Windows 7’s user interface overhaul, there’s is a lot of hype about this right now. We know what’s going to change, we know what it looks like, but there’s one important question that has not really been given much stage time: why? At PDC, one session was dedicated to just that question. Speaking was Chaitanya Sareen, part of the windows user interface team. He placed the changes in Windows 7 into context, talked about Windows’ user interface history, and explained why certain changes were made. An interesting insight into the goals of the Windows 7 interface.
The new Digsby is here!Â We just released Build 32 (r17926) which is the culmination of a massive effort to improve performance, improve connectivity, fix most of the remaining bugs, and add some new functionality to boot. Major changes in this release include:
- RAM Usage: We optimized from the ground up and fixed memory leaks to lower RAM usage by almost 75%.Â This has been the number one complaint since our launch and we are proud to introduce this massive improvement.
- Performance: User interface elements draw twice as fast for better performance. We have made changes to the architecture that will improve GUI responsiveness and CPU utilization across the board.
- Connectivity: Every IM protocol automatically tries multiple connection methods and ports to improve the odds of getting through restrictive firewalls and proxy servers.
- LinkedIn: Digsby now supports LinkedIn in addition to the other social networks.Â Functionality includes a full newsfeed, alerts when new messages arrive, and the ability to set status right from Digsby.
- Bug Fixes: We have fixed hundreds of bugs, making Digsby more stable than ever.Â There have been almost 3,000 revisions in our codebase since the last release so there are too many fixes to list in our changelog.
Yup, the blogosphere is on fire with concerns over privacy, the EULA, what information Google will/can collect when you use their new Chrome browser, etc (ok it’s also on fire over the release of this thing in general).
Matt Cutts who is a software engineer at Google and currently the head of Google’s Webspam team wrote up a great article detailing questions about privacy and how/when Google Chrome communicates with google.com. Should you be concerned?
The short answer is no. For the long answer, read on.
To read the detailed list visit Matt’s site for his article Preventing paranoia: when does Google Chrome talk to Google.com? For the shorter list, read on:
- If youâ€™re just surfing around the web and clicking on links, that information does not go to google.com.
- If you are typing a search or url in the address bar, Google Chrome will talk to the current search service to try to offer useful query/url suggestions.
- By default, crash reports and other anonymous usage statistics (e.g. which features are used most often) are not sent to Google.
- I believe if Google Chrome sees a very short, stock 404 page (less than 512 bytes), it talks to Google in order to try to suggest other possible pages and options.
- Google Chrome checks for automatic updates every 25 hours.
- Every 30 minutes, Google Chrome downloads a list of 32-bit url hashes of urls thought to be dangerous (malware or phishing). That is a download of data from google.com, not to google.com.
- When you choose your language in the user interface, Google Chrome downloads a spellcheck dictionary. Again, that is a download of data from google.com, not to google.com.
In short it doesn’t appear the is much to worry about and the conspiracy theorists are just freakin out. Not that the almighty Google doesn’t already have enough power and we shouldn’t ever be concerned. However, it appears the initial freak out by those on the net are just inflated conspiracy worries. Another bonus of this browser is that it’ll be open-sourced so any fears can be double checked by reviewing the source code.
Again, this is just the summary, check out Matt’s post for the full low down and more detailed information for each item.
Google announced it will release a brand new open source web browser called Google Chrome. Yesterday a site went up, and has subsequently been taken down at http://gears.google.com/chrome/?hl=en (as of this morning clicking this link take you back to regular old Google).
According to Crunchbase the features include:
- Tabbed browsing where each tab gets its own process, leading to faster and more stable browsing. If one tab crashes, the whole browser doesnâ€™t go down with it
- A distinct user interface that places tabs on top of the browser window instead of right below the address bar
- An â€œincognitoâ€ mode that lets you browse the web in complete privacy because it doesnâ€™t record any of your activity
- Malware and phishing lists that automatically update themselves and warn you of bad websites
- A default homepage that displays your most commonly used sites and other personalized information
Yesterday at a press event hosted in London, HTC unveiled its latest Windows Mobile device, the diamond.
The Diamond is equipped with a beefy 528 MHz processor, 4GB storage inbuilt, HSDPA, FM Radio, 3.2MP camera. Unlike the other “Touch” GPS built in and working out of the box. Check out the overview of the device:
The Diamond runs on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.1, Microsoft latest version of Windows Mobile. Unfortunately Microsoft hasn’t made many great improvements to the user interface of Windows Mobile, so what HTC has done is build in applications and customizations to work around the wonkiness of WM.These customizations are called TouchFlo 3D which adds the following sweetness to the device:
- Rather than having to initiate it with a swipe, it replaces Windows Mobile’s standard Today screen
- TouchFLO 3D also appears to be very well integrated in the OS. It’s less of an add-on and more of a new philosophy towards Windows Mobile. For example, the 5-way is also touch-sensitive so you can rotate your thumb around it to zoom in and out. It also demonstrates the power of Windows Mobile’s data structure — TouchFLO 3D has previews of emails, allows you to examine your pictures, and plays your music directly within the interface.
- TouchFLO 3D tech is also built-into a custom build of Opera 9.5. But get this, no matter what your zoom level is, the text automatically wraps to the zoom. This is in contrast to the iPhone’s browser, which sometimes is unable to get the text to wrap properly.
- TouchFLO 3D is, in fact, 3D in its animation effects. The Touch Diamond, unlike previous HTC devices, appears to be fully hardware accelerated and uses that power to full effect.
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