It's been nearly three years since the GIMP has seen a noticeable feature-set upgrade. The new version of the popular freeware image editor makes changes in all the right places, streamlining the installation process, fine-tuning and overhauling old features and introducing some really cool new ones.
Culminating in a party at San Francisco's Rickshaw Stop last night, the biggest Web browser publisher from Norway--also, the only Web browser publisher from Norway--kicked off a number of beta versions. Opera 9.5 beta 1 and Opera Mini 4 beta 3 were made public yesterday, introducing a heap of new features.
Almost everyone takes pictures when traveling so they have something to bring back the memories once their vacation is over. A few years ago I went to several countries across Europe and took a ton of pictures with my digital camera. When I flip through the albums now, in some cases I'll forget where some of the more nondescript or interior pictures were taken. Today I found a program for Mac which not only solves that problem, but makes it more fun to view pictures from around the world.… Read more
WeatherBug knows how to get around. The detailed weather reporting application for most combinations of desktop and mobile downloads, plus a WAP site, has let iPhone into the club. Now iPhone users can check out seven-day forecasts, animated radar maps, and real-time images from street-level weather cameras.
Incidentally, I learned an interesting factoid about WeatherBug. It began as educational curriculum and still has a strong program for schools and organizations subscribing to its weather warning alert system (e.g., "chance of lightning, soccer canceled.") That explains why the view of Sunnyvale, Calif., is taken from what looks like … Read more
The Web 2.0 definition of a misanthrope is somebody who doesn't belong to any social networking sites, and by that yardstick I fit the bill. I don't have a MySpace account, nor a Facebook. I do not Twitter except when I've had way too much coffee. I'm not even going to begin to tell you what I think a LinkSpank is, and as far as I'm concerned, Digging requires a shovel and a backyard. I have neither.
So I may not be the best person to evaluate Flock 1.0 beta, a browser built on Firefox that is designed to make interfacing with social networking sites extremely easy. Still, I've got a Flickr account and I blog. Would Flock be useful for a social minimalist such as myself?
Whenever a big project is at hand, making sure that you follow through with important details takes planning. Whether it's as mundane as cleaning out the garage, confusing as organizing your daughter's soccer team, or complex as reworking the goals for a team at your company, an outline, a list, or a strategy can help you focus on the over-arching goal. It might be because it's easier to have visuals of bulleted lists or linear strategies to easily convey the steps necessary to complete a project. Think of it this way: Not having a plan of action is kind of like going to the grocery store without a list; sure, you'll remember a lot of stuff you need, but once you get home you're bound to smack yourself in the forehead saying, "Butter! How did I forget butter?"
I recently came across a great program for both Mac and PC that helps make the planning phases of a project much easier. MindManager helps you map out your thoughts and ideas using an intuitive graphical interface. You can start your own mind map with a central idea to work outwards from, or you can choose from several premade templates that focus on a specific task.… Read more
Anybody who downloads software knows that the size of the file is going to effect the time it takes to download. The bigger the file the longer you wait, right? For those of you who are on a dial-up connection (I know you're still out there), the size of the file can be the difference between downloading and moving on to something else. Even with a fast connection, some of the popular game demos and larger software apps can mean an all-night download party for your computer--particularly when that download is in high demand.… Read more
When Digg first came out with its labs section, almost immediately people threw together unofficial screensavers for each of the visualizations. Since the visualizations run in Adobe Flash, the user creations often just loaded up the pages in a full-screen Flash viewer. Today, Digg has launched official versions of the screensavers for all four of their labs visualizations, which were originally put together by Stamen Design.
Just like the Web versions, you can sit back and watch the current activity on Digg as it's happening, and interact with any of the content. The screensavers are cross platform, and run … Read more
Mozilla's WebRunner is a single-serving version of Firefox that strips away all the bells and whistles. There's no Web surfing to be done with this lightweight tool. Menus, extensions, themes, toolbars, and navigation have all been excised, like a sculptor cutting away excess marble.
What you're left with is a Site Specific Browser for Windows, Mac, or Linux that uses bookmark files with the WEBAPP extension. The installer configures these files to open in WebRunner, but there's no "launch program" icon or option. You just double-click on a WEBAPP file you've downloaded or created, and off you go, ready to get to work without getting distracted by the temptation to surf anywhere else.
If you're tired of waiting for Google to make some much-needed improvements to Gmail, Better Gmail has been adding useful functionality to the e-mail client since earlier this year. An update earlier this month finally gave Gmail what users have been clamoring for: integration with Google Reader.
Written by Lifehacker editor Gina Trapani, the extension is basically a collection of her favorite Greasemonkey scripts. It does more than just slap your feeds onto the bottom of your in-box, though. It adds a Collapse/Expand Gmail link to the top-left nav, just under the Compose link. This hides your e-mail and pulls the Reader up to the top, and swtiches to Expand when the in-box is hidden. It also adds a control panel to central left nav for managing your feeds, a neat work-around so that you can collapse the Reader's built-in navigation. The Reader pane is collapsible, too, so you can hide the perpetual distraction of feeds from the perpetual distraction of e-mail.