Boxee: Unboxing the Media Experience (invites)

1 12 2008

boxee_logoWith television viewership on the decline and so many of us watching our favorite shows at our own convenience online it was only a matter of time before one or more clever companies helped us bridge the gap between our favorite online media services and our televisions. Boxee.tv is leading the way!

Although still in closed alpha, Boxee has been gaining steam as the open source media application of choice. Previously it could only pull in content from your networked drives similar to iTunes, but the latest version of Boxee now also enables you to watch content from tons of sources. Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, CNN and more are all at your fingertips. Boxee doesn’t stop at just video. You can also stream music from you Last.fm account, your local iTunes library, and even photos from Flickr. Better yet, you can easily add any video rss feed to your Boxee account and watch it as its own channel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stay-at-home system administrator

30 11 2008

By Erwin Blonk, November 30th, 9:55PM.

With the rise of home networks, a form of system administration has slowly creeped into the home. Windows Home Server has preceded Linux in this category but these, whether that is correct or not, appealed more to the techno-savvy consumers. With centralizing data and functionality comes the necessity of keeping it organized.

Microsoft has released version 1.1of the Windows Home Server Toolkit. Main parts of lie in two basic funtions: troubleshooting connections and error reporting. Being a system administrator in the corporate world this sounds familiar, and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft will balance the need for home system administration with users that don’t necessarily care to know every nut and bolt of their computers.





Vista Transformation Pack

30 11 2008

I’m sure a lot of people out there have heard of the Vista Transformation Pack, a software bundle that ads a number of Vista’s features (as well as a clone of Vista’s ‘Aero’ theme) to Windows XP. I used it a few years ago and have to say, it’s not great. It does add some useful things to XP but it slows the computer down considerably.

Vista Transformation Pack dosn't always work

Vista Transformation Pack dosn't always work properly.

Some of the features that I liked included Vista SideBar, a tool that mimicked the SideBar in Vista, ViStart, a clone of the Vista Start menu (rather buggy though) and WinFlip, a peice of Software that simulates the Start+Tab flip hing in Vista. I ended up removing the pack because it drastically lowered my system performance. In some cases it took 5 times as long to do something in XP with the Transformation Pack than in XP without it. Unfortunatly the Pack also messed up my Audio Drivers.

When compared to the speed of real copy of Vista on the same machine, the Pack was faster but by so little it hardly mattered. If you have an old PC, I don’t suggest trying the pack or attempting to install Vista itself, just stick with what works for you  –  XP.





Microsoft Announces Morro

23 11 2008

By Erwin Blonk, November 23th, 3:35PM

Microsoft recently announced Morro, dubbing it a no-cost consumer security offering which will protect against viruses, spy-ware and other computer problems. It will become available in the first half of 2009.

According to Roger Kay of Endpoint Technology Associates, “By offering such basic protection at no charge to the consumer, Microsoft is promoting a safer environment.” As such it can be seen as an extension to Windows Update.

Rowan Trollope, Symantec’s consumer business senior vice president, considers it proof of Microsoft’s inability to provide quality security software.

Randy Abrams, technical director of security firm ESET, sees it differently. Windows Live OneCare took 2% of the market without many promotional activities, deeming it not a defeat to competitors but a bid to enhance Windows’ security positioning.

OneCare will be sold until June 30th, 2009 and support will be phased out soon after.





iPhone 2.2 Software Update

21 11 2008

By Jonathan

Apple has released another software update for the iPhone, iPhone 2.2. Among other things, the updated OS features Google Street View and streaming podcasts via WIFI or your data plan. I have already tried it out, and both new features work fantastically. I have been waiting for real streaming podcasts for months, so this update is something I have realy been looking forward to. Thus far iPhone users have had to use other podcast solutions which were incomplete and far inferior. Now if we could only see a copy & paste option!





Google releases themes for Gmail

19 11 2008

By Kris at 5:38 PM

ninjaGoogle has been releasing a ton of updates for Gmail lately, ranging from video chat to goggles, but none of those updates are as cool as the new Gmail themes.  More behind the break. Read the rest of this entry »





17 ways to survive a Mac Disaster.

19 11 2008

By Jonathan

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Mac Life has came up with 17 great ways for you to survive almost every Mac disaster. Read the rest of this entry »