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Windows Live OneCare 1.6 Released

firewall-slider.pngMicrosoft released to subscribers version 1.6 of Windows Live OneCare. You won’t notice many differences, but the slider that turns off the firewall has a fourth setting, one that turns it off for a set period of time, as well as an option to turn off the OneCare firewall for ever. To find that click “Chang OneCare settings”, select the Firewall tab, click “Advanced settings”, select the “Managing and Sharing” tab, and turn on “Turn off the firewall”. At least it isn’t complicated. There’s also a firewall activity report available from the dashboard.

June 11th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneCare, Live, Windows, Security | no comments



Apple Releases Safari For Windows

Safari Windows

Apple released today at its World Wide Developer Conference a Windows version of its Safari browser, giving Windows a fourth major web browser. The software is available as an 8 megabyte free download at apple.com/safari. Be sure to avoid additionally installing things you may not need, like some sort of networking software.

Is it good? Sure seems to load pages fast. Apple emphasizes that in a lot of places, because for those who’ve never used Firefox, or Opera, or even Internet Explorer 7, there isn’t much different here. Tabbed browsing, Mac UI, bookmarks, pop-up blocker, inline find (CTRL+F), autofill, RSS reader, resizable text fields, and encryption support. The only other unique features are SnapBack, which jumps you back to search results (Opera has a way better version of this feature) and one-click private browsing (no history, no cookies).

If you absolutely must have pages load faster more than anything, go with Safari. It does seem really fast. Otherwise, I can’t see a lot of incentive.

  • The UI clashes with the rest of Windows (when Microsoft develops for the Mac, they match the UI, so why doesn’t Apple?)
  • The address bar doesn’t select the URL when you click (why the hell not?)
  • The Flash player isn’t installed (even though RealPlayer, QuickTime, Acrobat and Java are, you need to install a plugin)
  • There’s this really confusing lightbulb button (it sends error reports)
  • The tab bar is hidden at first
  • Double-clicking the tab bar doesn’t open new tabs
  • The bookmark and tab bars use dark gray with black letters. Impossible to read at a glance!
  • Downloaded files have to all be downloaded to a specific folder (by default the desktop, annoying!)
  • Links open in new windows, not tabs
  • Are there any keyboard shortcuts for switching tabs? Don’t seem to be.
  • The font smoothing just thickens letters instead of actually, you know, smoothing fonts. Whatever it does, the text just makes me uncomfortable.
  • There’s no dialog for enabling/disabling plugins
  • The preferences reference “Option-Tab”, which is strange since “Option” isn’t on any Windows keyboards!
  • Preferences has no “Ok” button. Does clicking “X” do the same as “Ok”? Jeez, Windows doesn’t work like that. Why are you confusing users?
  • What the hell does “Reset” do?
  • Resizing the window ups CPU usage to 100%, making it real slow and tedious.
  • The SnapBack feature snaps forward for no reason. I don’t get it. It also snaps back to the front page of some sites, like Google Video, instead of the search results.
  • The windows gets smaller every time I open it! Arghh!
  • You can only resize the window from the bottom right-hand corner. That means if it is at the bottom of the screen, you need to grab the title bar, drag to the top of the screen, then go back to the bottom right-hand corner and drag outwards to resize. Fun fun.
  • Some of the installed plugins don’t seem to work, even the Quicktime one. Confuses the hell out of me.

Whatever. It’s a beta. Naturally, tons of things don’t work right and don’t make sense. It won’t be many people’s default browsers, but it has promise.

June 11th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | 6 comments

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Fun With Vista Devices

Laurent G├ębeau of the Tout Windows site (a French site about Windows) posted this video as a response to my oPhone video:

The text at the end says “Windows Vista: compatible with your peripherals and software” and “compatible also with all the data-processing marks”, whatever that means.

Laurent runs a pretty cool website and Live Spaces blog, albeit in a language I don’t understand. Still, check out this other video posted there:

Imagine Cup 2007 Promo Video:

By the way, oPhone is up to 339,535 views on YouTube, 307 comments, and 499 favorites. Damn.

I should give Microsoft marketing points for everything I see, giving them +/- on their efforts. Like the Vista devices video gets 15 points. Lets keep a running tally.

June 11th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Vista, Humor, Windows | no comments

MSN Soapbox Re-opens With Copyright Protection Detection

MSN Soapbox is now accepting new registrations, about two and a half months after it stopped accepting them due to copyright concerns. Microsoft stopped letting new people into the site, deciding it first needed an effective means of keeping a huge amount of copyright violations off the site before they wound up joining Google in a billion dollar lawsuit.

The latest update to Soapbox utilizes CopySense tech from Audible Magic to automatically filter newly uploaded material for copyright violations, giving them a fighting chance of detecting violations before they become a legal problem. CopySense is just the first step, with more tools to be released as well, according to the Soapbox team blog.

Now, maybe the Soapbox team can figure out why every video I’ve uploaded there recently has ended in failure. I’ve been doing some serious videoblogging lately, and I’m down with the S-box, but for some reason it chokes under the same circumstances YouTube and Google Video have failed. Their loss. Or maybe their gain. My lighting and sound are really bad…

June 11th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Soapbox, MSN | no comments