It can be difficult to think about how the rest of the world works when one's caught up in the latest and greatest software tools on a weekly (or just frequent) basis. And I'm not just tooting my own horn on this one. You, as a Maximum PC reader, are likely infused with more knowledge about the best the software world has to offer by virtue of your thirst for knowledge for all things extreme and PC-related.
In short, you know your chops.
I thus found myself a little taken aback earlier this week. I met somebody new during the course of my normal nine-to-five and, during our introductory discussion around the ol' office cube, I noticed that she was using Yahoo Messenger. No harm there, right? As I casually brought up the Greatest IM Client Ever, Pidgin, I also managed to sneak mention of good ol' Firefox and Chrome into the discussion. In fact, I think I even made it a joke: Hey, Yahoo isn't as bad as Internet Explorer, right?
We try to keep our Apple coverage to a minimum, as we know that it's not the favorite company of most of our readers. That’s why you generally won’t see a review of a new MacBook or iMac on this site even though these machines are, for all intents and purposes, personal computers.
All the same, we’ve always covered new iPhone releases, and we’re not about to stop with the release of the iPhone 4. It’s not that we’ve suddenly developed an affinity for the House That Steve Built. Nope, our motivation is based purely on comprehensiveness: It’s simply impossible to cover smartphones in any authoritative way while ignoring the biggest single player in the field. That’s why we trundled out to the local mall in the black of night and lined up for the iPhone 4. Here’s everything you need to know about the device, and how it’s going to change the mobile landscape.
Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) ships with every Canon DSLR. It’s a simple, straightforward editing tool that pretty much supports just the basics: adjusting color temperature, batch conversions to other file formats, and simple noise reduction. It lacks the sophistication of its competitors, but since it comes free with every Canon DSLR, it’s tough to be too harsh.
The main interface is simple and uncluttered—arguably too uncluttered, as DDP hides much of its functionality under the menus. Want to crop? Pull down the tool menu and launch the trimming tool. Need spot repairs to remove dust specks? Fire up the stamp tool. Once in a tool, you can’t do anything else until you finish, then close the tool.
The main photographic touch-up capabilities are available when you begin editing an image. You can easily adjust white balance, brightness, contrast saturation, and tone curves in a tabbed panel alongside the image being edited. It’s easy to pop up a window that compares the original to the edited image, so you don’t have to always eyeball the changes from memory.
It's always a curious enterprise when a company elects to deliver a fully-functional, nag-free version of a piece of software alongside a paid-for, "professional" or "super-bonus" edition of the same program. And it's not always easy to separate the freeware from an app's costly "real" version. Companies tend to do all they can to promote the latter-and with good reason-instead of delivering as much face-time and promotional effort for the freeware versions of their products. You might find an errant link to the inexpensive app on a download page... and that's it.
Such is the case with VS Revo Group's popular Revo Uninstaller application. I had been meaning to check out the professional version of this wicked uninstallation application for some time now, as curiosity was killing me. What's the big difference between the $40 edition and the freeware version?
Google, which already has a pretty substantial presence in advertising on the Internet, is seeking to extend its reach with the acquisition of AdMob, a mobile advertising start-up. A sign that the purchase may be raising antitrust concerns: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which must first bestow its blessing on the purchase, is asking for additional information from Google.
Google’s Public Policy Blog reports: “This week we received what's called a "second request," which means that the FTC is asking for more information so that they can continue to review the deal.” Google’s not necessarily surprised by the request, because it knows “that closer scrutiny has been one consequence of Google's success.”
Google is still positive that the FTC will allow the planned purchase to be completed. Antitrust expert and Harvard law professor Andrew I. Gavil isn’t so sure. He believes the second request is not good news for Google. He points out that with a new set of FTC commissioners and a new administration, acquisitions such as this will get a more careful vetting.
Google's deal for AdMob isn't yet dead, but it is a bit further away from living than it was yesterday.
All extensions will have to pass through a fully automated review process, except for those extensions “that include an NPAPI component and all content scripts that affect "file://" URLs.” Extensions beyond the scope of the automated review process will be vetted manually. Developers can supplement their extensions with explanatory text, screenshots and/or YouTube videos.
“During the last few months, our team has been working hard to support extensions in Google Chrome's beta channel. Today, we are getting one step closer to this goal; developers can now upload their extensions to Google Chrome's extension gallery. We are making the upload flow available early to make sure that developers have the time to publish their extensions ahead of our full launch,” programmer Lei Zheng wrote on the Chromium blog.
In what might not have been the brightest move in hindsight, 10-year Foxnews.com columnist Roger Friedman posted a short review of the pirated flick "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which will be released in theaters May 1st. Consider that 20th Century Fox is a subsidiary of News Corp, and it shouldn't be too surprising the suits in charge opted to issue Friedman a pink slip.
"Roger Friedman's views in no way reflect the views of News Corporation," News Corp. said in a statement. "We, along with 20th Century Film Corporation, have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have a zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. When we advised Fox News of the facts, they took immediate action, removed the post, and promptly terminated Mr. Friedman."
The statement issued by Fox News wasn't quite as harsh, claiming Friedman and Fox News "mutually agreed to part ways immediately" and wishing Friedman "success in his future endeavors."
It probably didn't help Friedman's case that, in addition to writing about Wolverine, he said he was also able to find the current top 10 movies in theaters, and that "Later tonight I may finally catch up with Paul Rudd in 'I Love You, Man.' It's so much easier than going out in the rain!"
Yelp describes itself as a "fun and easy way to find, review, and talk about what's great (and not so great) in your world." In Christopher Norberg's world, taking advantage of what Yelp has to offer has landed him a lawsuit accusing him of libel.
The San Franciscan was in a car accident in 2006 and sought the services of a local chiropractor. But after a dispute over billing took place, Norberg posted a negative review on Yelp essentially accusing the doctor of being dishonest. Now the 26-year-old custom furniture builder will have to defend his comments in court.
"If Christopher loses then anyone on Yelp who writes a negative review better be careful," said Michael Blacksburt, an attorney representing Norberg. "This strikes at the heart of Yelp's business model and other websites that provide a bulletin board for people to state what they think of businesses in their community."
Not surprisingly, Eric Nordskog, the attorney for chiropractor Steven Biegel, sees the situation differently. According to Nordskog, "Dr. Biegel has no problem with people expressing their views and opinions about his service," but the question is whether or not Norberg posted a false statement as fact.
Should Norbert be held responsible for his review, or is the chiropractor getting too bent out of shape? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
Cooler Master’s V8 CPU cooler offsets a somewhat time-consuming installation process with near-record-setting performance for an air cooler. The sleek aluminum cooler’s 12cm fan sits between two heatsinks on the device, sparing fingers from the accidental nip of its 800rpm-to-1,800rpm variable fan.
During the press briefing for Windows 7 at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), corporate vice president for Windows product management Mike Nash insisted Microsoft had learned from the Vista experience.
Judging by early Windows 7 code released at PDC, the signs are that it really has....Windows 7 feels more polished than Vista, even in the preview, and performance is good.
Anderson noted the new Device Stage, BitLocker to Go, and improvements in Windows Media Player. To find out what other features Anderson likes in the next Windows, join us after the jump.