Don’t be surprised if the next batch of Google Docs enhancements includes third party applications, cloud printers, and sync devices. Google-centric blog Google Operating System found a strong hint to this effect inside Google Docs’ source code while scrolling through it. "Coming soon: Third party applications, cloud printers, and sync devices," reads a message inside the code.
Support for cloud printing in Google Docs would be in keeping with the company’s stated goal of building “a printing experience that enables any app (web, desktop, or mobile) on any device to print to any printer anywhere in the world.” The cloud printing feature will be enabled through the upcoming Google Cloud Print service.
Although not available yet, the launch of Google Cloud Print has got to be just round the corner with the first installment of Chrome OS devices fast approaching.
Third-party apps and the “sync devices” feature will also be equally welcome additions to the web-based productivity suite.
“Each of the features you mentioned have been announced before but we are excited to see everyone's enthusiasm for the cloud and integration with Google Docs,” the company said in an e-mail response to a Cnet query. “We have no specifics on timing for these features at this point.”
The newly-launched Safari Extension Gallery features 100 extensions across 16 categories, including social networking, search tools, shopping, and RSS tools. Besides being digitally signed by Apple, the add-ons are confined to a sandbox to guard against the possibility of the extensions posing a security threat.
The latest update also patches 15 vulnerabilities, including the recently discovered vulnerability in the browser's AutoFill feature, which could have been used by hackers to harvest personal data.
Microsoft Office: Can’t live with it, can’t live with… ok, so that’s not entirely true. A number of you likely live without the Microsoft Office suite and, for that, I commend you. That’s not because there’s anything wrong with Office per se; it’s a pricing thing. I don’t always have the money to fork out for a new Office license for whatever systems I acquire, especially when compelling freeware alternatives present themselves in an easy-to-use (and easy-to-download) kind of fashion. Same goes for you.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Dave,” you ask, “why not just install OpenOffice.org and be done with it?” That is certainly a solution for your Office woes. However, that doesn’t mean that the OpenOffice.org suite is the end-all be-all alternative to Microsoft Office Insert-Year-Here. From Web apps to downloadable programs, it’s entirely possible to recreate some of the best parts of this paid-for hunk of apps without resorting to the tried-and-true OpenOffice.org open-source bundle.
And guess what? By going the piecemeal route, you’ll be able to find some new features that simply don’t exist in either aforementioned bundle! So, that said, click the jump to check out some of the best freeware and open-source Microsoft Office replacement apps for your system!
Secunia said in its report that its findings reinforce the notion that “a high market share correlates with a high number of vulnerabilities.” It found that third-party vulnerabilities far exceed first-party vulnerabilities found in a typical end-user PC with 26 3rd party apps. The tables have turned as the reverse was true five years ago.
Although the total number of vulnerabilities in all the products covered by Secunia has remained stagnant since 2005, those affecting a typical end-user PC are growing at an alarming rate.
“In the two years from 2007 to 2009, the number of vulnerabilities affecting a typical end-user PC almost doubled from 220 to 420, and based on the data of the first six months of 2010, the number is expected to almost double again in 2010 to 760,” Secunia said in its report.
Can't go a week on any given tech site nowadays without seeing the "F" word. By that, of course, I'm referring to Facebook--and all the privacy implications for its users that have been arguing about on the Web for the past many weeks.
I'm not here to tell you that Facebook is good, evil, or a delicious chocolate-vanilla-strawberry mix. Make that decision yourself. What I can do, however, is point you to a wonderful tool for assessing your own privacy levels on the service. Trying to navigate Facebook's litany of settings and options for keeping this, that, and the other in (or out) of the public eye is indeed treacherous. Don't give up hope, though; salvation lies in the form of a tiny little bookmarklet that you can run on your profile at a moment's notice.
Security rivals thermal paste as the most important thing you have to keep in mind when building or using a system. Every bit of software on your PC should be updated; every external access point into your digital life, closed. There's no reason why you should be handing over the keys to the castle to random Internet strangers. Powerful virus protection, a strong firewall, and a bit of common sense -- among other tricks -- will go far to preserve your fortress of a system.
Now that's all well and good for the desktop in your living room, but what about third-party machines? We've all had to jump on a system over which we've had no control--no observance or administrative rights to ensure that every bit of the operating system checked out to ideal security standards. You can always head over the falls in a barrel and type your passwords and login credentials blindly, with no foresight or worries that you're inputting valuable information on a potentially infected machine. That, or you can do what I'd do: Make sure that your every keystroke and action is somehow safeguarded through the use of portable applications that you can carry on a storage device of your choice (cough USB key cough).
And that's exactly what I'll be exploring in this week's Freeware Files: Five awesome portable apps that you can carry with you to increase your security presence on a PC that isn't yours. These aren't panaceas--you'll still want to be as critical and as cautious as you would previously. However, they're a step in the right direction toward (hopefully) a data-leak-free lifestyle.
I'll admit, I was a little bit excited when I read earlier this week that Netgear was launching a quote-unquote open-source router. It's not very often--well, hardly ever--that one sees a larger corporate manufacturer of computer hardware so brazenly embrace the ideals (and code) of the open-source enthusiasts. If anything, it seems that companies in the networking space tend to go a little out of their way to ensure that one can't add or tweak a store-bought device with unofficial firmware. I think they'd much prefer to up-sell you additional features than watch you unlock them yourself, but that's just me.
And yet, here we are! An open-source router! Just the kind of thing you want to bring home, install into your network, and begin updating with the best DD-WRT, OpenWRT, or Tomato firmware you can get your hands on. Imagine the possibilities! Imagine the new features you might be able to play around with! Imagine the joy in your family's eyes when you tell 'em how you've transformed your Jekyll of a local area network into an beastly, unrestrained Hyde. They'll talk about this day for the next five family gatherings at least!
I exaggerate, but only because it seems that the marketing team for Netgear's WNR3500L gigabit router is probably benefiting the most from this "switch" to open-source. I can't see average consumers using this device to its fullest potential, if that's even possible to begin with. The WNR3500L isn't actually open-source all the way. By incorporating closed-source drivers into the product--and triumphing third-party firmware that may or may not run afoul of the GPL itself--Netgear could actually be costing consumers valuable security and functionality.
That being the case, why would one ever want to switch to open-source?