It's cold outside, your local grocery store is stocked with eggnog, and the mall is a madhouse. It can mean only one thing -- the holidays are coming! That also means you're running out time to finish buying gifts for family and friends, but what do you do if you're stuck on what to get that special geek in your life? What if you ARE that special geek? Don't sweat it, whether you're looking for gnarly gift ideas for someone else or want to treat yourself to something nice before embarking on a new year, we have you covered with a robust selection of gadgets, games, and toys guaranteed to delight whoever receives them in our Geek's Holiday Gift Guide 2012. From Google Play gift cards to a severed Wampa arm fashioned into an ice scraper mitt, we have suggestions for all levels of geek!
To make things easier for you, we're separating our gift suggestions into handy categories, though we highly recommend browsing each of the galleries. You never know what you'll find until you click through! Hit the jump to get started.
Google is inviting Gmail users to try out a new way to compose and reply to messages in Gmail. The redesigned compose window appears as a pop-up window inside the inbox rather than a dedicated, full-size window. It's a subtle change, but is big on convenience in that you can compose new messages while still surfing your inbox folders. It's essentially a larger size chat window.
The launch of Windows 8 last week also marked the official release of Internet Explorer 10, which ships with the new OS (Windows 7 users can download a release preview, or hang tight until November for a finished build). Microsoft thinks IE10 is the best browser on the planet, and while Mozilla might disagree with such a claim, animosity doesn't run high between the two companies. Just the opposite, actually. In fact, Mozilla sent Microsoft a cake for shipping IE10.
Look, we're not trying to spark a religious debate here, and if Jesus is your co-pilot, that's wonderful. But turning to 'Jesus' to secure your logins is about as ineffective as protecting your accounts with 'Ninja', which also appears on SplashData's "Worst Passwords of 2012." The self-explanatory list contains five new entries, two of which we just mentioned. What about the rest? Let's have a look.
Ex-Google employee Andre Weyher recently went on record advising that webmasters spend less time worrying about search engine optimization (SEO) and more time developing and curating quality content. According to Weyher, putting too much focus on SEO can be counterproductive, as Google's super secret algorithms are designed to penalize websites that attract search engine crawlers.
A million members isn't cool. Do you know what's cool? A billion members. Yes, we're semi-quoting from the movie The Social Network, in which Justin Timberlake, playing the part of Napster founder Sean Parker, talks about scaling to a billion dollars. Facebook's been there and done that, and now it can add to its list of achievements that it's now home to more than one billion people actively using the social networking service each and every month.
I used to think Mozilla's Firefox browser posed the most serious threat to Internet Explorer's dominance in the browser wars, and for a long while, it did. IE's numbers were falling and Firefox's were climbing, but then Chrome joined the battle. A funny thing happened at that point. Firefox, once the most beloved browser by users 'in the know,' took a backseat to Chrome's rapid rise, and now it's anyone's guess what the next year or so will bring. Let's have a look where things stand.
It wasn't too terribly long ago that "cloud computing" was a loosey-goosey marketing term being thrown around by anyone and everyone in the software space. And now? There's been a marked shift towards cloud-based services, which is a market that research firm Gartner predicts will grow 19.6 percent to $109 billion by the end of 2012.
GoDaddy, the largest ICANN-accredited registrar on the planet, claims it wasn't a hacker that disrupted service for millions of customers, just incompetence. The registrar didn't actually use that word, but it did deny reports that an Anonymous-affiliated hacker attack or distributed denial of service (DDoS) were to blame. To make up for the SNAFU, GoDaddy has been sending out emails to its customers to let them know they'll be credited for a month of service for each active/published site.
As if Mondays aren't challenging enough to get through as it is, many of the websites belonging to GoDaddy's 10.5 million customers were unplugged yesterday afternoon following a hacker attack. A day later, GoDaddy is still working to completely restore service across the board. Twitter user @AnonymousOwn3r took responsibility for the attack, and interestingly enough, Anonymous is trying to distance itself from the rogue hacker.