Mahalo launched a new Firefox extension last week at Gnomedex. It's called "Follow," and once installed, it does just that. It's a mix of a toolbar and sidebar that pulls up related search results from whatever page you're on. It's got a built-in Mahalo search box in an attempt to ween you off your Google and Yahoo search tendencies. It's also got a StumbleUpon-like function to recommend whatever page you're looking at to others with yes, no, and maybe buttons, along with a button to take you to a random Mahalo … Read more
A new security company, Haute Secure, is offering a free beta version of its safe surfing toolbar for Internet Explorer that blocks malware from downloading onto your desktop. Firefox support is expected soon. Entering an already crowded field, the Haute Secure toolbar hopes to distinguish itself by taking the best of Exploit Prevention Labs Linkscanner Pro and McAfee SiteAdvisor, and then adds additional layers of protection. If they can pull it off with the final release, Haute Secure could be a must-have add-on for both Internet Explorer and Firefox.
The Haute Secure toolbar hooks into 70 processes running on your … Read more
Dell took notice earlier this year when customers and the media reiterated complaints over the glut of crapware, or preinstalled PC software, packaged with new computers. Many PC makers said they do offer ways for consumers to wipe a new computer's slate clean. But this week, Dell announced it would hand more control over to customers during the purchase process.
Dell.com customers buying an XPS system, Inspiron notebook or Dimension desktop can select a "no software preinstalled" option. This will eliminate productivity, ISP, photo and music software, but not everything.
Adobe Reader, trial versions of antivirus … Read more
Here's a way to maybe keep your audience engaged with your Web site even when they're not on it: offer them a branded browser toolbar. Conduit's newish Community Toolbar feature makes it easy to build a toolbar (for free) that you can offer to your site visitors (also for free).
When I heard about this I thought, Great, just what we need: more toolbar clutter. Also, we have experience at CNET with toolbar downloads. For us, they weren't worth the development time. Conduit is a little different, though. Regarding clutter, you're only supposed to get … Read more
First it was the Google Toolbar, then it was an integrated search box in the corner of my browser. It's no secret Google's been slowly attempting to take control of our computers for years. The desktop search is a testament to that. What's really creepy is the new Web History tracking service Google quietly rolled out last week. This new service doesn't go after items on your computer, rather what you're looking at online.
Google Web History archives everything you've searched for (while signed in to your Google account), and gives you a bookmarklet to bookmark sites you like. The whole idea is to make the browsing experience something you can search through and access from any computer, anywhere. Search history has items listed by time of search, with the most recent ones on a front page.
Searches are broken down by Google category like Web, Images, Maps, and (the now misnamed) Froogle. Users can also see how many searches they've done by month, day, and hour. Drilling down deeper, you can also go in and click on the number of searches and see the top sites and results. It's a total analytic overload.
The real creepy part in all this is the integration you get if you have the Google Toolbar installed on your browser. This will track every single site you're visiting, and apply the same aforementioned analytics so you can keep track of which sites or services you're using the most. Sure, we've had browsing history for years, but it's always been localized. It's a little alarming to see it online, regardless of the fact it can't be shared with others.
The good news is that users can opt-out of Google's Web History program, along with the capability to delete any item that's been archived. The bad news is that if you have a Google account, all your search activity has been tracked since last week.
For more shots of the service, keep reading.… Read more
eSnips, the social networking and content-hosting service, is quintupling the storage on users accounts to 5GB. The company is also adding new music-sharing features that let users create embeddable music widgets and playlists for use on eSnips user pages, blogs, Web sites, and social networking sites like MySpace. The service ties into the eSnips marketplace, which lets you buy and sell user-generated content like photos and music.
We covered eSnips last year and noted its similarity to social bookmarking site Del.icio.us mixed with content hosting like you'd find on social networking sites. Since then, eSnips claims to … Read more
And here we have two more companies that were featured Tuesday at AlwaysOn's media event:
Like many of the companies presenting at this conference, Critical Mention has released a variety of products, some geared toward corporate clients and others toward individual media junkies. Critical Mention's raison d'etre in both cases is to connect Internet users to what's happening on TV. It's developed a set of tools that help companies, agencies, and political campaigns find out when they get television mentions, but Critical Mention also has a downlodable toolbar that can perform similar functions for ordinary … Read more