall comes as Dell tries to refresh its image with a marketing campaign to demonstrate improvements in customer service after the company was hit with complaints of inferior after-sales service.

Dell is investing about $100 million this year and hiring 2,000 people in the improvement efforts.

The company also has taken a beating on Wall Street, with its shares falling 47% over the past 12 months while rival Hewlett-Packard surged 37%.
Dell’s growth has slowed amid tougher competition.

“Further modifications have been made that provide a greater level of security.” The recall involves 18% of Dell’s 22 million notebook computers sold between April 2004 and July 2006. It also comes three days before Dell is scheduled to report its fiscal secondquarter earnings.