Google Desktop 5 offers more gadgets

Google released Google Desktop 5 on Tuesday, an update to its application for searching and indexing files on a personal computer or shared networked computers.

Google Desktop 5, available immediately for free download, offers a new sidebar interface for gadgets, new gadgets, a tool for searching available gadgets, a preview tool for browsing Google Desktop Search results, and new security features.

Google gadgets, similar to Apple's widgets, offer mini-applications for scouring the Internet for e-mail, news, weather and photos, as well as offer tools like clocks, calendars and notes.

Google Desktop 5 includes a sidebar for managing these gadgets that can reside on top of the desktop or other screens, depending on the settings you give it. A gadgets interface has also been added to organize and search for new gadgets to add to your set.

The new desktop application also includes more security options.

Security has been an issue with Google Desktop because the application's architecture includes a link between the PC's desktop and Google Servers. The link, according to critics, is partially responsible for recent security flaws that could have allowed cross-scripting attacks.

Google Desktop 5 offers a new feature that will scan links within documents, instant messages and e-mails, as well as on the Internet for malicious software. The feature then throws up a warning to users if it finds something amiss with the link.

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