Just like the Spy pulling a fast one over on the Sniper for this week's Team Fortress 2 update, I'm not going to be profiling a list of freeware applications this time around. Nope. Not a single program. I'm going meta with this update. Instead of tossing a list of superior apps your way, I'm going to give you a list of the top five Firefox extensions that will take your power downloading to untold heights of awesomeness.
Now what does that entail?
Are you sick of having to sort through your expanding download directory just to find and organize the new files you've picked up? Boom. There's an add-on for that. Does it frustrate you every time you have to wait for a countdown on one of the free file hosts before you can grab the file you want? Oh-ho-ho: There's an add-on for that as well! Do you hate the very act of clicking on multiple links on a page to download files?You might be a little lazy on that one, but no hate here. Yes, there's an application to make even this most-mundane of tasks easier.
If you aren't using Firefox, well, I can't say much to that. But check out this list anyway -- I bet you'll be tempted to switch over once you realize all the additional functionality you can pack into this foxy browser. Click the jump (no, an add-on won't do that for you) and let's get started!
Citing "legal issues," EMI nixed plans to release Danger Mouse's new CD, Dark Night of the Soul, a collaboration with rock group Sparklehorse that also features Iggy Pop and The Flaming Lips. But that doesn't mean fans of the mashup artist are completely out of luck, depending on how far they're willing to go. 'Just pirate the music,' is the message essentially being sent.
Since EMI refuses to release the project, Danger Mouse has decided to sell the album as a "100+ page book" of David Lynch photographs inspired by the music, and will toss in a blank CD-R.
'For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will."
The idea, of course, is for fans to illegally download the music via P2P/torrent and fill the CD themselves, and though EMI hasn't said yet said anything, it can't be too happy about the move.
Let the streaming music wars begin. Just last week Microsoft went on the offensive and attacked Apple's iTunes service over its pricing model compared to the Zune Pass unlimited subscription service, which serves up all-you-can-listen-to tunes plus 10 free tracks for $14.99/month. Looking to leapfrog ahead of them both, Napster, now a Best Buy commodity, is planning to relaunch its subscription music service with a $5 deal that includes 5 free tracks every month.
"There's no need to settle for 30-second clips to decide if you want to buy a song," said Chris Gorog, CEO of Napster. "For five bucks now you can have access to our entire music catalog and get five MP3s to add to your permanent collection."
The new pricing model, which goes into effect tonight, could put Napster in contention with more popular music services and put the one-time P2P pioneer back on top. Napster's catalog sits at over 7 million strong and includes more than 60 commercial-free radio stations, which seems like an obscene amount of content for the same price as a Subway footlong.
Anyone plan on giving Napster a second look? Hit the jump and sound off.
Fast, stable (so far), and nearing release, it seems everyone is looking forward to Windows 7, Microsoft's upcoming operating system that looks to be superior to Vista in almost every way. But there's one area in which Vista has the upper hand, and it could prove to be an important one, Dell says.
"If there's one thing that may influence adoption, make things slower, or cause customers to pause, it's that generally the ASPs (average selling price) of the operating systems are higher than they were for Vista and XP," Darrel Ward, director of product management for Dell's business client product group, said in a phone interview with CNet.
Ward was referring to the multiple flavors of Windows 7 that are sure to appear, and in light of the tough economic times, he said it's "naive" for Microsoft increase its prices on average and still see higher sales.
"I can tell you that the licensing tiers at retail are more expensive than they were for Vista," Ward added.
Ward did note that the momentum behind Windows 7 is noticeably bigger than it was with Vista, and save for a few hiccups, driver readiness looks "pretty healthy." But will it be enough to justify higher price points?
Acer, who sits as the global market share leader in the netbook category with a 30.5 percent share of the pie (1.8 million units shipped), has just released an 11.6-inch netbook it believes is just what you're looking for.
"We predict that the larger display and keyboard will be a game-changer for mobile consumers looking to take it to the next level with the ultimate mobile device," said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product management for Acer America.
The new AO751h sports a full size keyboard and is "thinner than previous generations" at 1-inch high. Acer says it will be available in several configurations, with a baseline model boasting an Intel Atom Z520 processor (1.22GHz, 490MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), 1GB of DDR2-533 memory, a 160GB hard drive, integrated Intel GMA950 graphics, built-in media card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, and Windows XP Home with SP3.
As configured above, the AO751h carries and MSRP of $350, or $380 with a 6-cell battery.
Just in case you were worried that Intel wasn’t committed to it’s heavily delayed Larrabee platform, a 12 million dollar investment in a new Visual Computing Institute should help convince you otherwise. Located at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, this is the largest joint project ever formed between Intel and a European university. The institute will help Intel explore advanced graphical computing technologies, which includes everything from more realistic gaming, to advanced 3D user interfaces.
The primary focus of the research will be applied to Intel’s terascalling program. This will help them better understand how they can apply Larrabees unique multi x86 core architecture to achieve sustainable performance increases over modern day GPU’s. Larrabee has been delayed until some unknown date in 2010, presumably because it hasn’t yet achieved the type of performance gains they were hoping for against Nvidia & AMD.
In addition to terascalling research, Intel will also work with other hardware design labs in Barcelona, Spain, and Braunschweig, Germany to help optimize the Larrabee design. Z-buffering, clipping, and even ray tracing are all promises made by the Larrabee team, but clearly the software needed to make all this happen still requires some work.
Want more details? Click here to watch the press video.
So is Larrabee really the future? Or does this only prove Nvidia’s case that its promise is overhyped?
When STALKER first came out, it was kinda buggy. For some, that’s a no-fly zone for the almighty wallet. Understandable. Then the game got patched, but, you know, $50 is still a pretty sizeable chunk of change. So you decided to skip out on it again. “Later,” you probably thought. That’s fine too.
Now, though, there are no excuses.
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl – one of the most underrated open world shooters of recent years – is completely free. Go to Gametap, download, and enjoy. That’s roughly two mouse clicks between the haves and have-nots. Even your mother could do that. Do you want to be laughed at for being less computer-literate than your mother? Didn’t think so.
Duke Nukem Forever this, Duke Nukem Forever that. We might as well be beating a dead horse at this point, but at least we’re not suing one. That’s Take-Two territory right there.
Apparently, the publisher wasn’t too happy to hear that Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms decided to close up shop last week. Why? Well, according to Take-Two, 3D Realms breached its agreement to finish DNF when the big bad economic wolf finally blew it down. The agreement was probably made in 2007, though at that time, specific details weren’t made public.
"[3D Realms] continually delayed the completion date for the Duke Nukem Forever," said Take-Two in its complaint. "[3D Realms] repeatedly assured Take-Two and the video-gaming community that it was diligently working toward competing development of the PC Version of the Duke Nukem Forever."
But the rabbit hole runs deeper. A quick dig through pertinent legal documents reveals that Take-Two is also attempting to pry Duke Nukem Forever’s source code from 3D Realms’ cold, mostly dead hands, and will probably go through with it if the publisher has its way in court. As of now, even though 3D Realms went under, it still holds onto its unfinished game.
Meanwhile, 3D Realms co-owner Scott Miller claims that Take-Two never actually paid the developer the $12 million needed to secure publishing rights for DNF – which, if true, renders much of Take-Two’s argument moot.
"No. We didn't get a penny of that money," Miller said. "This, along with so much else, is 100% spin, being eaten up by those who have no clue whatsoever."
Well, so much for the Duke Nukem Forever saga ending not with a bang, but a whimper. Expect more fireworks from Take-Two and 3D Realms in the coming weeks.
Bit Torrent user’s who scored pre-released versions of the Windows 7 RC may have gotten more then they bargained for. Malware-laced copies of Microsoft’s newest OS were seeded to torrents in late April, and security researchers are warning users who may have downloaded Windows 7 from non-Microsoft sources, to format, and reinstall their OS.
Adoption rate of the pirated version has slowed since the official release, but as many as 27,000 machines were estimated to be compromised when the command and control center for the bot net was located and finally shut down on May 10th by authorities. Currently, researchers at Damballa are monitoring installations of the infected version, and estimate that approximately 1,600 new machines are added per day. The good news here is that new installations won’t be drafted into the bot net, but it’s still not a good idea to run software from non-trusted sources.
Blocking this type of infection is difficult researchers confess since the Trojan was integrated into the OS installer, and it became active immediately following setup. The situation is also compounded by the reality that Windows 7 still has very limited anti virus options. Operating systems however aren’t the only attack vector for those looking to poison torrents. Similar malware infested Trojans were found in other popular torrented applications including iWork 09 and even Photoshop CS4.
Webmail frees internet users from the shackles of their ISP’s, but over time, our investment in these services tends to turn into its own form of baggage. Years of past emails, contacts, and even the address itself often holds us hostage, and keeps us from making the plunge to superior services such as Gmail. This all appears to be changing today with a new tool being phased into Gmail, which will allow users to seamlessly import all the information from a previous account, and even allow it to fetch email from services such as Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL for 30 days, making the switch even easier.
The feature is already enabled for new users, and will be rolled in for existing customers over time. Previously, Gmail was only capable of fetching mail from email services employing web standards such as POP, leaving Hotmail, Yahoo, and even AOL in the clear. It will be interesting to see if this new feature will make those pesky invitations more appealing to new users.