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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spreading OpenSocial Across the Web

Any web site can be a container for OpenSocial, any web site can add social features even if it's not a social network - that seems to be the idea behind Friend Connect, a new piece from Google's social puzzle. Friend Connect will allow the users of a site to add profiles, to import their friends from other social networks, to use social applications in the context of a site.

Paul Buchheit wrote last year that "there's no such thing as a social network". The social aspect of a site is just one of its many features. "Real products need more functionality in order to somehow deliver value to their users. It is this other functionality that defines the real purpose of a product, not the social network, which exists only to enable or enhance the core purpose."

Friend Connect is an enabler for making web sites more social, since the barrier to entry is really low. "First, many website owners want to add features that enable their visitors to do things with their friends, but the technology and resource hurdles have been too high. Second, people are tiring of needing to create new logins and profiles and recreate their friends lists wherever they go on the web." Google will use OpenID or Google Accounts for authentication, OAuth or APIs like Facebook Connect, MySpace Data Availability to find your friends from other social networks and OpenSocial gadgets to interact with your friends.

"Social is in the air. It's the blossoming of a lot of work by a lot of people. We don't move in lockstep and don't need to. We converge on interoperable technology. There's more than one way to connect a site to the social Web. With Friend Connect, we're confident it's a good step forward. I'm sure there will be more ways to do that than what Friend Connect does. We wanted to start with easiest and safest starting point," said Google's David Glazer in a conference call.

A preview of Friend Connect will be available later today at http://www.google.com/friendconnect (update: the page is live) and the service should be launched in a couple of months.

Google Maps Adds Real Estate Search

As a Google employee recently said, "Google Maps is evolving from a driving directions and business search tool, to a comprehensive representation of all the world's information, on a map." That's why Google Maps started to integrate different layers of information when you search for an address and it added a new "More" button to enable layers for photos and Wikipedia articles. Google Maps now includes in search results personalized maps, geolocated content from the web and mapped web pages.

There's a new option to search for real estate: click on "show search options" and select "real estate" from the drop-down. The search results don't seem to be powered by come from Google Base. Google shows structured information about houses and lets you refine the results by price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Even if there aren't too many advanced features, it's interesting to see that Google Maps wants to index all the information that could be displayed on a map.

Many real estate sites use Google Maps API and the first Google Maps mashup was HousingMaps, a site that displays Craigslist housing listings on a map. Last month, Trulia was one of the first sites that integrated Google Street View "to add efficiency to the real estate search experience and help home buyers discover more information about particular neighborhoods".

(The post was updated to reflect that the data is obtained from Google Base.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Norton Internet Security 2008 up to 3 Users

System Requirements

* Platform: Windows Vista / XP
* Media: CD-ROM
* Item Quantity: 1

Product Features

* Norton Identity Safe keeps your personal information and identity safe when you buy, bank and browse online
* Start, scan, and run faster. Improved performance delivers an enhanced online experience
* Get help fast with free online technical support via live chat and email all from within the product
* Optimized product design improves scan times and decreases impact on system startup and resource usage
* SONAR technology delivers behavior-based protection that can detect emerging spyware and viruses even before traditional signature-based definitions are available

Product Description

Stay protected from the latest online threats. Norton Internet Security 2008 runs quietly in the background to detect and block today's complex threats and to protect your identity when you buy, bank, or browse online. The friendly and efficient product design helps minimize confusing security alerts and system slowdowns that can get in the way of your online experience. And if you need help, an integrated online chat tool connects you to our support professionals, so you have easy access to the answers you need. In addition to protection updates, Norton Internet Security provides new product features as available throughout your service subscription.

Stay protected from the latest online threats.

Norton Internet Security 2008 runs quietly in the background to detect and block today's complex threats and to protect your identity when you buy, bank, or browse online.

Key Benefits

* Blocks online identity theft--An extra layer of security protects when you buy, bank, or browse.
* Detects and eliminates spyware--Provides advanced protection against today's latest threats.
* Removes viruses and Internet worms--Fast and quiet scans provide comprehensive, automatic protection.
* Protects against hackers--Safeguards your computer with a smart firewall that automatically configures protection settings.

Includes Full Versions of the Following Products:

* Norton AntiVirus
* Norton Personal Firewall
* Norton Antispyware
* Norton Identity Safe--New!
* Norton Antiphishing

New Features and Enhancements--What's New

* Norton Identity Safe keeps your personal information and your identity safe when you buy, bank and browse online.
* Enhanced performance lets you start, scan, and run faster, so you can enjoy your online experience.
* Get help fast with free online technical support via live chat and email all from within the product.
* Optimized product design improves scan times and decreases impact on system startup and resource usage.
* SONAR (Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response) technology delivers behavior-based protection that can detect emerging spyware and viruses even before traditional signature-based definitions are available.
* Stores and encrypts your passwords and other confidential data, automatically filling it at your request to save time and protect it from being stolen by eavesdropping keystroke loggers.
* Network security monitoring checks the status of your wireless network security, maps connected devices, and provides expert advice on managing your network security settings.

Norton AntiVirus:

Antivirus and antispyware protection, rootkit detection and intrusion protection

* Protects your computer by automatically detecting and removing spyware, viruses, Trojan horses, and Internet worms.
* Exchange files via email and instant messaging without worrying about receiving threats on your computer or spreading them to others.
* Stays out of your way. Runs quietly in the background without requiring you to respond to confusing security alerts.
* Threat blocking technology quietly monitors system activities to stop most spyware, viruses, and worms before they can install and cause damage on your system.
* Email and instant message scanning detects and removes infected attachments even if they're hidden in archives.
* Rootkit detection finds and removes threats that are hidden deeply in the operating system.
* Internet worm protection blocks an entire class of viruses, spyware, and worms with a single threat signature.
* Thorough pre-installation scan cleans out spyware and virus infections that can obstruct ordinary protection.
* Quick Scan automatically runs on receipt of new definitions to help ensure protection against the latest threats.
* Full System Scan performs a deep scan of the system and hard drive to remove existing spyware, viruses, and other threats.

Norton Identity Safe:

Antiphishing, Web site authentication, eavesdropping protection and confidential information management

* Advanced phishing protection identifies and blocks fraudulent Web sites designed to steal personal information.
* Adds a layer of targeted, real-time identity theft protection to prevent identity thieves from eavesdropping on your online shopping transactions and banking and brokerage sessions from login to logout.
* Blocks hard-to-detect phishing sites by deeply analyzing Web page elements for evidence of criminal activity.
* Authenticates the Web location and credentials of the most popular banking and shopping sites, so you know you're dealing with the true site and not a fake.

Norton Personal Firewall:

Two-way firewall

* Stay hidden when connected with a smart firewall that automatically configures protection settings.
* Log on at home, at a cafe, or on the road, and Norton Internet Security automatically optimizes your security settings.
* Two-way firewall blocks hackers from breaking into your computer and stops spyware from transmitting information.
* Trust Control automatically optimizes your protection settings based on the network--wired or wireless, public or private--to which you're connected.

Additional Features

* The Norton Add-on Pack delivers optional solutions for you and your family including antispam and parental controls.
* Connect with confidence knowing your protection is continuously updated for one year as new threats emerge.
* Includes protection updates and new product features as available throughout the renewable service period.
* Intrusion prevention shields newly discovered security holes in the operating system and applications to prevent viruses, worms, and hackers from entering through these vulnerabilities.
* Includes one year of automatic definition updates, new product features, and access to updated versions of Norton Internet Security throughout the life of your service subscription.

Product Description

What do you do to keep yourself healthy? Norton Internet Security Suite 2008 is designed to keep your PC healthy. Every time you visit the Internet, there are hackers, predators, and weapons ready to usurp your identity and destroy your computer. It can happen quickly and silently. Some viruses present on the web can have delay mechanisms that can halt use of your computer days, weeks, months ahead. Norton Internet Security Suite 2008 scans your PC for potential pathogens, points them out, and helps eliminate them. It provides regular updates to your system to eliminate any new viruses. It also provides a strong firewall acting as a shield while you're online. Control spam with built-in filter technologies. Enjoy the Internet and safeguard your PC and peripherals with the power and reliability that Symantec is famous for. Be safe when your PC has Norton Internet Security Suite 2008 installed. Intrusion Prevention automatically shields newly discovered security vulnerabilities Network protection configures security settings when logged on at home, or on public networks Full System Scan performs a deep scan to remove existing viruses, spyware and other threats Norton Protection Center provides a central place to easily check overall security settings Includes protection updates and new product features as available throughout the renewable service period Windows Vista friendly

doPDF Free PDF Converter 6.0 build 260

doPDF is a PDF converter for both personal and commercial use. Using doPDF you can create searchable PDF files by selecting the Print command from virtually any application. With one click you can convert your Microsoft Excel, Word or PowerPoint documents or your emails and favorite Web sites to PDF files. doPDF installs itself as a virtual printer driver so after a successful installation will appear in your Printers and Faxes list.

Version 6.0 build 260 features: Website available in Polish now, bug correction for Excel conversion, other bugfixes.

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Featured Freeware: XnView

XnView is a fast multi-format graphics browser, viewer, and converter. It can read more than 400 file formats, e.g. gif, bmp, jpeg, png, targa, multipage tiff, camera RAW, jpeg 2000, mpeg, Avi, Quicktime. EXIF & IPTC metadata are also supported. The image viewer has an Explorer-like browser that allows quick and simple browsing of directory contents. XnView supports red eye correction, crops and transforms JPEG images losslessly, generates HTML pages and contact sheets, and provides batch conversion and batch renaming. Slide shows with transitions effects, screen capturing, WIA & TWAIN support (scanner & digital cameras), image comparison, file operations.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Simplify Media beta build 1010

Download Now

Publisher's description of Simplify Media

Enjoy music from home while at work or school. Explore friends' music while they are online. Just sign in, invite your colleagues and friends and start sharing your favorite songs. Simplify Media works with iTunes and Winamp, and it's simple, safe and free.

Build 1010 includes instant messaging.

Editor's review of Simplify Media

Share music with Simplify

Although it hasn't exactly exploded into the mainstream music-listening population at large, the music-sharing application Simplify Media has a growing network of fans. When you install it, you must choose synchronization with with either Winamp or iTunes playlists, although you can change your preferred program after installation.

After setup and a restart of your music player, you'll see a "Simplify Media" selection in your left-hand navigation. Expand it, and you can browse all of the music available from you and your friends. A separately running Simplify Media application accessible via the Windows taskbar lets you add other friends with Simplify Media accounts and customize the program settings.

Claims of resource hogging and installation headaches are somewhat valid. Installing Simplify Media on Windows will likely require Apple Bonjour. It's included in the Simplify Media installation, but the slow download and subsequent install grated the nerves. Running Simplify Media, Winamp, and Simplify Media Peer, the process that streams media from your friends or remote computers, together uses more than a fair chunk of RAM.

Make no mistake with the minor quibbles: Simplify Media is an excellent and simple method of sharing music collections with friends or yourself in remote locations. We would like to see future versions become even more stable, as well as adding compatibility with other jukebox players.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Phase I-B: Backboard Under Painting

Preliminary Stage A

1. Gradient Options Edit...
2. Gradient Editor
3. About The Tool
* Adjust
* Color-Indicators
* Color-Selectors
4. Location

Preliminary Stage B

1. Fast Track
2. The Step-By-Step Method
* Foreground Color
* Color Picker
* Background Color
3. Create Custom Gradient
* Fast Track
* The Step-By-Step Method

The Final Steps

1. Result
2. Reapply Gradient
3. Under Painting

Preliminary Stage A

1. Gradient Options Edit...

Click on the Edit... button in the Gradient Tool Options Palette to display the Gradient Editor.

2. Gradient Editor

Create Your Own custom Gradient from Copper in the Gradient scroll list.

3. About The Tool

* Adjust: Color will add the currently active color to the Gradient. It is the default setting. Transparency will add transparency to the gradient, a very powerful feature.

* Color-Indicators: These triangle points touch the color band. They can be changed in color, be moved, deleted, or new ones added.

* Color-Indicators: These triangle points touch the color band. They can be changed in color, be moved, deleted, or new ones added.

* Color-Selectors: These are the buttons and box in the lower left corner. They allow for quick access to the following:

o Current Active Color, the left buttons.
o Foreground color, the middle F buttons.
o Background color, the right B buttons.
o Color Picker, the rectangular box right of the buttons.

* Location: In the sample above the second color is selected and its location is 30%. The zero point is the left edge. Most of the time, this information is irrelevant.

Preliminary Stage B

1. Fast Track: Here is a quick way to set Foreground and Background Colors.

Set Foreground Color to H: 211, S: 72 and B: 100%.
Set Background color to H: 211, S: 72, and B: 40%.

The sample Toolbox image shows the correct colors.

If the previous instruction was too quick, the following will walk you through the process carefully.

2. The Step-By-Step Method

* Foreground Color: Click on the foreground color box in the Toolbox. This will launch the Color Picker shown to the right. This sample is severely cropped for file size and layout considerations.

* Color-Picker: Duplicate the values shown in the sample.
o Hue value set to 211 degrees.
o Saturation value set to 72%.
o Brightness value set to 100%.

* RGB: Its values change automatically.
* Background Color: It is 60% darker and Brightness value is the only thing that changes.
o Hue value remains unchanged at 211 degrees.
o Saturation value remains unchanged at 72%.
o Brightness value changes to 40%.

3. Create Custom Gradient Stage
Let's change the Copper scheme to Blue...

* Fast Track
Here is the quick way to change scheme.

Change the active cream color to white. Move its position left from 30% to 25%. Delete, drag-off, the dark brown Color Indicator Tab to the right. Change the left Tab to the Foreground color and the right Tab to the Background color.

The 3 tab Blue Gradient.

Step-By-Step Method

o Click on the Color Selector F.

o Click on the Color Indicator tab on the left edge turning the left side light blue.
o Click on the Color Selector B.
o Click on the Color Indicator tab on the right edge turning the right side dark blue.

Two coppery colors in the middle remain.

o Click on the light copper Color Indicator tab.
o Click on the Color Selector box to open the Color Picker.
o Change the S: and B: values as per sample turning the light copper band to white

This leaves one more to change.

o Click on the dark copper tab and click in the Color Selector box to open the Color Picker.
o Set the values to H: 211, S: 95, and B: 70.
o Change its position from 84% to 74%.

The Final Steps

1. The Result:

The 4 tab gradient below is richer than the previous Fast Track 3 Tab gradient. Scroll up and compare.

Save This: Name it Tutorial Blue to the Gradient List.

2. Reapply Gradient

Go to the original Black Shape layer. If the Selection has been discarded, select it again by loading the "Full Size Mask" using the following method...
Select > Load Selection

* Channel: Select "Full Size Mask" from the drop down menu.


* Click on the New Layer button creating a new layer.

* Apply the Tutorial Blue gradient using the original "A to B" spread.

The resulting gradient image should resemble the sample.

3. Under Painting

In this case, the actual color scheme was not relevant. A modified Copper Gradient would have worked fine for the under painting. The above procedure was aimed at teaching you how to customize a gradients. Click Next for the Rainbow Facade Preparation.

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